The Man Movie Encyclopedia: No Holds Barred

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No Holds Barred ReviewStar: Hulk Hogan, Zeus
Year: 1989
Director: Thomas J. Wright

Much like Hulk, I find it odd that he wasn’t able to land big time acting gigs. I mean, right off the bat, he flexes his acting muscles by playing the dominating World Wrestling Federation champion. Seriously, everything is the same as on actual wrestling TV, except Hogan is named Rip, and wears white like in the old days. Sure, Charlize Theron gets the Oscar for her transformation into Eileen Whiral, but Hulk gets the snub when he does a feet of the same magnitude 15 years earlier when he transformed into Rip.

Rip is taking on a fellow whom The Body says is the number 1 contender for the championship, but he looks more like the #1 contender to duck child support payments. So, Rip makes short work of this guy, and retains the strap. The whole world watches him celebrate, and amongst that crowd, in a studio not too far away, is the World’s most evil chairman, Brell. Rip is number one in the ratings, and Brell wants him dammit! There’s no mention of Brell having a wrestling company. So apparently he just wants Rip to come over and either host Entertainment Tonight, or play Ricky in the remake of I Love Lucy. In the course of 5 minutes or so, Brell refers to Rip as a “jock-ass”. Seriously, he says it so many times, that you just know the writer of the film thought this was his ticket. He flew away from the typewriter and woke up his wife:

“HONEY! Pack the bags! We’re moving to Hawaii and we’re gonna buy it! I’ve got THEE insult! This’ll carry our bloodline for years! Jock-Ass!”

So, Rip shows up,  Brell talks nice, but soon looses his patience, and offers Rip a blank check. Rip stuffs it in Brell’s mouth, and is off. Once he’s out of ear shot, Brell tells the guys to send Rip to “the garage”. Oh snaps. The Garage is where people who don’t want to sign contracts go to learn a lesson. Rumor has it that’s where Andy Rooney went when he told 60 Minutes he wouldn’t have a part of it. Anyway, he’s taken there, but they have completely under estimated Rip. He busts out of the limo and kicks some heavy-duty booty. If I were one of the guys who were hired to beat this guy up, I’d immediately run away when I saw the guy was dressed like a gay-porno version of Flash Gordon. He makes light work of the guys, and gives the film one of it’s oddest moments as he’s seemingly turning into a werewolf, by growling and snarling and looking like he’s about to perform an Animality when he grabs the driver.

Rip doesn’t call the cops or anything, and seemingly chalks this up to the normal going-ons in the world of TV. Hell, I heard Trebeck had to fight Sajak for the right to host Jeopardy in a Kickboxer style match where they glued glass to their hands. And mustache. Anyways, Rip is now at a meeting where all of his people are trying to figure out a way to earn some more cash. The person running the meeting is a female, whom Rip is immediately infatuated with, and it’s easy to see why. I mean, flat chest, no other curves anywhere, wearing a suit that looks like a tarp, and average face that’s the cherry on top of this vastly average maiden. I mean, she’s probably gonna make Rip & the audience fall in love with her even more with average intelligence, wit, and talent. Hot damn. Hell, she probably makes a solid $15k a year, too. But let’s get back on track here. She & Rip go to a fancy place to talk turkey, and she thinks that Rip is out of his element. Naturally, since this is made in 1989, we get the awesome French waiter who’s a total snob. I’m shocked that they didn’t do a gag where Rip orders something, and when he gets, he takes a bite, but then she tells him it’s snails, to which he does the vomit take. But, we’ll save that sort of high-level humor for The Big Bang Theory. Then, because this film is odd, the entire staff clears out to celebrate the wonder that is Rip, because he frequents this place a lot.

On the flip side of the coin, the bad-guy side, we find Brell & company heading to the No Count Bar. In the middle of this establishment there’s an octagon ring set up with ropes & tires. Some hillbillies do battle, make fun of execs with small dicks, a midget throws peanuts, and Brell sees dollar signs. Why do I get the feeling that I’ll be reading that exact same paragraph in Jeff Jarrett’s biography someday? Well, Brell decides that this needs to become national, and hosts what he calls The Battle Of The Tough Guys. We get ourselves a hillbilly, a truck driver, a guy who pulls anchor chain for a living, a pool player who hates walnuts, and our main man DeeBo, aka Zeus. He comes in, and dominates. Although to be honest, I would have put money on the guy who pulls anchor chain, because it looked like he took a hair-straightener to his arm-pit hair. Seriously, when he puts his arms up for an axe-handle, his arm pits look like a spread from 1970’s Hustler. Well, in the words of HL Mencken “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people “ as BOTG becomes a massive hit, and Zeus let’s it known that he wants Rip.

