Story: When he first saw the colorful lifestyle of Teddy Hart, filmmaker Frederick Kroetsch knew he could mine reality television gold. After all, Hart was a professional wrestler with a bloodline that includes legends like Bret Hart and Owen Hart, though his actions in the business were far less professional than his relatives. Hart would combine other passions with his wrestling agenda, such as breeding Persian cats, cannabis, and swinging with his partners, so it is easy to see how Kroetsch could see trash television magic in Hart. But as charismatic and unpredictable as Hart was, however good the content was, his toxic personality would often dull the shine of the potential series. This would continue for a decade, as Kroestch kept filming Hart and hoping he could make something happen with the footage, only to be thwarted by Hart’s controversial antics and a series of wild, tragic events that always unfolded around Hart. This is the story of Kroestch’s time in Hart’s life and pulls back the curtain on the wrestler’s career and personal life in that period.
Entertainment Value: As a fan of professional wrestling, I was familiar with Teddy Hart and have even seen him perform live several times, but Dangerous Breed goes well beyond his time in the ring, to craft a very personal, candid look into his life and mental states. I appreciated all the footage of his appearances for wrestling shows of course, especially once he began bringing a cat to the ring in a surreal choice, but that isn’t the main focus here. So while wrestling fans could certainly find a lot to take in here, if that is your lone interest here, you might be let down. We hear some stories and see some of his work, but that is not the dominant narrative element, so it is sometimes pushed to the backburner. The scenes where we learn about Hart’s work to create fetish videos with the assistance of a convicted sex offender is especially dark, as it shows how much some in the business will overlook to collect a check. We also don’t hear from any of Teddy’s more famous family members, which makes sense as they have mostly distanced, at least from a public perspective.
As wild as the wrestling world is, this is more of an observation of Hart’s mental health and the odd decisions he makes, with some focus shifted to his relationships with women and cats. The image Hart wanted to project is all here, the craziness and lack of boundaries, but we also learn how when the cameras and fans weren’t around, Hart wasn’t the laid back, free spirit he claims, sometimes far, far from that. We hear from several women who spent time with Hart and Kroetsch captures not only their interviews, but the real life footage to revisit and examine. The Persian cat angle gets some time as well, another colorful, off the wall lifestyle choice, with cats roaming all over Hart’s life and sadly, he seems to care about them as much as he does anyone else, not much. There is even a true crime thread involved and again, Kroetsch’s footage takes us through so much of the situation, while he also follows up with some hard interviews with Hart. Dangerous Breed is a captivating look inside a chaotic, dark life and for fans of wild docuseries, this is well recommended.