No Holds Barred
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When world wrestling champion RIP THOMAS (Hulk Hogan) refuses to join a competing network, an evil executive creates a new program, "The Battle of the Tough Guys," where rules don't exist and men engage in an all-out brawl for money. After a murdering ex-convict by the name of ZEUS comes out on top as the toughest man, an ultimate title match with RIP is the TV network's best chance for big ratings. But when Rip refuses the challenge and his brother is roughed-up as a consequence, the world champion has no choice but to teach Zeus a lesson in a final No Holds Barred fight to the finish.
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Top Customer Reviews
When WWE finally released the Hulk Hogan/Tiny Lister flick "No Holds Barred" on DVD in 2012, I was overjoyed. Not because it's a good movie - far from it - but because it has special sentimental childhood value to me, so it was a film I wanted to have as part of my current video library (I had previously owned it on VHS and laserdisc). When that disc came out, two things I wondered about were (1) Why was there no simultaneous Blu-ray release?, and (2) Why does the DVD not include the tie-in wrestling matches and other promotional materials that WWE has in their massive tape library? The only extra on the DVD is a photo gallery. I put off buying the DVD for over a year because it wasn't worth the price being charged for so little content.
A few weeks ago, when I read that the film had just been released on Blu-ray, and with TWO of the tie-in wrestling matches, I was again overjoyed. I could finally have it on Blu-ray AND have TWO of the tie-in wrestling matches. (I don't remember if there were any more tie-in wrestling matches, though Tiny Lister DID appear in WCW as Z-Gangsta, so that's somewhat related.) The two bonus tie-in wrestling matches included are:
* Summerslam Match (8/28/1989, 29:51) - Zeus & "Macho Man" Randy Savage with Sensational Sherri vs. Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake with Miss Elizabeth.
* "No Holds Barred" Steel Cage Match (12/27/1989, 18:12) - Zeus & "Macho Man" Randy Savage with Sensational Sherri vs. Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake.
My heart absolutely sank when I played these matches and heard the most atrocious audio abomination playing in place of Hulk Hogan's classic "Real American" theme song. Yes, the song that defines the Hulk Hogan character has been replaced with music that not only doesn't sound even remotely close to "Real American", but is pure torture to listen to. Because - SPOILER ALERT - Hulk's team wins both matches, you are forced to hear this audio abomination at the beginning AND end of each match. What I don't understand is WHY "Real American" was replaced. It's been used on many WWE DVDs, such as those devoted to Hogan. I *think* WWE might have even bought the music, or at least the perpetual rights to it (though I could be wrong about that).
Offhand, it seems that Howard Finkel might have re-recorded his ring intro for Hulk so that the music could be replaced. I'm sure about this on the second match, where there is no commentary heard at all during the replacement music. Since that seems odd, I'd bet WWE doesn't have the commentary on a separate track, so they just had to cut out all of the commentary that was originally heard under "Real American".
The other bonus feature on the Blu-ray is the photo gallery that was on the DVD, except all images are shown in the full HD widescreen and are not framed into tiny boxes like on the DVD (the tradeoff is that the very top and bottom of the images is cut off on the Blu-ray). There are a total of 42 images on the Blu-ray. The DVD has one more image; the 26th image showing Rip by Randy's hospital bed. I have a feeling that this image was accidentally left off the Blu-ray as I see no reason for it to have been purposely removed. I uploaded a copy of it to the product image gallery here on Amazon so all Blu-ray owners can get a copy of it.
The movie itself appears to be the same as on the DVD (I didn't compare them). Both have the New Line Cinema logo replaced with the WWE Studios logo at the start. The Blu-ray ends after the credits fade out, while the DVD shows a blue PG-13 rating screen after the credits. The movie runs 1:32:43 and contains 12 chapters.
The DVD has boot-up ads for WWE Home Video, ECW Unreleased Vol. 1, and Bending The Rules (movie with Edge and Jamie Kennedy). The Blu-ray doesn't have the first two, but has the last one and SEVEN MORE trailers shown at boot-up for all of the other WWE-produced movies. You have to click "next" on your remote to skip through all of the them (you can't jump straight to the menu). That's really annoying.
Overall, the Blu-ray is a vast improvement over the DVD, but falls short of what *could* have been - especially with the replacement of Hulk's "Real American" theme music.
There are a constellation of bizarre characters and semi-famous actors and actresses around Kurt Fuller, but make no mistake: he is the star of this film. His performance is worthy of an Oscar. If you are a fan of the "so bad it's good" genre, this is not merely a highlight of such a collection: it is a necessity.