Les Reines du Ring is WWE’s first attempt at utilizing WWE Studios to co-produce a movie about wrestling. And not lame ass amateur wrestling like Legendary starring John Cena, but good ol’ “Sports Entertainment” professional wrestling. Apparently, the film must’ve done well in France for WWE to consider remaking it for U.S. audiences in order to save us the trouble from reading subtitles. So get to know Les Reines du Ring before its potential American remake is released and take pleasure in the fact that France is capable of producing by-the-numbers Hollywood saccharine crap, and not just avant-garde, art house films like Holy Motors.
Many might think Larry the Cable Guy’s foray into the world of wrestling was something new that only happened a couple of Raw’s ago in order to promote his movie, Jingle All the Way 2, which “co-stars” Santino Marella. But before he started unnecessarily making sequels to movies that shouldn’t have been made in the first place, Larry starred in the “comedy” Delta Farce which, unlike Jingle All the Way 2, was actually released in movie theaters. But more importantly, Delta Farce had a wrestling scene. Or, more specifically, a lucha libre scene. Unfortunately, it doesn’t involve Larry bumping all over the ring or working a cable guy gimmick.
In keeping with the theme of Halloween, this was originally going to be posted in October, but I found it difficult to sit through an entire viewing of this movie despite its best efforts to move forward the zombie wrestler movie sub-genre movement. So themed-posts be damned, any month is a good month to watch zombie wrestler movies. Here’s a look at Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies from the man who brought you Lucifer’s Unholy Desire and Breeding Farm.
Hopefully, the recently released WWE DVD The Best of Sting gives Steve Borden the career retrospective he deserves because this movie certainly didn’t. At least they didn’t accidentally use footage of nWo Sting thinking it was the real Sting. C’mon WWE, get your shit together. Although I’m sure the new DVD doesn’t beat you over the head with strong Christian overtones like you were Mankind at the 1999 Royal Rumble. Surprisingly, under the list of producers Pat Robertson isn’t mentioned at all. Makes sense though. If this film had some of that sweet 700 Club money it wouldn’t have looked like some film school kid’s thesis project.
Finally, a wrestling-themed horror film. Minus all the things that make horror films good. Sadly, the wrestling concept is the least campiest thing about this movie. At least it stars a killer in a lucha libre mask! Although to be fair, it’s probably the least intimidating lucha libre mask ever. WCW’s Ciclope had a much scarier mask. Read on if you dare!
Thanks to his Oscar win for writing and starring in Rocky, an untouchable Sylvester Stallone decided to become an auteur of sorts with regards to films about prize fighters and grapplers. Despite going all-out and not only writing, starring, but also directing, and signing the song in the opening credits, Paradise Alley was definitely no Rocky. This film pretty much explains why Stallone milked the hell out of Rocky. He was a one-trick pony. Nonetheless, not many Hollywood studios were lining up to make movies about pro wrestling. So, we can thank Sylvester Stallone for that. Also, thanks to Stallone, it’d be a long time before Hollywood warmed up to making another one. But I don’t want to rag on him too much seeing as he’s sensitive and all.
Having recently learned that Troma Entertainment picked up Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies for distribution, this month’s Ringside Cinema focuses on a forgotten gem of a wrestling movie that can be seen as a Troma-lite attempt at kitsch and camp: The Naked Man. Co-written by Ethan Coen. Yes, as in one-half of the brother team that’s co-written and directed The Big Lebowski, Fargo, No Country for Old Men, etc. Proving that Joel Coen is the more talented one of the two, and that Michael Rapaport is a strange choice to play a wrestler on film, but still not as strange a choice as Oliver Platt.
This week I take a look at a forgotten made-for-TV classic, Mad Bull, starring Alex Karras AKA the dad from Webster AKA the middle class Philip Drummond. It’s one hell of a cheesy movie, but by wrestling movie standards it’s probably one of the better ones out there. It also reveals to us that life is hard for a wrestling heel, especially in the 1970’s.