Monday, February 1, 2010


Original Title: Grunt! The Wrestling Movie
Year: 1985
Director: Allan Holzman
Writer: Allan Holzman (story), Roger D. Manning (screenplay), Tony Randel (story), Jeff Scheftel (Narration), Lisa Tomei (story), Barry Zetlin (story)
Genre: Mockumentary, Wrestling

A documentary filmmaker tries to track down former wrestling star Mad Dog Joe DeCurso after the wrestler disappears following the events of a match where his opponents is inadvertently decapitated. A current masked star has come onto the scenes, and Mad Dog's fans believe it could be Mad Dog himself coming out of hiding.

Yeah..............not so much...........

Well, of all the things This Is Spinal Tap is great for, this is certainly not one of them. While I'm not saying that the two films are linked at all, Spinal Tap certainly put the mock documentary genre in the public eye. So what we get with Grunt is not only boring and not well written, but 1 year removed from being all that original.

I've said it before, with an army of writers, a movie is bound to be great, right??? While it would be nice to imagine a smoky room with creative types sitting around a table bouncing ideas off one another and chiseling away at the perfect script, with something like Grunt! The Wrestling Movie what we probably got was either several people giving up because they even bored the snot out of themselves, or we got some honorary writing credits when someone would toss in a genius idea like "You definitely should hit someone in the face with a frying pan!"

Yes... it happens... I was waiting for the Looney Tunes sound effect of the garbage crashing and the final tin can plunk as the recipient of said frying pan came tumbling down the stairs. The whole movie isn't like this. I'm just pointing it out because it was an easy target and I'm a poor writer. It is, however, boring boring boring.

Throughout the film, The Director (Jeff Dial) and a cab driver who is also the President of the Mad Dog fan club or some shit, are on a crappy little journey to figure out if this new Mask (Steve Strong - former tag team partner of Jessie "The Body" Ventura!) masked wrestler is Mad Dog who had disappeared after decapitating an opponent in 1979.

And that's it. They follow around people that Mad Dog knew, and at the same time the story follows the Mask even though the Director is not always at the matches. Isn't this supposed to be a goddamn documentary? No acting whatsoever stands out in any way, but there are some legitimate professional wrestlers that make appearances throughout, including a promo and match with Mr. Dick Murdoch who I posted some videos of before. Plus you get to see some tits as Mask's manager flashes Murdoch during their match so that was kinda sweet too.

There are loads of elements in the story that just seem to be filler. One in particular is an appearance by The Mask on a conservative television talk show. It makes no sense... especially since Mask never speaks. We get this shitty actor doing a shittier Rush Limbaugh or something... screaming about Commies and such, and my fast forward finger was trembling.

With all the professional wrestlers making appearances, I was at least hoping for some fun match footage. While the wrestling shown seemed sound, the style of filming all of it was fucking terrible. Weird camera angles that would block out some action, shakes and flashing lights at times, oversaturated colors at other times... it was a mess. I never thought something would make me miss the movie All The Marbles so soon.

I'm done talking about this. It stinks and I is dummer for wachin it.

This review may suck as bad as the movie itself, but hey, at least you don't have to track down the 16th generation rip of an old dusty VHS tape now!

Score: 2.75 / 10


ShaneC said...

I, on the other hand, dig the holy crap out of this film. In fact, I'll be reviewing it on my blog in the next week or so (

I think it could be the fact that I saw it in the mid 80s, when I just started my wrestling fandom, that made me like it. But I watched it again recently, after picking up the DVD, and it still retains it's dumb charm. Is it ever going to win any awards for anything? Far from it, but I find that it's good for a stupid, brainless watch.

Always good to read dissenting viewpoints on things, though - the world world suck if we all liked the same things.

Leslie Uggams said...

You unfairly malign a great film. I guess you just don't get kayfabe.

pickleloaf said...

like i don't think wrestling is fake? i don't get that comment. the idea of a movie being good does not make a good movie