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No Holds Barred Blu-ray Review

No Holds Barred Blu-ray

“No Holds Barred” is an amusingly bad Hulk Hogan flick.

In the 1989 film “No Holds Barred,” Hulk Hogan stars as Rip the wrestler (a real stretch I know). The story of this Hulk Hogan vehicle involves a struggling fictional TV network (World Television Network) trying to get Rip on their station. Since Rip is already under contract though, he turns the network’s offer down. In an effort to get ratings, the greedy WTN boss Mr. Brell decides to create his own wrestling show titled “The Battle of the Tough Guys.” Through this new show, a new wrestling star emerges in the form of the mad brute Zeus (played by Tommy “Tiny” Lister of “Friday” fame). As you can probably guess, Zeus demolishes the competition and wants to fight Rip. The question is, can Rip match up against Zeus? In typical Hollywood film fashion, ‘Barred’ also features a forced romantic subplot involving Rip falling for an account executive (Sam).

Recently featured on the uproariously funny “How Did This Get Made?” podcast, “No Holds Barred” is indeed one bad movie. Thankfully, it’s the good kind of bad movie that offers up plenty of campy humor, puzzling scene transitions, and inexplicably weird scenes (see the dookie and the wrestling bar scenes). The film tries to play like a puff piece for Hogan as he is constantly portrayed as an honorable, stand-up guy that loves charity work. Most of the time, however, Hogan looks like a madman as he growls, grunts, makes weird facial expressions, and spouts noises that mankind has rarely heard before. In fact, there isn’t a single subtle performance in this film as everyone is profoundly over-the-top (especially Kurt Fuller and Tommy “Tiny” Lister).

Now, I’m sure everyone is wondering how the brawl between Hogan and Lister is. After all, it’s clearly the selling point of the film. Despite it being nearly ¼ of the film, it is entertaining if you are a fan of wrestling. It is, like everything else in this film, profusely over-the-top and filled with a plethora of grunts, body slams, and hits.


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? Although this is arguably the best the film has ever looked, the hi-def print is not without flaws. The colors are muted at times, there are dirt specs present, and certain scenes look overly fuzzy.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? In a word, lively. There’s a whole lot of sound in this film whether it be the bizarre noises coming from Rip or Zeus or the cheesy music and this track handles everything well.

* WWE Studios film trailers.
* Photo gallery.
* The “No Holds Barred” Steel Cage Tag Team WWF Match from 12/27/1989 featuring Zeus and “Macho Man” Randy Savage and the Sensational “Queen” Sherri against Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake.
* The Summerslam Match featuring Zeus, “Macho Man” Randy Savage and the Sensational Sherri against Hulk Hogan, Brutus Beefcake and Miss Elizabeth.

Overall Thoughts: Make no mistake about it, “No Holds Barred” is a dumb movie. It just so happens to be a comedically entertaining dumb movie. For bad movie lovers and wrestling fanatics only.

April 27, 2014 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , , ,

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