Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Original Title: Bad Guys
Year: 1986
Director: Joel Silberg
Writer: Joe Gillis (writer), Brady Westwater (writer)
Genre: Comedy, Wrestling

Two hotshot LAPD cops get in hot water after breaking up a fight at a local bar. They get suspended from the force and have to find a way to pay the rent. First they try construction work, then stripping, but newspaper reporter Janice Edwards has a really good idea...professional wrestling.

A contemporary of Body Slam, Bad Guys features a much, much lower budget cast but still manages to be a superior wrestling film. It's silly and not very good, but at least the story stays on the wrestlers themselves for the most part.

Adam Baldwin and Mike Jolly play Skip and Dave, our two rowdy heroes. And they loooove wrasslin! I suppose we can call them the stand out roles in the film, but honestly that is just not saying a lot. The acting here is just universally bad. Not only are the characters unbelievable, little pieces of overacting just made my skin crawl.

You - yes YOU! - will get a deuce chill right up your spine when you hear Baldwin's HEEEEYs and YEEEAAAHs dubbed in over the two of them stripping at a Chippendales type club and giving each other full nelsons on stage. I won't explain what a full nelson is if you don't know already, because it sounds funny this way.

I will never look at Animal Mother again quite the same.

Look how ashamed Jolly looks over there. Good acting? Or......

Not a lot of other faces in the film to go along with the sorry acting. Ruth Buzzi, who played Screech's mom in Saved By The Bell was Petal McGurk, the dirty trainer's wife. Apparently she was on Laugh In also, but really who likes that better than Saved By The Fucking Bell?

Professor Toru Tanaka and Sergeant Slaughter both show up near the end of the film, both in non-speaking roles, but it was cool to see some better known wrestlers in there regardless. Not that Tanaka is super well known, particularly by more recent fans of wrestling, but many people will just recognize him from various bit roles usually as some sort of body guard or Francis' butler in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. Tanaka was at one time the tag team partner of the WWF legend Mr. Fuji.

The wrestling in Bad Guys isn't too bad, and it certainly helps the weakly written story along. I mean, when Petal tells Skip and Dave that as wrestlers they have to pick a gimmick, then stick with it... then proceeds to help them change their gimmick after they are chased out of a show. OK then! Anyway, I'm not sure Jolly performs his own stunts (his character seems to be the more talented of the team), but Baldwin threw a head scissor on a dude, and was taking a few bumps here and there.

He needed some bumps on his ass it seems, because that thing was just non-existent. This isn't necessarily something I would typically notice, but his concave bottom was an embarrassment to asses everywhere! His pants had to be tight because they would have just fallen off that barren cliff otherwise.

You know, I'm not really reviewing this movie so much as talking about little pieces of it. That's pretty much what it's good for. It is a low-budget mess that is pretty much a carbon copy in formula of so many other 80s movies. Good guys that are a little bad get held down by the man. Good guys that are bad excel in whatever they do. Good guys that are bad overcome huge obstacle. The end.

You even get a fucking musical montage during the training sequence! Yes!

Skip and Dave's montage is pretty boring, and maybe a little gay, but the Russian's training is so awesome and cliched that it makes my insides giggle: Strongman weight lifting and heavy drinking of vodka! Class.

Karate Kid eat your goddamn heart out.

Bad Guys is entertaining for what it was. Like Body Slam, it is like a bookmark for when professional wrestling was going through major changes and becoming more mainstream and flashy than ever before. But unlike Body Slam, this film stuck with the wrestling. Joel Silberg (director of Breakin'!) didn't construct this film all that well, but with a cast and set that probably cost a fraction of what Body Slam did, this one comes out as a better example of this sub-genre.

Sucks nuts, but not as bad as Body Slam

Score: 5.25 / 10

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