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      Body Slam

      PG Released Nov 21, 1986 1h 29m Comedy List
      Reviews 53% Audience Score 500+ Ratings A music promoter (Dirk Benedict) who manages a wrestler (Roddy Piper) puts a rock group with a mat card and starts a fad. Read More Read Less Watch on Prime Video Stream Now

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      Body Slam

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      Critics Reviews

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      Matt Brunson Film Frenzy A mediocre comedy that will appeal to wrestling fans far more than anyone else. Rated: 2/4 Jun 19, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Bardy B This is possibly the mosy underrated wrestling movie of all time. It's a perfect example of garbage 80s movies, and I mean that with the highest praise. Rock and wrestling meet here, and it's Roddy Piper's best movie (yeah, I said it). Rated 4 out of 5 stars 08/30/23 Full Review Audience Member This movie nearly didn't come out. Dirk Benedict, who stars in Body Slam, has said that he and director Hal Needham (Megaforce, Rad) fought with the film's writer/producer team of Steve Burkow and Shel Lytton. Burkow didn't have any other writing credits, but Lytton wrote a series of teen books titled Mustang and a few episodes of Death Valley Days. However, they were lawyers, and between the verbal and physical fights, lawsuits kept the movie out of theaters for an entire summer. It ended up going straight to video. Also, and this is my favorite part of this movie, Benedict needed smartened up to the wrestling business. He plays M. Harry Smilac in this, a music promoter who only has one band left, Kick*. After falling for Candace (Tanya Roberts), Smilac tries to hire Rick Roberts (Roddy Piper in his second acting role after playing Leatherneck Joe Grady in The One and Only; his nickname is "Quick Rick," which is ironic as Piper feuded with "Quick Draw" Rick McGraw in WWF before that man's untimely death) to be a performer before learning that he's a wrestler. So he ends up managing Rick and his tag partner Tonga Tom (Sam Fatu, the Tonga Kid who was wrestling Madison Square Garden at the age of 18, ironically feuding with Piper; you can also see him teaming with Greg Gagne and Jim Brunzell to battle The Fabulous Freebirds in Highlander; he's considered a relative of The Rock) and they have a pretty good run until they start dealing with politics. Let me tell you, as someone who has spent way too many years in independent wrestling, I get it, M. Harry. Captain Lou Murano (Captain Lou Albano, who had appeared in Below the Belt and Wise Guys before this) and his men, The Cannibals (Sione "The Barbarian" Vailahi and Tom "T. Joe Khan" Cassett) hurt all three of our leads and get them blacklisted, so they start booking themselves on outlaw rock and wrestling shows, getting back to the big time just in time to get a world tag title match. This movie, beyond wrestling, has lots of 70s stars in it, such as John Astin, Charles Nelson Reilly and Billy Barty. And if you look carefully enough during the main event, you can spot Ric Flair, Freddie Blassie, Adnan Al-Kaissie, Bruno Sammartino and Alexis Smirnoff during the match. Speaking of that main event, the crowd turned on the match as they could see that the moves were being redone for filming. At this time, there was no such thing as sports entertainment. As fans began to say the f word — fake — all of the wrestlers started brawling for real, even throwing Needham out of the ring. It took a ton of people to break up the fight, leading to chaos amongst the crowd, cast and even the crew. When they all got backstage, Piper finally smartened Dirk Benedict up as to why they had to make everyone believe that it was real. *Kick is made up of drummer Jack D'Amore (Rock Rose), Kelley Dillard, David Hallowren and Bruce Wallenstein, who composed the soundtracks to Twisted Nightmare and Demon Wind. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Audience Member Benedict and Roberts were TV stars, trying desperately to remain relevant. This wouldn't help. They team up with Rowdy Roddy Piper and some really dreadful jokes to create a shockingly awful film. It seems like this was constantly a part of HBO's midday lineup from 1989-1991. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 01/31/23 Full Review Audience Member I love the idea of this and what they tried to do... Just wish I saw this when it came out so I'd have more loyalty towards it. