Film Review: Macho: The Hector Camacho Story (directed by Eric Drath)

It has been nearly ten years since Hector “Macho” Camacho was murdered in Puerto Rico.

He was shot while sitting in a parked car, by several gunmen who fired from a passing SUV.  The driver of the car, Camacho’s childhood friend Adrian Mojica Moreno, was also shot.  Moreno died at the scene.  Camacho died four days later.

Since then, there’s been a lot of speculation about who may have ordered a hit on Camacho.  At one time, Camacho was one of the world’s biggest celebrity athletes, a boxer who was both loved and hated by boxing fans.  He was also well-known for his struggles with addiction and his self-destructive behavior.  After he was shot, nine bags of cocaine were found in his car, leading many to suspect that the hit was the result of drug deal gone wrong.

However,  not even the details surrounding his death could overshadow Camacho’s accomplishments inside the ring.  His flamboyant antics and costumes may have driven purists crazy but Camacho was a fighter who could usually be trusted to back up his bluster once the fight began. From 1980 to 2010, he fought 88 professional fights and compiled a 79-6-3 record.  Along the way he won and lost multiple titles, went from being viewed as a scrappy underdog to a villain, and he fought everyone from Oscar De La Hoya to Julio Cesar Chavez to Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, and Vinny Paziena.

The documentary Macho: The Hector Camacho Story takes a look back at Camacho’s career in the ring and his life outside of it.  While it doesn’t shy away from discussing his struggles (and the final thirty minutes are dominated by his murder), the best part of the documentary is the footage of Camacho in his prime, throwing punches and defeating opponent after opponent.  The film shows why Camacho was one of the best boxers of his era while also acknowledging why his success drove so many fight fans crazy.  This is a documentary that will be appreciated by those who remember what the sport of boxing once was, when the fighters could not only play to the stands but could throw a punch as well.  It’s both an exciting boxing film and a study of a fighter who could beat almost any opponent but not his own demons.

Music Video of the Day: Little Suzi’s On The Up by PhD (1981, directed by ????)

Over this past week, I’ve been sharing the first music videos that played on MTV on August 1s,t 1981.  Little Suzi’s On The Up was the fifth music video to be shown on that day, following The Who’s You Better You Bet.  Unlike many of the music videos that played that day, Little Suzi’s on the Up was not just a performance clip but instead used the type of camera trickery and bizarre humor that would become the signature of many subsequent music videos.

I don’t know much about Ph.D, beyond that they were a British new wave group.  The name of the band was play on the last names of the members — Phillips, Hymas, and Diamond.  Their biggest hit was I Won’t Let You Down in 1982.  Unfortunately, around the same time, Jim Diamond contracted hepatitis and could no longer tour, which led to the dissolvent of the band.  Watching this video, I’m reminded a bit of Madness.