I give this documentary Five Stars.
The definition of a rank bull: Rank is a term used to describe roughstock animals that are difficult to ride. It could mean tough, rough, mean, or dangerous when describing specific broncs or bulls.
Bull riders are the most courageous athletes, the most insane sons of bitches in the entire world.
When my kids were younger we loved our rodeos. Of course we lived in a more rural area – just south of Idaho – and there was always a rodeo somewhere nearby during the summer months. When we first moved to California we went to two rodeos a year until they were phased out due to cost. Sad.
The one event we never missed, even though we covered our eyes and watched through our fingers? Bull riding. We waited for the bull riders with unbridled anticipation and a whole lot of fear. Praying no one would get killed, we watched them ride with a mix of admiration, horror, respect, astonishment, disbelief.
Riding a bull is like crashing your car every night without benefit of a seat belt or an air bag. If you’re in the world championships, you will have to ride a different bull for seven nights and you will ride the rankest bulls in the world – A Rank Bull = a bull most likely to kill you.
Yes, there’s money in the sport, but not much. And not for very many. During his brief career, a bull rider is very likely to suffer crippling injuries, perhaps career-ending injuries if not, oh, a broken neck, a serious head injury, disfigurement, death.
If bull riders only rode for the money, they wouldn’t ride. It’s gotta be the passion because no amount of money is worth the punishment.
And the bull fighters… it takes real courage and skill to protect the bull riders. Because frankly, unlike a bucking bronco who just wants to get away from you, a bull quite literally wants to kill you and a bull has many tools to do it. He can stomp you to death, gore you, throw you, fall on you…
Rank follows three bull riders – the top three riders in the world when the film was made -
The movie also follows the bulls and the men who breed the rankest bulls in the world.
Anyone remember the movie, 8 Seconds? 8 Seconds tells the true story of the tragic life and death of Lane Frost, one of the best bull riders, and his friend, Tuff Hederman. It’s one of my daughter’s favorite movies.
Rank is even better. I guarantee there will be scenes you can’t watch. You will have to look away. Even my husband covered his eyes.
Cover your eyes: