Thursday, January 28, 2010


Original Title: Below the Belt
Year: 1980
Director: Rob Fowler
Writer: Rosalyn Drexler (novel "To Smithereens"), Rob Fowler (writer), David McKechnie (lyrics), Sherry Sonnet (writer)
Genre: Comedy, Wrestling

A New York City waitress decides to become a professional wrestler.

The synopsis says it all. This fucking movie has almost NOTHING happen... and to add insult to injury, the shitty action is highlighted by waaaaay too many musical montages. I'm not gonna talk much about Below the Belt. I hope it doesn't seem like a copout or whatever, but this film frustrated me so much that it might just be best if i get this over with and move on.

Theme killer if there ever was one.

Inexplicably, the ratings on IMDb are not all that bad. Again what we get with Below the Belt is a women's wrestling film that had potential, but falls way short. It's not so much the editing this time as it is the near lack of plot and the fucking heinous musical montages that take up roughly 25% of the 90 minute or so runtime.

Don't believe me? Someone has helped me out big time and actually posted some of these on YouTube! There might be spoilers in here, but seeing as shit happens in the movie, the only thing spoiled will be if there are peanuts, corn, or both in the turd.

Thanks to this horseshit, what could have been a gritty portrayal of life on the road for a group of indie wrestlers turned out to be a Lifetime Original that made me want to kick my dog.

Our New York City waitress mentioned in the synopsis, Rosa Rubinsky (Regina Baff), is the highlight of the film I suppose. Her quest is to become a pro-wrestler even though the lifestyle is essentially not shown to her, or us, to be anything worth living. We suffer through music montage after music montage as she shittily trains a little bit and then just watches from the sidelines with her sloppy sad eyes before he somehow gets her shot.

HAHAHAHA, look at her! It's not funny at all!!

A strong performance I suppose comes from Jane O'Brien as Terrible Tommy. This is one tough chick, and she definitely looks the part of a tough wrestler. She's not the greatest actress or anything like that, but I believe she was a professional wrestler in real life, which was a good choice for the part.

There's also an appearance by a wrestling legend Mildred Burke, who was very influential and successful in the business from the 1930s to the 1950s. But it's only worth a mention as she's just in a few brief training scenes.

I'm posting a sweet image of her to take up space!

Fowler's film (this was his only directorial entry on IMDb by the way) follows Rosa around as she just looks on at stuff kinda happen. They ride around in cars. They talk back stage. She watches an alcoholic dude blade in front of a mirror.

The film I suppose from taking all of this in is supposed to be a slice of life; to show the realities of touring as a professional wrestler at this time. It's just not very well crafted. There's needless comedy injected everywhere. The aforementioned music takes you out of things way too often. Scenes of emotion are handled poorly.

And there are stories that start and end and I could care less. So-and-so wants out. Whatsherface loves that guy maybe. That dick drinks too much. That chick is slutty. But no character is fleshed out nearly enough for us to give a shit. And Rosa does so little, when things finally start happening for her, I had trouble even feeling happy there either.

I have more screenshots to show, but I'm out of shit to say. This film is not available on DVD as far as I know. The only way to find it is through more nefarious means, but don't waste your time. Watch those montages above, rub your neck when the deuce chills hit your spine, and rest assure knowing that I powered through this boring pile so you didn't have to.

Score: 3 / 10

Terrible Tommy's Choke of Supreme Despair!

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