Unknown to the vast majority of the mainstream population, Demolition Derby thrives on the rural racetracks across the nation. Crash Fans is not a documentary about crashing cars but rather a window into the lives and the culture that surrounds this unique past time. The demolition derby sub-culture is seen through the eyes of three diverse characters. We'll meet Monty Neumeister, a paraplegic for the last 20 years, he's overcome his handicap to become one of the best derby drivers on the track. For Jim Gayther, demolition derby is just one aspect of a unique and eclectic lifestyle. His other passion in life includes the nude lifestyle which comes into play as we follow Jim and his friends as they prepare a car and ultimately destroy it. We'll also meet Steve Peters who intelligently articulates the culture and warms your heart as he shows his young son the ropes of derby racing. Each character has a story to tell and every story holds a poignant truth. Interwoven with derby footage and a variety of location interviews, Crash Fans is often humorous but never condescending. Crash Fans breaks through the "redneck" stereotypes and presents a compelling and fun documentary. The Stranger (a Seattle weekly art and news publication) writes "Though he easily could've used the opportunity to mock the poor and stupid Killebrew takes the high road on a quest to enter the lives of participants and spectators alike."
"The audience was treated to visually stimulating montages from smash ups, to paint "schemes" on one of the featured cars, hard hits and fires, to articulate driver interviews peppered in between to keep the momentum going without being convoluted, even if you were not a race fan when you walked into the theater.
However, it wasn't the visual images of bent, smoking vehicles that kept the viewers attention, but truly the eccentric characters of this flick that made the piece worth the price of admission. Had Mr. Killebrew scripted a part, I doubt he could have written the comedic elements of Monty, paraplegic head of a blacklisted race team, the fatherly side of Steve, a devoted family man, or the unconformity of Jim, the infamous nudist with a Hearse as his tow rig to and from the track.
These three men, in addition to other drivers interviewed, helped to capture the essence of the sport and part of its cult-like following, while breaking the stereotypes of racers in general. "
"Crash Fans has what the art film 'Crash' painfully lacks: Exuberance!"
- The Seattle Weekly
"Though he easily could've used the opportunity to mock the poor and stupid Killebrew takes the high road on a quest to enter the lives of participants and spectators alike."
- The Stranger
"Demolition derby fans or those who are just curious about what makes those maniacal fans tick will be entranced by Paul Killebrew's latest documentary Crash Fans. "
- The Tablet
Jim Gayther Steve Peters Monty Neumeister Maque Davis
New York International Independent Film & Video Festival 2003
Northwest Film & Video Festival 2002