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Billy Mitchell ain't no 'son of a gun,' ex-champ speaks on King of Kong

James Ransom-Wiley
May 31, 2007
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Billy "Video Game Player of the Century" Mitchell has broken his silence, speaking out against the documentary The King of Kong, which casts the former Donkey Kong high score holder as the film's villain. "I guess they paint me as a son of a gun," reflects Mitchell, who hasn't seen the movie. He guesses right.

Mitchell and cohorts recently spoke to MTV about Seth Gordon's reality-based film. Gordon and crew whittled away more than 300 hours of footage to forge a playful drama detailing Donkey Konger Steve Wiebe's journey to the top of the record books -- all, of course, at the expense of Mitchell's image. And, according to former Twin Galaxies referee Robert Mruczek, The King of Kong is also "full of holes." For example, Mitchell and Wiebe had rubbed shoulders back in 2004 (before the documentary was filmed), during the Classic Gaming Expo -- they even played Donkey Kong! Whereas, the film implies that Mitchell has avoided almost all public interaction with Wiebe and has shied away from playing Donkey Kong in his rival's presence. More surprising is that Billy Mitchell wasn't even the Donkey King high score holder at the time shooting for the movie began. That honor had belonged to no-name Tim Sczerby, who is conspicuously absent from Gordon's film.

It's easy to confuse documentary filmmaking with fact-based accounts. But don't be fooled, these cost-effective movies can be just as contrived as VH1's next B-list reality gimmick. Unfortunately, the "actors" can end up being the victims. But maybe Mitchell should heed a friend's advice and cash in on his new reputation. America loves its villains ( ...and loves to pay to see 'em villainate).





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