Tag: 80s Wrestling

Body Slam Is Rock N’ Roll Wrestling – Movie Review

A few months back, The Rambler had me take my first look at GRUNT! The Wrestling Movie from 1985 and share my thoughts on that gritty, grappling mockumentary in this review. Spoilers, it wasn’t my favorite piece of attempted comedy.

Body Slam Movie

So when I was booked for a rematch with obscure cult cinema focused on the squared circle, this time in the form of Body Slam from 1986, it took a little more bribery. The promise of few old comics and some vintage trading cards can make a man do some crazy things, but I’m happy to report that the experience of watching Body Slam was a real hoot.

The film stars TV pretty boy Dirk Benedict who kids of the 80’s will remember most from his roles as Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica or Face Man on the A-Team, who in this story plays M. Harry Smilac a sleazy, but affable con-man who finds himself managing a wrestling tag team on the rise. Their partnership results in a musical money-making innovation to the business that catapults them to superstardom by the film’s end.

Before we get deep into my thoughts on the film, I thought it would be worth citing a few bits of history about the making of Body Slam.

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GRUNT! The Wrestling Movie Review

 

I’ve always been a movie fan, but for just as long I’ve been fascinated by the world of professional wrestling. In fact, during my weekly visits to the video store I often stacked a copy of Royal Rumble 1991 or The WWF’s Most Unusual Matches on top of the latest Jim Carrey film.

 

 

There was just so much to love about intensely sweaty tough guys threatening each other and then backing up those threats with cartoonishly violent attacks in the squared circle. Let me put it this way, the day I inherited my teenage neighbor’s LJN WWF Wrestling Superstars figures and ring, it felt like I had won the lottery.

Getting back to my video rental history, while Hulk Hogan’s star vehicle No Holds Barred was a frequent watch, there was one wrestling tape I never dared to take home for fear of the horrors that were promised by the VHS box art. That film is the very subject of this review, I’m talking about GRUNT! The Wrestling Movie.

 

 

Just look at that masked psycho on the cover, clamping on a vice like headlock and forcing the veins on his opponent’s head to pulse to the point of bursting. That’s terrifying. Luckily I had a friend who was willing to help me face my fears, you know him as the Retro Rambler.

When Mick reached out to suggest the wrestling film Body Slam! as a possible subject for an episode of my podcast SequelQuest, I laughingly said, “Not GRUNT! The Wrestling Movie?”, fully unaware that I would soon be challenged to watch and review this seemingly nightmare inducing piece of celluloid.

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