Childhood Nastalgia: 9/10
Good Career Move: 0/10
It was the early 90’s, and The Hulkster was in full form. Long gone were the days of pro-wrestlers staying away from the big screen (largely in part to Vince McMahon taking over the WWF), and so studios were trying to capitalize on the muscular-tough-guy-with-a-heart-of-gold market that resides in all of our hearts. With an abundance of juiced-up gorillas that could follow simple orders just waiting to be manipulated, all Hollywood had to do was grab the most popular one and start production on any script that was, in all likelyhood, being used to prop up some director’s bar stool. One such script was Suburban Commando, and Mr. Hulk Hogan was just the gorilla to tackle it (dance, monkey, dance).
Intergallactic warrior and all-around tough guy Shep Ramsey (not to be confused with Chef Ramsey) has just done the impossible! He’s destroyed the mothership of would-be ruler of the universe General Suitor(whose entire army had blond ponytails), and managed to bust his own spaceship up pretty bad in the process. The only option is to land on Earth for a couple of weeks and give his ship time to recharge. Shep, who hates Earthlings, touches down in the most segregated suburb I have ever seen, and the culture shock is immediate. He mugs some fat guy to get some Earth clothes (since his war armor kind of stands out), and then begins to look for an apartment(at least he’s practical). Enter Charlie Wilcox.
Charlie is your average suburban dad. He has a wife, two kids, a job that over-works and under-pays him, neighbors that disrespect him, and he just failed to get the promotion he was going for. When his wife rents out the guest room to Shep, he is infuriated and suspicious, not wanting to trust a man of that….girth. He sneeks around and finds Shep hiding all of his alien ray guns and other weapons around the guest room, and then follows him to a warehouse where he is keeping his spaceship. Once Shep leaves, Charlie tries on some battle armor and saves a girl in distress, accidentally dropping a freeze ray in the process. Here’s where the big (and I mean BIG) problem comes in: the freeze ray can be traced by every bounty hunter in the universe, and Shep has a pretty big price on his head.
It doesn’t take long for Shep to discover that he’s missing some hardware, and when he explains the situation to Charlie, they both go in search of the freeze ray. They recover it easy enough, but the bounty hunters (led by the Undertaker, Mark Calaway) have already arrived, and are hungry for blood! They ambush Shep and Charlie while the two are trying to steal some special crystals for Shep’s spaceship, and then a big macho-man battle with plenty of wall smashing and table slams breaks out. Shep and Charlie win (of course) and head back to the spaceship so that Shep can leave, and take the dangerous bounty on his head with him. Unfortunately, they are rudely surprised by General Suitor, who is very much alive and well! He has captured Charlie’s family as hostages, and wants to finish off the accursed Shep Ramsey with his own two hands(and a ray gun). Shep sets his spaceship to self-distruct and, with some help from Charlie, is able to trap Suitor in some electrical chords until the explosion. Shep and Charlie barely make it out alive, and the universe is now safe until the next crazy villain comes along. Shep takes the ship that the bounty hunters came in, and takes one of Charlie’s co-workers (Jo Ann Dearing) for some mid-flight fun. Oh, and he gives Charlie one of those tracable ray guns just for fun….smart.
The trailer for this movie is on so many of my old VHS tapes (look ’em up, kids) that certain scenes have been drilled in to my head(“I was frozen today!!”). The best part about watching it is seeing Hulk Hogan skillfully go from being annoyed by everything to wanting to help everybody. His encounters with everyone are just plain-old silly, from beating up a mime to sling-shotting cats, but you can always see that he wants to do the right thing(and beat people up). I recommend this movie for anyone that wasn’t allowed to watch TV as a child, as well as anyone who was allowed. Let’s be honest, who can pass up an opportunity to see a completely shallow and obviously half-assed movie that doesn’t get too preachy and runs only 90 minutes? Hopefully no one, or my faith in mankind would be shaken. Watch it with my blessing, and rewatch it if it’s been a few years.
Until next time, boids and gils, don’t stop watching those bad movies ’til you lose your mind.