No Holds Barred
Reviewed by Mike Brannon
Rating: 9 Beans
rofessional wrestlers tend to make lousy actors, and movies ABOUT professional wrestling are a genre that probably the most gifted screenwriter and director team can't salvage.
Back in 89, when I was in junior high, I was a wrestling fan. It wasn't the cool pseudo-sport it is now... in fact, it was kind of lame to associate yourself with the WWF in any way, even in the South. Back then, Hulk Hogan was the superhero of the Federation -- literally. He'd have the saaaame routine no matter who his opponent was -- he'd take an embarrassing buttwhooping until the bad guy laid on his finishing move that should drop the curtain, and then he'd suddenly pop up, completely refreshed and invunerable to body-slams, elbow-drops, knives, bullets, nuclear blasts, VD from Madonna, anything. Then he'd make short work of the bad guy and emerge triumphant.
Before someone points out that I should be doing a movie review -- I basically just described the movie. Add in a mix of Tiny Lister, Joan Severance, and Kurt Fuller and several pro wrestling cameos (including future Minnesota Governor and noted big mouth Jesse Ventura) and a pretense of high drama, and there you go. The purported love scenes with Hulk and Severance makes me wonder if the Hulkster has ever been with a woman (musta been confusing without Gorilla Monsoon on the mike telling him what move to do next), and his on-screen presence makes me wonder if he's ever been with an acting coach.
Aside from taking potshots at Hogan, director Thomas Wright also deserves a few piledrivers. He'd have us believe that corporations collectively will stoop to any means for ratings, including rape and attempted murder. This fantasy world of his also makes wrestling bigger than all other professional sports, combined and squared. He clumsily tries to avoid making the movie racist (which it is, frankly) by giving Hulk a black trainer, who was obviously thrown in to silence potential race issue critics, nothing more.
So, why was this movie made? Because Vince McMahon (the "genius" behind XFL, who has owned the WWF since the 80s and even did commentary on matches until recent years) thought he could ride Hulk's popularity into a box office bonanza. Predictably, there weren't enough die-hard Hulksters to stop it from Hindenburging at the box office. Even as WWF wrestling fans, my friends and I hated the movie. Arnold Schwartzenegger must love movies like these -- while he may be a subpar actor at best, he's Olivier compared to musclehead wrestlers-turned-actors.
"Bad Movie Night" is a presentation of
Hit-n-Run Productions, © 1997-2006,
a subsidiary of Syphon Interactive, LLC.
Site created and managed by Ken and Scoot