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Awfully Good: No Holds Barred

I recently watched HBO's fantastic documentary on Andre the Giant and seeing Hulk Hogan reminisce about the glory days of wrestling reminded me about…

No Holds Barred (1989)

Director: Thomas J. Wright
Stars: Hulk Hogan, Kurt Fuller, Joan Severance

After an evil network executive sets out to destroy his life, legendary wrestler and all-American hero Rip Thomas is forced to take on attempted kidnapping, a gigantic new opponent named Zeus, and dookie.

Between SUBURBAN COMMANDO, MR. NANNY, SANTA WITH MUSCLES, and 3 NINJAS: HIGH NOON AT MEGA MOUNTAIN, one might think that Hulk Hogan set out to make movies solely for this column. And in case you missed out on this hidden Awfully Good gem from the 80s, I'm happy to report that Hogan's first starring role in NO HOLDS BARRED definitely belongs in that same pantheon of mulleted greatness.


If you've never seen the Hulk Hogan sex tape, it starts off with some surprising foreplay.

Produced by the WWE in an attempt to capitalize on the wrestler's popularity, NO HOLDS BARRED is literally a film made solely to show off just how amazing Hulk Hogan is and how much everyone should want to befriend him, love him and/or hire him. His character Rip Taylor is portrayed as a man of colossal integrity, who turns down a blank-check salary with a rival network because he gave his word to the other company. He's a sensitive soul who respects women and volunteers with children of all ethnic backgrounds. And he's a hero who's constantly thwarting kidnappings, stopping robberies, and rescuing women from attempted rapes while still letting them know he's 100% down for some consensual out-of-the-ring sparring.

If you don't want to cuddle and high five Hulk Hogan after watching this movie than you're a stronger human than me.


When it came time to finally solve racism in America once and for all, President Trump knew exactly who to turn to.

While the film has a legendary protagonist, it also features a pretty great villain in Brell, the head of the hilariously generic World Television Network, played by Kurt Fuller (GHOSTBUSTERS 2, PSYCH). Brell is more like an evil dictator than a corporate CEO, constantly treating everyone like garbage and going to some extreme lengths to get ratings. When Rip turns down his offer to join their channel, he immediately tells his men to kidnap him until he changes his mind. When that doesn't work Brell pays a woman to pretend to be Rip's new manager and sabotage him from within. When she predictably falls in love with Rip, he has one of his goons sexually assault her in a parking garage. (Thankfully, Hulk Hogan shows up just in time on his Motorcycle of Justice.) Still not content, he kidnaps Rip's brother and has him beaten until he's a quadriplegic, and then, just for fun, takes Rip's girlfriend hostage in an attempt to get Rip to throw the final fight.

All this to get better ratings. Seriously, this guy makes Thanos look like Malekith the Dark Elf.


Also starring...Andy Samberg in 20 Years.

Rip's competitor in the aptly-named "Battle of the Tough Guys" is the also-appropriately-named Zeus, played by FIFTH ELEMENT president and FRIDAY's Deebo, Tiny Lister. Zeus, who recently got out of jail for killing someone in the ring, is a formidable opponent for Rip and their final fight lives up to the hype. The two men mercilessly beat each other for fifteen straight minutes in a showdown that seems like it's never going to end and is so hardcore it ends up literally destroying the ring. There are also fun little surprises along the way, like Zeus kicking handicap people and tossing unwitting spectators at Rip. (I'm honestly still a little unclear as to the rules of this televised match, since all of this seems to be okay with the refs. I mean, wouldn't you call the cops if a wrestler came in the audience and started throwing people around?)


One of these men would go on to be governor of Minnesota. No, not that one. The other one.

I would be remiss if I didn't show some love for the awkward way the film handles two of Hogan's supporting actors. First, there's Rip's romantic interest Samantha. After impressing her at a French restaurant and stopping a robbery at a different restaurant, Sam is still playing hard to get. This tension culminates in a truly bizarre "romantic" night at a hotel. After being forced to shared a bed for some reason, Samantha is awoken when the mattress starts violently shaking. Obviously the poor woman is horrified to think that our hero is pleasuring himself in the bed next to her. She looks over and... he's only doing push-ups against the bed in the middle of the night... in a thong. (The film treats this as if it is completely normal.) Later, Rip finishes working out but unfortunately all of his newly-toned muscles are too much and he breaks the bed when he lays down, causing Samantha to roll on top of him and giving the audience another prime opportunity for some creepy sexual innuendo.


This is what Hulk Hogan wears to bed. They definitely don't make action stars like they used to.

But my favorite character in the entire movie has to be Rip's brother Randy, played by Jacob from LOST (Mark Pellegrino). Pellegrino gives one of the all-time bad performances in a major motion picture here, playing Randy so overdramatically that the character comes off as being mentally deficient. Nothing is worse than the final fight where Randy sits in his wheelchair in the audience constantly crying and yelling Rip's name like a child. It's absolutely hysterical. Just look at these faces. These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Pellegrino in this movie.


Do they give out lifetime achievement awards at the Razzies?

But, let's be honest, if you remember NO HOLDS BARRED, it's most likely because of the infamous line between Hulk Hogan and a terrified henchman who may have had an accident in his pants. Once you see/hear it (in the Best Lines video below), you will never forget it. It's like brain herpes.

Rip: What's that smell?

Henchman: Doo... doo... dookie!

Rip: DOOKIE?


The dookie line is a winner, obviously, but there are plenty other contenders to enjoy.

Hulk Hogan's silliest action scenes and the best of little brother Randy during the final match.

Joan Severance AND Hulk Hogan in their underwear! Huzzah!


What's that smell? Buy this movie here!

Take a shot or drink every time:
  • Hulk Hogan gives a thumbs up
  • Hulk Hogan laughs creepily
  • Hulk Hogan says "Randy"
  • Randy cries and/or says Rip's name
  • A waitress snorts
Double shot if:
  • There's a little person in a cage

Thanks to Adam and T.C. for suggesting this week's movie!

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.

Extra Tidbit: After bombing badly at the box office, this movie's nickname within the WWE was NO PROFIT ALLOWED.
Source: JoBlo.com

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