DVD Reviews

Suffer The Joy

“Suffer the joy…” Ahh, an oxymoron that announces a road movie about the trials and tribulations of the Toy Machine skateboard team! A much anticipated chapter to the Blood Sucking Corporation’s book of deeds, Suffer the Joy illustrates a team that has defined skateboarding through several eras. Would Ed Templeton and co. do it again..?

Well, to begin let me state the ‘joyous’ moments of this opus. It seems things have settled at the Toy machine camp after several mix and match line-ups that had the company a little lost for identity at times. Toy machine is good and healthy again (possibly due to the boss’ vegan ethics..?), and this new release puts the team back on the map as movers and shakers of the ever popular skateboard trends.

The emotional wardrobe of each rider is laid bare as almost every spec of skateable terrain gets a good thrashing. Add to that a slick choice of background music ranging from Hawaiian strumming to classic Sonic Youth, and artistic visuals of a strong calibre, and this video is a treat to watch. Essentially though, one must strip away the fancy packaging and comment upon the skateboarding itself- the key element that brings these 35 minute promos together, n’est ce pas?

So, to remain on a positive tip, I’d have to say that Johnny Layton is a beast. No chasm is too deep, nor breadth too far for this man’s ollie. Let Johnny’s ender play testament to his abilities. I’ll give you 50 tries and Reese Forbes legs and you still won’t make it! The other heavy hitter, and newcomer to the team, is Nick Trepasso. Some of you might remember Nick from old Bootleg dealings, but forget all that because the ripper has scrubbed up (or down..?) and brought some smooth skills to the table with extra flick and catch to boot. Is this Nick’s second chance at catching the limelight? I think so.

Before Nick, the previous new face for Toy machine was Matt Bennett who also brought a trick with him: the Bennett grind in other words a backside 180 to backside smith grind (opposite to a Barley grind). With the albatross of being a one trick wonder around his scruffy neck, Matt shrugs off the pretence and puts out a sick part full of regular and switch bangers. Pay attention to this part.

Finally, good ol’ Ed. T. This guy has nothing to prove, but he still skates as hard as possible despite the age difference. Classic but brief, Ed’s part acts as a reminder of just how much influence the old dog has had on street skating; Just count how many impossibles, his team mates throw out.

Now, I must refer to the suffering… I know fully well that Ed is an artist and Toy machine is a company based around aesthetics as much as it is around kick ass skateboarding, but a few faces on the Toy machine roster look like a mock up for the next Gap catalogue. Floppy hair and dirty denim, brown cords and lazy lines are laced through Austin Stephens and Josh Harmony‘s sections. Are you really pro..?

One scumstash skater who is, is Billy Marks. When will a part do Billy justice. I’ve seen the little gnarler skate in the flesh and I know his abilities, but whenever it comes to putting out an anticipated part, all I get is retinal infection from epileptic hammer-fest footage. I actually think Billy is as good as a certain Caswell berry, but that’s my opinion, so who cares..? Last but not least, Diego Buchieri.

With a section that falls victim to the same symptoms as Billy’s, Diego attcks the good old bank/curb combos, and the pre-requisite gaps. Diego’s gnarly, I won’t deny him that, but I’m afraid a good portion of his section was old footage, or footage that has long since been one-upped notably the ender. Sorry.

I’ll end this review with the honest truth: I really liked this new Toy Machine video. I think Suffer The Joy definitely sets itself apart from the rest of the chafe, and deserves a place of your shelf. But I saw this video (and I’m certain many others did too) on the internet, leaked to the infamous Youtube site. That’s a shame and I hope, that having read this you’ll hunt down a copy and purchase it.

Ralph L-D