I am Evel Knievel debuts on Spike TV on September 10, 2014, and if it’s anywhere near as good as the trailer, we’re going to be in for a treat.
It’s hard to imagine now, but if you’re anywhere between the ages of about 35 and 55, Evel Knievel was as big as the Beatles. For Generation X, he was infinitely more than just a guy who jumped motorcycles over school buses. He was a super hero, an outlaw, a cartoon character, and a rock star. His face was EVERYWHERE, from lunch boxes to fanzines, and toys bearing his likeness were among the most popular of the 1970s.
In 1976, the journal Pediatrics published a paper titled “The Consequences of Imitative Behavior in Children: The Evel Knievel Syndrome.” He was viewed as harmful to children as video games and the internet are today.
But his life to this point has been the subject of two movies, one more awful than the next, that tried to tell his story. The documentaries have been of the Behind the Music variety, limited to public domain clips to shave a few bucks off the licensing fees.
This one might be a little different, though. ““This is the first documentary about Evel Knievel that his family has participated in,” says Kelly Knievel, President of K&K Promotions, “There was a reason my dad so captured the imagination of the world. This film captures the man’s character, determination, successes and failures.”
The film features clips from Knievel’s son Robbie, as well as interviews with Matthew McConaughey, Kid Rock, Michelle Rodriguez, and family members including sons Kelly and Robbie, and former wives Linda Knievel and Krystal Kennedy-Knievel.
Since Knievel’s family owns tons of footage, you’re likely to see some pretty amazing, never-before-seen action of Evel in his early days, his prime throughout the 1970s, and his eventual descent.
The film premieres on Spike TV on September 10, 2014 at 11 p.m. EST.