Hulk Hogan is an entertainment icon. He’s an actor, a world champion wrestler, a star of his own reality TV show, a host for American Gladiators, a Pastamania spokesperson… and Santa? You read that right, Hulk Hogan has played Santa Claus, or at least a rich dude who thinks he’s Santa. Since it’s that cheery season for the old fatman with the rosy cheeks, we thought we’d sit down to watch IMDB’s current #49 movie on the bottom 100 – Santa with Muscles, and we did it all for you, our readers.
The Hulkster stars as Blake Thorn, an anal rich dude who has anything a rich dude could want – a personal chef, driver, butler, you name it. He also has his own line of nutritional products, and keeps himself in shape by running through his servants in commando style fights taking them all on at once. When he gets bored of that, he gets his buddies together to go paintballing and running from the cops. On one of these adventures near Christmastime, he gets chased by the cops (one of which is Clint Howard) and makes his way to a mall. Once there, he disguises himself as Santa Claus to get away from his pursuers. When he falls down a garbage chute onto a hard concrete floor from a few stories up (why didn’t they have a trash bin collecting the garbage? They must like cleaning it up off of the floor) he loses his memory and an unscrupulous elf (played by Don Stark) convinces him that he really is Santa.
Lenny the elf leads him back to the Santa station in the mall, and has a multitude of children sit on his lap to get their wish lists. When a couple of thugs try to steal money from an orphanage’s collection bowl, Blake/Santa jumps into action and dodges swinging candy canes to take them out before they get away with the money. He decides then and there that Santa should help out the orphanage and he’s on his way to see how he can help out.
Meanwhile across town, Ebner Frost (Ed Begley Jr.) is trying to buy out all the buildings in the area around the orphanage, because there’s something lying underneath those buildings that he wants. What could be lying underneath an orphanage that anyone would want besides maybe orphan bones? Turns out they’re crystals make electricity, or something like that, who knows, all I know is that Santa kicks some ass and tries to save the orphanage.
Sean: Sooo… Hulk Hogan with a hairpiece playing a dude that thinks he’s Santa Claus. I’ve seen a lot of doozies in my day, and I can say for certain that this isn’t one of the bottom 100 in my personal movie rankings. It’s actually probably nowhere near it. I don’t have a high tolerance for stupid humor, and even though this movie has a lot of it – it’s a movie for kids, after all – I could actually tolerate most of it because you know this is a stupid ass movie. In no way am I going to take this thing seriously.
Monkeyface: I’ve been a Hogan, and wrestling, fan since I was a kid. Even though he will never win any awards for his acting, he can be very entertaining, which is the role he fills in this movie. Like most of his movies the plot is extremely thin, and it is just a way to get him on screen to give his fans another chance to see him… and to make a little dough! His role as Santa goes back to that old cliche, stubborn rich asshole learns humilty from a bunch of kids and helps them out in their time of need. It’s a touching story modernized, and Hulksterized!
Sean: Hogan actually does a pretty good job, he’s a little wooden, but he actually looks pretty good, although I kept waiting for him to Hulk out (which he never does). Don Stark is left to give all the cheesy one liners (he doesn’t say the best one though… “Santa you sleigh me!” har har har!) He gets a little annoying, but it’s a case of the crappy character who ends up with a heart of gold in the end. Most of Begley’s henchmen are junk, one of them loves the smell of farts or something, there’s a chick that has some electrified gloves… I don’t think they ever explain that, and then Frost’s personal physician, Dr. Blight (Steve Valentine) who is such a bad ass that he actually throws Hogan off the roof of the orphanage with the help of a motorized Santa.
Monkeyface: This movie had a lot of pretty well known actors including a young Mila Kunis, who ironically starred with Don Stark in “That 70’s Show”. One person I wish they would have left from the cast is Ed Begley Jr. I don’t think he has EVER been in a good movie, or at least a movie where I thought he was a good actor. His character was really lame, and seemed to be a knockoff of the Mr. Freeze from the Batman cartoons. But they never really explain why his mansion is surrounded by frost machines, or why he wears a hazmat suit when he leaves the house. But whatever, he’s a turd and gets what’s coming to him in the end!
Sean: Ed Begley Jr. is always in this kind of crap, I’m surprised he isn’t in the most recent Beethoven the dog movie that went straight to dvd, that just seems like his bag. A lot of the stuff in this movie is never explained, like why they let these kids run around in some dusty old “catacombs” under the orphanage, or why these 3 loser kids are the only ones left. They were all pretty annoying so I guess I can see why they were the “leftovers”, as one of the kids put it. If you’re looking to introduce some kids into the world of bad cinema, this would be a great place to start. As for being an adult and seeing this, it’s got some decent hi-larity without soliciting too many groans. I’d say that Santa with Muscles is worth 2 blonde hairpeices out of 5.
Monkeyface: While this movie wouldn’t be something I would normally watch seeing as I’m not a huge kids movie fan, it was mildly entertaining. If you were looking for a Xmas flick your kids have never seen you could certainly do a lot worse than Santa With Muscles… but you would probably do better too. It’s a cheesy story with a lot of shortcomings, but the kids will never pick up on it and they should enjoy it. I give this one 2 explosive energy crystals out of 5.
Santa with Muscles is available on VHS from Amazon.