Lords of Dogtown offers a fictionalized account of the birth of skateboarding in the heart of Venice, California in the 1970s. It follows thrashers Tony Alva (Victor Rasuk), Stacy Peralta (John Robinson), and Jay Adams (Emile Hirsch) as they evolve from surf bums hanging around Skip Engblom’s (Heath Ledger) surf shop into skating legends.
Skate culture has long informed mainstream pop culture. From Vans footwear to Sun-In Brand hair streaks to music (would we have Fall Out Boy without skaters? Wait…), the look and style of skaters has infiltrated malls across America. Our love of all things skateboard extends straight to Hollywood. From Gleaming the Cube to skate scenes in Clueless and even Police Academy 4, we can’t get enough of skater boys on the silver screen. Tune in to Lords of Dogtown at 5:55 p.m. ET. Then slip on your Vans and head to the parking lot to practice your reverse Ollie kick flips.
Want more skate idols and wicked tricks to try? Check out these other rad skate films:
To quote the trailer, Deck Dogz is three guys with four wheels on the brain. And they have the x-rays to prove it:
While Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park is more of a study in adolescent trauma, it has enough skate scenes to qualify. Also, it’s just a great movie. Also also, it has Taylor Momsen from Gossip Girl:
Thrashin‘, also known as Skate Gang, is Romeo and Juliet on four wheels. Or West Side Story without all the snapping. It stars a young Josh Brolin and features cameos from famous skaters such as Tony Alva, Tony Hawk, and Steve Caballero:
Since we’re pretty sure we will never get a good excuse to show the Kuffs trailer, we will happily settle for sharing a young Christian Slater in Gleaming the Cube:
While it didn’t make our list of documentaries yesterday, there is no denying the skate power of Dogtown and Z Boys. The film documents the birth of skateboarding and was directed by former Z-Boy Stacy Peralta, who with skater Tony Alva were consultants on Lords of Dogtown, too. It won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2001:
But, of course, neither the real nor fictionalized versions of the Lords of Dogtown could have happened if Michael J. Fox hadn’t invented the skateboard in Back to the Future. You can’t prove he didn’t!:
Lords of Dogtown airs on IFC at Thursday, Nov. 11 at 5:55 PM ET. It re-airs Friday, Nov. 12 at 7:35 AM and 1:05 PM ET; Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 11:30 PM ET and Wednesday, Nov. 24 at 11:15 AM ET