Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator (DVD) Cover Art

Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator (DVD)

Mark 'Gator' Rogowski, Stacy Peralta, Tony Hawk, Jason Jessee, John Brinton Hogan

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Stoked is a fascinating history of Southern California''s skateboarding scene in the late 1980s, a profitable and exciting time for then-rising superstars such as Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, and Steve Caballero, but a far darker experience for the much-worshipped Mark "Gator" Rogowski. Helen Stickler''s film begins with an entertaining overview of skateboarding''s renaissance in the ''80s, when Rogowski and other talented skaters in and around Los Angeles developed a massive following of boys, who in turn provided a market for flashy, Rogowski-endorsed designer boards and accouterments. For a time, the charismatic, handsome Gator became a wealthy sports celebrity in search of greater pop-star status. When the skating scene shifted from the half-pipe to the street, however, Rogowski''s fortunes, sanity, and freedom tragically erode. Stickler''s thorough research, smart pacing, and extensive interviews make this a compelling, cautionary tale; a jailhouse phone interview with the now-mid-30s Gator proves both enlightening and spooky. --Tom Keogh

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