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American Gladiators: The Battle Begins (2009)

Zap , Nitro , Bob Levy  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Zap, Nitro, Gemini, Lace
  • Directors: Bob Levy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: July 14, 2009
  • Run Time: 840 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001XW7IDQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,261 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

The 80s cult classic American Gladiators was a forerunner of the reality show: a physical competition series in which two male and two female contestants pitted their strength, speed and skill against highly trained pro athletes Gemini, Zap, Nitro, Lace, Malibu
and Sunny, aka the American Gladiators. American Gladiators first premiered in January of 1989 and was hosted by Mike Adamle and Joe Theismann. In Season One, events included The Joust, The Assault, Powerball, The Human Cannonball, Breakthrough and Conquer, and the Eliminator. This 3 DVD set covers Season One, including the mid-season wrap-up episode and the subsequent 13 episodes leading up to the finals.

Bonus Features:

* Brand-new interviews.

* Original show promos.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let the Games Begin! March 30, 2009
By S. R.
Premiering in 1989, this precursor to today's reality show phenomenon pitted athletic contestants against the muscle-bound, spandex-clad American Gladiators in games for cash and prizes culminating in a tournament at the season's end. Boasting a heroic theme music by Rocky composer Bill Conti, this was more than just a spectator sport, this was a show that challenged couch potatoes to prove themselves. While the series was initially an enigma to everyone involved, including the Gladiators themselves, the competitive events and mass appeal of the Gladiators saved it from a premature demise. Hosted by former NFL stars Joe Thiesmann (who was eventually replaced by Todd Christensen) and perennial host Mike Adamle, the first season (as with most shows) had its fair share of growing pains. The games and props were not well designed, the Romanesque arena was dimly lit (perhaps to conceal the lack of audience members), the awarding of points was excessive, comical-looking hooded figures initially officiated the games, and the Gladiators were too often forced to stay in character (as opposed to the individual natural charisma exuded in subsequent seasons). Although the show changed drastically throughout the first season, expect to see trademark events such as Breakthrough & Conquer, Joust, and Powerball. The six original Gladiators who ushered in this inaugural season included;

Raye "Zap" Hollitt- This buxom, blonde beauty (who was unceremoniously cropped from the DVD cover image) packed femininity and brawn into a relatively small frame.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This should be FREAKIN' great!!!! May 20, 2009
This is "Dan Clark" aka NITRO. I want to let all know that this DVD pack will contain COMMENTARY on a few episodes!!! LASER, ZAP and MYSELF went into the studio and talked about the show for HOURS!!!! It was a blast and I hope it something that the loyal fans of the show will like and appreciate!!!! Again -- we had a freakin' good time doing and Zap is still hot and Laser is still built like a brick wall. Hope you enjoy. Also check out my memoir! GLADIATOR A TRUE STORY OF 'ROIDS, RAGE AND REDEMPTION and hit me up on my website DanNitroClark.com. I answer all my own email and love to hear from peeps!!!

Be well,
Dan
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The commentaries are worth the price alone! August 28, 2009
I managed to get my hands on this DVD set and watched it the other night. It was such a throwback to being in front of the TV watching the show as a kid.

First, it's amazing how much changed over the seasons, yet how much stayed the same. The first 13 episode recap was a good way to get past the early medieval look to the show. I thought the production values of those first episodes was pretty cheap, and I'm glad they decided to spend more money for the second half. Once you do get to the last half of the first season, things pick up.

The video quality is actually pretty good too considering how it was filmed. I was impressed with how "new" it looked. I don't know if any restoration was done, but the second half looked pretty darn good for it's age.

The one thing I really loved about this set though were the audio commentaries by the 3 gladiators. Dan "Nitro" Clark, Jim "Laser" Starr, and Raye "Zap" Hollitt. I have to say that they are better than a lot of other commentaries I've listened to, just because they are so natural and casual. The gladiators go into specific details on how the show was in it's first year, the different personalities of the other gladiators, and what some of them are up to now. Also, giving some inside info on the contestants and the backstage decisions. What I liked the most was just the interaction between the 3 of them, it was like sitting on the couch with them and just chit-chatting with friends. Sometimes I would forget to pay attention to the show, because I was listening to one of their stories. It's kind of a "fly on the wall" feeling...like you shouldn't be listening, but it's good stuff, and they are really funny. I'm also glad the production company didn't censor them...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ABOUT TIME!.... February 1, 2010
I believe most of us are simply surprised it took this long for them to release this series. It would be an understatement to say that I was totally thrilled at finding out it finally was immortalized in the pristine quality that is the DVD format. Wow! Been checking Amazon for a few years now. Gotta say I am a little disappointed it was not the complete 1st season and truly hope that they don't handle the subsequent seasons with the same reasoning. Every episode had some really cool matches. In particular in tribute to my favorite female gladiator "SIREN" who met an untimely death...so young. But I am thankful this company realized what a following this series had and how many people were affected by it's airing. Thanks to Turbo for posting his notes on the features and honestly hope other gladiators will follow suite and post their feelings on this great chapter in each of their lives.
And again here's to "SIREN" may you find peace my sweet "Siren" you were a great inspiration to us all.
Sincerely, Manny in Tampa, Fl.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is a classic, takes me back to my childhood. Mullets, roids, comedy....how can you go wrong?
Published 1 month ago by Chris L. Ingersoll
4.0 out of 5 stars Not season 1
The DVD itself is great, but this can't be season 1 as Joe Theismann isn't on this and he's supposed to be the season 1 host. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Kevin O'Connor
5.0 out of 5 stars Who doesn't like American Gladiators?
Communists, that's who. Just kidding. This is a super cheezy show but its totally worth getting it. This is the original series and not the new one. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Robert
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
I love this DVD for the fact that I use to watch this show every time it came on the TV. Too bad they did not have more seasons available when I purchased this one.
Published 16 months ago by lisa childress
4.0 out of 5 stars GLADIATOR, READY! REVIEWER, READY!
The original American Gladiators still eclipses the "reboot" version by leaps and bounds.

Whereas the original was difficult, but not impossible, the reboot seemed more... Read more
Published on January 10, 2012 by Shadow Fire Promotions, Inc.
1.0 out of 5 stars Such a TV Pearl but ...
...it's really not worth it, to pay money for this 'incomplete' tv series. :o(
Published on April 15, 2010 by mouse68
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting old.
So, needless to say I enjoyed this dvd set or I wouldn't be here. Now, how about that Season 2 and upwards, guys?
Published on March 19, 2010 by J. Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally!!!
The battle begins! I am so excited that they have finally released "American Gladiators" season one on DVD. The quality of this DVD is great and the sound is awesome. Read more
Published on July 14, 2009 by M. Deckard
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