Several years after his appearance in Rocky III, the WWE (then still the WWF) wanting to boost Hulk Hogan’s film career produced the 1989 film No Hold’s Barred. In an unprecedented promotion, they co-produced a rivalry during their TV promotions alongside the film’s release between Hogan and Zeus, played by Tiny Lister. Now for the first time it has been re-mastered and released on DVD.
No Hold’s Barred followed Rip is the World Wrestling Federation champion is loyal to his fans and network. When a corrupt network head wants him to wrestle for his network and he refuses, they call in the mysterious Zeus to challenge Rip in a no hold’s barred match in The Battle of the Tough Guys. While this movie failed to deliver the box office they were hoping for, there isn’t a wrestling fan alive from that period that hasn’t seen and had a fun time with this film. Filled with over the top wrestling action and cheesy dialogue reminiscent of most of the action films of that time, this film took the already power of Hogan and amplified it to an almost ridiculous level. Hogan much like everyone in this film give pretty lame performances that makes the film almost come off as a comedy. The action itself is decent enough pretty much sticking to the wrestling aspect throughout, with the exception of one memorable scene where Hogan goes from struggling to get out of a limo, to “hulking out” busting through a metal covered sunroof, ripping off doors, and smacking down thugs. All this leads to one of the most ridiculously great line exchanges in film involving the word dookie.
This is not a great movie by any means, but somehow is so bad that it takes a wide turn to cheesy fun. Hogan spends most of the movie in the wrestling tights, cementing forever how the world will remember him. This was a smart move at the time as what better way to further his acting career than by having him play himself. There is no way wrestling fans or fans of cheese cinema cannot enjoy this film. If you have never had the chance to check it out give No Hold’s Barred a chance, it’s more than just a wrestling fan, it’s the start of a strange career for Hulk Hogan outside the ring, but also launched the career of Tiny Lister who most may remember from the Friday films, The Fifth Element among many others. Like it or not, you cannot deny this is a one of a kind film that has to be seen to believe. You will not be disappointed in the fun and odd joy it will give you.