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/13/23 Full Review Audience Member "Body Slam" is a fictionalized account of the creation of the Rock-n-Wrestling Connection of the 1980's which stars some of the biggest names in pro wrestling at the time, as well as many B-Grade stars, a future "ER" star, a "Bond Girl" and the REAL "Starbuck" from "Battlestar Galactica". The movie follows "M. Harry Smilac" (Dirk Benedict), an heavily in debt music manager, who inadvertently enters the world of professional wrestling when he helps "'Quick' Rick Roberts" ("Rowdy" Roddy Piper) make a deal, and immediately out of his contract with the vilianous manager, "Captain Lou Murano" (Captain Lou Albano). "Smilac" then signs "Tonga Tom" (The Tonga Kid), who becomes "Roberts" tag team partner. "Smilac" is also running the fundraising efforts of "Senator Norton Wilshire" running for an election, as well as the up-and-coming rock band "Kicks" (which later in the movie becomes Kick). He also tries to catch the attention of the gorgeous daughter (Tanya Roberts) of one of the women in charge of the election of the Senator, who slowly warms up to him as the movie progresses. "Smilac" also tries to dodge debt collector "Mr. Kim", who is known for his heavy Korean accent, and his two unnamed, non-speaking goons (The Wild Samoans -- Afa and Sika). After a disastrous fundraiser for "Sen. Wilshire", which "Smilac" promises to sign huge names in the music business, but only signs "Kicks," "Smilac" becomes depressed, and "Roberts" comes to his home to talk with him. During their talk, "Smilac" gets the idea of combining the Rock 'n' Roll business with professional wrestling. "Smilac" is happy with the success of his creation, but when it comes to "Roberts," who travels with his young neice, and "Tom" he sees even bigger plans -- specificly, the World Tag Team Championship. However, the title is held by "The Canibals -- Ax and Hammer" (The Barbarian and Tejoh Khan), managed by "Murano". Bent on their destruction, the "Captain" throws "The Canibals" at "Roberts" and "Tom". He even has a war of words on a pro wrestling interview TV show hosted by "Vic Carson" (Charles Nelson Reiley). For the most part, the acting in this movie is pretty good. Only a handful of the wrestlers, except for Albano and Piper, do a poor job at making their lines believable. Benedict's performance pretty much reminds me of his character in "The A-Team". A big problem with this movie is the development of the characters, and the development of their relationships -- except for the relationship between "Smilac" and "Candace Vandervegen" (Tanya Roberts). The relationship between "Roberts" and his niece, "Missy" (future "ER" star Kellie Martin) would have been one I'd liked to have seen expanded upon. However, the characters are enjoyable to watch, especially "Smilac", "Tonga Tom and "'Quick' Rick". Another problem with the movie is character development. They don't give much of a background on any of the main characters or their relationships before the movie joins their "lives". Personally, I would have liked to have known how "Roberts" and "Tom" knew one another if "Roberts" was with "Murano" and "Tom" was a fan favorite (the movie presents pro wrestling as 100% legitimate). One character I wish was more developed was "Tim McClusky" (the late Billy Barty), who was there just to make some funny one-liners more than anything else. The visuals, for the most part, are pretty good as well, however you can tell where the producers took some cuts to save some money. They also opted for point-of-view camera angles of the wrestlers while in the ring to make it look like you were the one in the ring with them. In my opinion the POV camera angles should have been avoided, especially when all the wrestlers did was mug for the camera. The sound effects in the wrestling matches are horrible, none sound realistic nor are their edited into the scenes well to make it appear their actually hitting one another. It is very noticeable that the sound of the "punches" landing are fake. Also, the editing of the matches are not well done. The story itself is the most enjoyable part of the movie. It's well written, but doesn't really help the majority of performances. Despite the flaws, and possibly because I'm a pro wrestling fanatic, I really enjoy this movie. In my opinion, this is one of, if not the best movies focusing on professional wrestling ever made. If you see this movie on one of the cable movie channels, and are a pro wrestling fan, check this movie out. If you're not a fan, I also recommend that you check it out if you want to see a good "B" movie. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/17/23 Full Review Audience Member Silly 80s movie, not even saved by Tanya Roberts. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Body Slam

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      Cast & Crew

      Movie Info

      Synopsis A music promoter (Dirk Benedict) who manages a wrestler (Roddy Piper) puts a rock group with a mat card and starts a fad.
      Director
      Hal Needham
      Producer
      Mike Curb, Shel Lytton
      Screenwriter
      Shel Lytton, Steve Burkow
      Production Co
      Hemdale, Musifilm Productions
      Rating
      PG
      Genre
      Comedy
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Nov 21, 1986, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Apr 4, 2021
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $8.5K
      Runtime
      1h 29m
      Sound Mix
      Stereo
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