But he’s gonna have to get in line, because Samantha, the corporate chick, has the hots for Rip. While Samantha are at a local diner, 2 thugs decide to hold it up. Well, they’re no match for Rip as he moves at the speed of crapMPH, and throws food at them. I mean, what are they to do?! They only have guns! Had they some pies or something, they may have stood a chance, but unfortunately they only had GUNS. So, he makes light work of them, and the day is saved. Later they end up staying in a hotel together, with neither one willing to make the first move. Well, strike that. Samantha makes the first move by wearing some lingerie from what appears to be Victoria’s Secret – Over 80 Years Old & Still Sexy collection. Amazingly, the sexy diaper doesn’t work, and Rip goes to sleep. Samantha soon follows, but then wakes up to Rip’s side of the bed bouncing up & down quickly. She takes a peak, only to find Rip doing the quickest push-ups ever. What’s the deal with this? I mean, were we suppose to think that Rip is jacking off? Why would he wake up and decide to do push-ups? Only I do that.

Well, love is never perfect, as it turns out Samantha was a spy sent by Brell to seduce Rip. But ah ha! Rip’s 24 inch love pythons got Samantha in a love head-lock, and she can no longer be evil. Now, Brell being the perfect 80’s bad-ass does the big-time back-hand slap. The only thing better would have been if he hit her, and she just kept her head-turned, while he drags his hand down the side of her face and is all “why do you make me do that?”. So, as it goes for probably all big time TV execs, his spy runs out of the office, and he sends a guy to rape her. The most cliché of life situations.

So, after this, and Rip’s brother being beat to hell, he finally accepts Zeus’ challenge to have the longest, and most boring fight in TV history. Watch as Zeus reals back to deliver a most devastating scream! Rip then has no choice but to answer back with a look unhappiness, as Zeus keeps up the punishment with a pose. This seriously goes on for about a week before Zeus falls about 30 stories, Brell ends up getting eaten by the machine from Superman 3, and I end up wishing I’d watched No Retreat, No Surrender instead.

 

Man Movie Tally:
1-Liners:
1
Guys Beat-Up: 20
Killed: 1
Swear Words: 1
Boobies: 0
Explosions:
4
Slow-Motion Scenes: 27
Car Chases: 0
Foot Chases: 0
Broken Bones: 0
Fight/Shoot-Out at Motel: No
Guy Get Girl: Yes
Guy Smoke: No

 

1-Liners:
Rip:
[he stuffs a check in Brell’s mouth]
I won’t be around when this check clears!

 

Box-Office Business:
On an $8 million dollar budget, No Holds Barred was released by New Line Cinemas on June 2nd, 1989. It reached 1,318 theaters and earned the #2 spot for the weekend by earning $4,957,052. It was beaten out by Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, which was in it’s 2nd week of release. At the end of it’s run, No Holds Barred brought in $16,093,651.

 

Man-Facts:
Hogan & Vince didn’t like the first draft of the script, so they stayed up for 48 hours straight re-writing it.

Hogan actually cut his hand during the spot where he attacks the mirror with the projected image of Zeus. Well, that’s the price you pay for such pivotal scenes.

 

C’mon Bennet, Let’s Party!:
Honestly, this is the weirdest film I’ve ever seen, as well as one of the worst. Sure, there are films that are more odd, but they were made with that intention. In the world of films that were made to be coherent, straight-forward action summer blockbusters, this is the weirdest goddamn film ever. I mean, I could go on all day about how little anything makes sense, and how odd everyone acts. It’s scary to think that grown adults watched this as a final cut and said “Ship it!”. The joke of Hogan jacking off, all of the weird looks, the final fight being so boring it took up 3 hours of a 90 minute film. They saw all of this and said “Ship it!”. This film is absolute crap, and truly only worth it if you have some friends with you, and at least one of ’em has a letter shaved into his head.

ZERO Head-Butts out of 5.

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About the Author

Caliber Winfield
Caliber "Nickname" Winfield is a writer from the Pacific Northwest who in one day was mistaken for both Dwayne Johnson & Spider-Man. He currently runs Str8 Gangster, No Chaser [scrublife.wordpress.com] a site where he loudly announces his displeasure for Chuck Lorre sitcoms, and his love for the original Karate Kid trilogy. He also has a book available for sale on amazon.com, The Man Movie Encyclopedia Vol. 1. It's been endorsed by New York Times Best-Selling author Maddox, and has received only 5 star reviews. He also street fights for money like Jean-Claude in Lionheart.
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