Review: No Holds Barred

Wrestling. That word in itself has a gravity to it. Some people love wrestling with all their heart, others write it off altogether as something silly that one grows out of eventually. Well, let me tell you, wrestling isn't a fad. It's not something that is going to go away, and this is coming from a guy who doesn't even watch it. But I did watch it once upon a time. Yes, as a child I thrilled to the high flying exploits on men in spandex slamming into one another, spitting one-liners and catchphrases. And it didn't get much better than the man himself, Hulk Hogan. Hulkamania ran rampant throughout my childhood and it's really not hard too see why.

It's the delicious secret Hogan sauce in every bite, brother!

The man has this charm to him, even at his worst. He's incredibly quotable and so are his many films, which many consider to be so bad that they're difficult not to enjoy. I decided to sit down and experience one of the few films he starred in that I had not previously experienced. This movie was brought to my attention a while back by a friend who pointed out a very particularly amusing scene. I won't get to that just yet, but you'll know when I do. My knowledge of the film has been limited to just that and I finally decided it was time to change this. No regrets, as they say. Our film begins with the introduction of our hero, Rip. And let me tell you, he is such a thinly veiled Hulk Hogan that I sometimes forgot that he wasn't meant to be playing himself here. He acts the same, has the same personality, and rips his shirt off in that same classic Hulkster way.

Just pretend he's wearing baby blue instead of yellow.
Yeah, the only real difference is that he has a brother who is just asking to have a villain do something terrible to him and he wears baby blue when he's in the ring. When out of the ring he tends to wear a love black and red ensemble that hugs him so tightly that I think I can actually see Brooke Hogan wriggling inside of him testicles. We see some classic wrestling goodness, then we're introduced to the plot. It seems there's an evil douchenozzle named Brell who desperately wants Rip on his network. He sees all the rating this bad-ass rakes in and he wants some of that for his network. So, rather than go see Vince McMahon about getting WWF broadcast on his channel, he decides to try to convince Rip with lots of money.

Don't you tell me that my brilliant plan doesn't make sense! And the Ghostbusters are frauds too!
He actually offers a blank check to our fearless shirt-ripping hero, but he won't take it because he sticks to his word and won't leave the people he works for any amount of cash. You have to respect that, I suppose. Me, I'd probably sell out in a hot minute because being broke sucks. The Ripster tries to leave, but his limo driver has been given other orders. Too bad that driver didn't get the memo that he's kidnapping the hero of millions and not just some loon with a spandex fetish. After Rip beats the living shit of out of the limo from the inside, the driver finally stops in a garage where a nice ambush is waiting for our hero. Luckily, Ripamania runs wild and all the henchmen Brell hired get spanked thoroughly. But the driver can't be forgotten, so Rip goes for him only to find that the driver has already his pants. Yep, he shat himself. And what follows is quite literally one of the greatest moments in cinema as Rip asks angrily "WHAT'S THAT SMELL?" and the driver whimpers out "D-d-dookie!" and Rip questionably repeats it. I could end this right now, because there's no topping that. Best moment ever.

Sometimes a picture literally speaks a thousand words. All of those words are dookie.
Beaten but not ready to give up on having his own bad-ass, Brell visits a shady bar to watch some tough guys beat the living dookie out of one another while his weaselly assistants piss themselves because they are so depressingly whitebread that just being in a bar makes their prostates clench into a black hole. Brell gets the idea to make a show of his own where tough guys battle it out for money and publicly announces it to the world. Several such tough guys show up to take one another down for the promised cash, but all end up falling against the obvious threat to the Ripster, the monster known as Zeus, an ex-convict and former protege of his trainer Charlie. Brell now is happy as hell because he's got himself a truly scary man of his very own. But that's not enough, as he still wants to mess with Rip. Thus he sends his spy, the beautiful Samantha, who owns an array of hideous earrings and seems enjoy spending her time treating Rip like he's a silly wrestler who has no sophistication.

She must have seen Mr. Nanny.
So, of course, she's incredibly hot for him. Who wouldn't be? He's the Hulkster! RARRRRSAGDFFHGH! Anyway, she eventually can't control her feelings and finally comes clean to her bohunk and he, being the saint that he is, forgives her and gives her some of that sweet pasta-pushing love. Brell is less than happy, so he sends a guy to rape her, because that's perfectly reasonable. Seriously, that happens. A guy attempts to rape a woman in this wonderful camp-fest that barely seem serious about anything. It shocked me a bit, but then Rip showed up and dispatched the guy directly into a tree. I would assume the guy is dead, but Rip wouldn't kill over anything. Not even dookie.

It never stops being funny. Ever.
But Brell isn't finished, so he decides to drop in on a charity event Rip's at and lay down a challenge for him to fight Zeus, lest he prove what a un-tough guy he really is. Zeus and Rip then proceed to stare at one another like two men who either want to murder one another or to passionately kiss in a violent manner. Thankfully, Zeus and Brell take off thus saving the children present from seeing the kind of wrestling that no one wants to see. Rip doesn't want to fight Zeus, because he prefers to not sink to their level, which is admirable. That's actually a really great lesson for kids, but I doubt many kids should watch a film with attempted rape and Hulk Hogan in a thong. Yeah, I forgot to mention the thong.

Of course, seeing Hulk Hogan in a thong isn't anything we haven't already seen at this point.
Rip's younger brother, Randy, and his best friend decide to check out one of Zeus' fights and Brell runs into them. When he finds out who Randy is he does the obvious thing, which is suggesting that Zeus beat him into a coma. Not surprisingly, Zeus complies and Rip finally has had enough. It's time to kick some corporate ass! So, the big fight is scheduled and everything is ready for the big showdown. Except, doesn't Rip have a girlfriend who is just ripe for holding hostage so he'll throw the match? Why, yes, he does! So that happens and our fight begins as Randy weeps at his brother getting his ass handed to him, as one would. Luckily Samantha is being held hostage by idiots and she escapes. When they pursue her Rip's trainer and Randy's friend show up to kick their asses and they all return to watch Rip fight. When Rip sees her, things finally turn around. Good thing too, as Zeus tries to impale him with a ring post that he ripped out. No, really, he tries to murder Rip live on television. I don't remember things ever going quite that far on WWF when I was a kid.

Or this far...
The fight picks up and Rip starts doing a lot better now that his girlfriend's not being held against her will. It's funny how that works. Zeus eventually loses it and begins attacking Rip's entourage and audience members as the fight spills out into the stands. Brell begins contemplating the possibility of his pants turning brown as he yells for Zeus to put Rip down, but ultimately Rip defeats the giant. Then he turns his attention to Brell, who quickly escapes Rip's fury by accidentally killing himself via electrocution. Good job, Brell. How exactly did he get to be the head of a company again? Ah, who cares? This movie was amazing. I mean, sure, it was bad. The acting was over the top, the characters were cliches, and the action was obviously choreographed. But this movie was great because it was bad. It was Hulk Hogan being an over-exaggerated version of himself and it was a true joy to watch. If you love B-movies and wrestling, or even if you just love the Hulkster, seek this movie out. You may just fill your pants with dookie out of happiness.

Later days, dudes and dudettes!