Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mark Lander

Looking over these old worn videos of Mark Lander impassively working his wrestling opponents (Danny, Randy Case), I'm struck at first by how much they look like paintings--bleak, blurry, expressionistic, yet the wrestlers seem posed as precisely and exquisitely as knights and damsels in Pre-Raphaelite paintings.  In motion, the videos seem cold and naturalistic, fatalistic, no dialogue, only the sound of skin scuffing the vinyl matting, birds twittering outside, jetliners droning a mile overhead--with a stationary camera taking in the sensuous and slightly creepy action, partly like homemade porn, partly like an old wildlife film showing a python swallowing a shuddering raccoon.  Adding to the videos' mystery and allure is the nagging question (for me it nags, anyway) of where Lander is today.  And where are these other boys he so cavalierly and disinterestedly took down and crushed between his quads?

(The videos can be found on  unionjack4226b's channel on YouTube.)


  1. I'm sure they are all in South Africa somewhere and now in their mid-20's, for that is where all those videos were shot. One video of Mark wrestling another guy on a large public or university mat--Mark loses--is obviously newer than the others, for he looks college age by then.


  2. I have an equal fascination with Mark Lander--any of his matches! He eats them alive, ignores their taps and submissions, and thoroughly enjoys having his way with every one of his victims, Danny being my personal favorite! I own every one of his matches and the others from SA from the same series are well worth checking out as well!

  3. The Lander tapes are fascinating as they are obviously shot somewhere on the Highveld (in what is now Gauteng), South Africa. The combination of the banality of the background action ( the dogs, the traffic and aircraft noise, the typically dry winter grass) and most importantly, even in the poor quality vids - the LIGHT. I would guess Mr. Lander is the son of an army/airforce family in the pre-democracy era. (Ex SA guy here, who lives both in SA and London).

  4. Replies
    1. Hans, the company that originally released these videos (Let's Wrestle) is no longer in business, but copies of the matches are sometimes listed for sale on



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