When I think of great acting, only one name comes to mind…
Yes, Hulk Hogan (aka Terry Bollea)–he of the massive pythons and leg drops of doom. When he’s not crushing opponents in the ring or supporting the endeavors of his wildly untalented daughter, the Hulkster is making movies, brother. And since our readers have a fever for odd cinematic works, there’s no better cure than Hulk Hogan movies. (See Professional Wrestling Movies for more information.)
So finish that interview with “Mean” Gene Okerlund, wait for the strains of Rick Derringer‘s “Real American,” then dive right into this collection of odd and frequently awful films. And don’t forget to say your prayers and take your steroids, uh, vitamins.
- Suburban Commando (1991) – This film was originally intended for Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but they went on to make Twins together. So the studio found another big guy (Hogan) and cast member from Taxi (Christopher Lloyd), and Suburban Commando was born. The Hulkster is Shep Ramsey, an interstellar badass who’s forced to take a vacation on Earth after failing to save the president of an alien world from evil General Suitor (William Ball). Crashing on the planet, he soon rents a shed from the Wilcox family (including Lloyd and Shelley Duvall) and helps the spineless Charlie Wilcox become more of a man. He also frequently roughs up a mime, proving that even advanced space travelers don’t understand this much-maligned art form. Keep an eye out for The Undertaker in his role as a galactic bounty hunter.
- Rocky III (1982) – The best of all Hulk Hogan movies, probably because it stars someone else. The hero of the film is pugnacious boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), a man who has the ability to take repeated blows to the head that would leave lesser mortals in a coma. But even the Italian Stallion has a tough time when he agrees to engage in a charity match with the wrestling champ known as Thunderlips (Hogan). While Rocky is just there to have a good time, Thunderlips seems to be taking things far too seriously. A wild melee ensues, and mainstream America was left in awe at Hogan’s huge physique and trademark not-at-all-gay moustache.
- No Holds Barred (1989) – Hogan stretches his range by playing a…wait for it…pro wrestler. He’s Rip, the moral and upstanding champ who’s loved by kids and never, ever takes steroids or bangs ring rats backstage. But the evil Brell, the chairman of a rival TV station, decides to take the noble art of wrestling in a whole new direction. He creates Battle of the Tough Guys, a wrestling program that’s as violent as the name is unoriginal. Their champ is Zeus (Tiny Lister, Jr.), a huge fellow who was only recently released from prison (See Prison Movies) after killing an opponent. Brell keeps trying to goad Rip into accepting a match with Zeus, employing goons, a seductress (Joan Severance), and even attempts at public humiliation. But when Rip’s goofy brother gets his ass kicked by the crazy-eyed Zeus, it’s on like Donkey Kong. Gene Okerlund gets in an appearance, instantly making this one of the greatest films of all time. In real life, Zeus and Hogan would also meet in the ring, and anyone who has doubts about the outcome of that match must be 10 years old and living in the year 1987.
- Gremlins 2 (1990) – Despite the presence of Phoebe Cates, the sequel to Gremlins (See Holiday Horror Movies.) was roundly booed by audience members for its zany tone and pop culture references. But the booing quickly ceased when Hulk Hogan made a cameo as himself, preventing the Gremlins from derailing a real-life showing of the film.
- Mr. Nanny (1993) – Hogan is Sean Armstrong, a former wrestler who’s now making ends meet as a bodyguard. At the behest of his trusty manager (played by Sherman Hemsley), Sean takes a job watching over the out-of-control children of a tech firm executive (Austin Pendleton). But the little brats mistake him as the new nanny and begin to torment him relentlessly. Meanwhile, the sinister and ridiculously-named Tommy Thanatos (David Johansen with a fake afro and steel plate in his head) looks to steal some high-tech stuff from the father, and he’s not above threatening the children to get what he wants. Get ready to eat a leg drop of doom, Buster Poindexter!
- The Secret Agent Club (1996) – Billed as “True Lies (see James Cameron Movies) Meets Home Alone,” The Secret Agent Club stars Hogan as a bumbling toy vendor who’s actually a globetrotting secret agent (see Good Spy Movies.) When he gets nabbed by the bad guys, his young son and pals will have to save the day armed only with a lethal laser pistol. Actually, come to think of it, a lethal laser pistol would make for a pretty sweet weapon during a rescue attempt. Supporting actors include Lesley-Anne Down, Richard Moll, James Hong, and Barry Bostwick.
- Spy Hard (1996) – Leslie Nielsen is WD-40, a secret agent who makes James Bond look like a wimp. Along with Agent 3.14 (Nicollette Sheridan), he must save the planet from the machinations of General Rancor (Andy Griffith) and spoof a number of spy and action films in the process. Among all the familiar faces and cameos, you’ll spot Hulk Hogan teaming with none other than Dr. Joyce Brothers in a tag match.
- Santa with Muscles (1996) – Some consider it one of the worst movies ever made. I consider it Hulk Hogan at his finest. He plays Blake, an aging wrestler who dresses up like Santa Claus and scams orphans to help pay for a series of hair transplants. Garrett Morris, Ed Begley Jr., and Clint Howard get in on the hijinx, as does a 13-year-old Mila Kunis (which should delight pedophiles everywhere).
- 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998) – Filmed in exotic Denver, Colorado (at an amusement park, no less), this film is notable for featuring Hulk Hogan with hair. That’s right, the Hulkster was undergoing hair loss treatment at the time (hey, even Achilles wasn’t perfect). He plays Dave Dragon, an aging action star who’s giving a final appearance at Mega Mountain before retiring. Our three youthful ninja heroes are in attendance, as they’ve idolized Dragon for years. But the villainous Medusa (Loni Anderson?!) shows up and takes the park hostage, forcing the ninja to spring into action. Jim Varney adds to the surreal nature of the film by playing Medusa’s top henchman.
- Muppets from Space (1999) – In addition to the usual cast of lovable puppets, the film features Jeffrey Tambor, Ray Liotta, David Arquette, Andie MacDowell, F. Murray Abraham, and many more. But the highlight is a cameo from “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, back in the days when the New World Order was at the height of their popularity. After cutting a promo for the N.W.O., Hogan demonstrates his villainous side at the expense of Rizzo the Rat.
That concludes our look at Hulk Hogan movies, but join us in the future for even more cinematic goodness from professional wrestlers. We also feature works from those pencil-neck geeks in Hollywood, too, and here are a few options: