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No Holds Barred



No Holds Barred is nothing if not a spectacle. But really, isn't the couch the ideal setting for the WWE armchair athlete to watch? The answer must be "yes," since No Holds Barred tanked in theaters, along with Hulk Hogan's hopes for a big-screen career. A cult following has failed to build around the movie in the 25 years since, but this Blu-ray hits at a fortuitous time nonetheless, as it was showcased in a recent and rather hysterical episode of the comedy podcast How Did This Get Made? 

Having never seen the movie before, the podcast discussion had me in stitches and eager to watch the real deal. Well … they made it seem a lot more fun than it actually is. 

Hulk Hogan may be playing a character named Rip — as in, one presumes "to fart" — but c'mon: He's playing Hulk Hogan and, as the movie sets up, he's the biggest thing going in the sport. That's why Brell (Kurt Fuller, Scary Movie), the new head of TV's lowest-rated network, will do anything to secure Rip's contract. Even murder. 

Viewers may feel they are one of Brell's victims. That's how insufferable No Holds Barred is as entertainment. So dumb it would spell itself as "D-U-M," it kowtows to the lowest common denominator without even trying to slip beyond that shallow ring. Not even the sight of then-supermodel Joan Severance in her underwear makes this turd worth passing.   —Rod Lott

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