How embarrassing, they misspelled Huk Ho-Gan.

It occurred to me yesterday that I have been taking things way to easy on my film reviews, I mean the last three movies I've done have actually been good, and that is bad. With that in mind, I turned to my queue of terrible movies that I have been sitting on for the past few weeks for inspiration, but none was to be had. I didn't want to watch a movie with a great premise but flawed execution, nor a movie that, if handled just a teeny bit differently could have been good; no, I needed a movie that was just over the top bad. A movie that you know, from moment one is going to hurt. A movie with no redeemable value.

I needed a movie with Hulk Hogan.

Luckily for me, I remembered a trailer for a film that came on my old VHS copy of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", well actually I remembered one scene from the trailer, Christopher Lloyd yelling, "I was FROZEN today," and the perfect film just popped right into my head, "Suburban Commando", and even more lucky for me, it is on Youtube, because the hell I was going to do any work to find this thing other than typing it's name into Google.

I may be a masochist, but I am lazy too.

In "Suburban Commando", Hulk Hogan plays intergalactic hero Shep Ramsey, who, despite being named after a brand of dog food and having a bald spot the size of a small planet, is routinely called upon to save the universe, so routinely, in fact that his work has begun to suffer and, after damaging his space ship, he is ordered to lay low on Earth and recharge his ship, and his brain. He ends up bunking with Christopher Lloyd, a high strung family man, and they both learn about themselves while learning about each other. No wait, that was Mork and Mindy... and Alf. Starman. Out Of This World.
That episode of The Flintstones where The Great Gazo shows up. Martin.

This is called a throw back joke, wherein a reference a joke made in a previous review. Damn Gina. Damn.

Ah, it feels good to watch a movie that just sucks from moment one, and doesn't build up my hopes with a good first act and a bubmbled second and third. From the first scene you know this movie will blow, harder than a leaf blower in a gay bar...wait, I think I got something mixed up there. We are treated to an open that calls upon the opening of "Star Wars", but if that opening was filmed by a ten year old. Ships look like toys, rotoscoped laser blasts look like they are painted on with MS Paint, there is no rhyme or reason to anything going on on the screen at all.

Taking a step to the side here, let me explain that last comment. The opening of "A New Hope" is iconic in it's simplicity. We open on a planet, clearly not Earth, it is quiet, peaceful. That peace is broken by a space ship flying into screen, chased by a much larger, angular ship, blasting it to hell. In that scene the whole back story of the movie is laid out. We know that war has torn the universe asunder (well the name of the movie tells us that). We know that the fighters in the smaller, organic looking ship are the underdogs, and thus the good guys. We know that the huge, dominating ship is full of bad guys. We can gather all we need with a glance, because the director (Lucas, amazingly) planned it that way. In "Suburban Commando", ships are flying all over the place, and the giant ship appears in the midst of general chaos, you don't know what to think, and by this point (30 seconds in) you just stop caring who is who. It is a feeling of sensory overload, you see people getting exploded, but since we don't know who they are, or if they are good or bad, we don't care.

As it turns out, the big ship is bad, and is helmed by some guy in a cloak who has vague ambitions to take over the universe, and he does it by kidnapping a president. A president of a planet apparently. Because sure, why not. Hulk Hogan boards the spaceship, and tears down the cockpit door. Hulk Hogan takes the two pilo...guards that have already made their sacrifice. Hulk Hogan. Assume the control. Hulk Hogan. No wait. Grahhhh. Snort.

Sort of Warriored out there. Sorry.

Anyway, Hogan saves the day, by...killing everyone, and um...well I guess he killed the President of a Planet too, which had to have caused some sort of problems back on his home world. Like some pretty major civil wars or something. In fact, by killing off a president, shouldn't Hogan now be on some random planet's most wanted list? I mean if some space ranger killed one of our world leaders, even if he was trying to help, I think we would care about that. I mean it is what happened with William "The Refrigerator" Perry back in 1993, right? That's why he went to the Eagles, for killing a world leader trying to save him. I didn't just imagine that, right? Johnny Cochran used the Super Bowl Shuffle as his opening statements. This had to have happened.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client wasn't at the scene of the crime to cause no trouble, he was simply showing Juan de Borbón y Battenberg the Super Bowl Shuffle. And therefore, you must aquit-le."

So fast forward a bit, Christopher Lloyd is a family man who can't seem to catch a break know what, he really doesn't matter in the movie. Nothing in this movie maters to this movie. Everything is sort of an after thought when compared to the real focus of "Suburban Commando":  fish out of water jokes. Every two minutes there is another fish out of water joke the audience is forced to sit through. Heehee look, Hogan thinks that the mime is trapped in an invisible force field. Ha ha. Hope you liked that gag, because almost the same one will be done three different times. Every five minutes we are reminded that Hulk Hogan isn't from Earth, and is comically befuddled by everything around him. It never seems to end. I can handle a lot of the terrible that this movie pumps out, the bad writing, the terrible special effects, Hulk Hogan sing talking in the opening music; but the fish out of water jokes almost did me in.

Anyway, two bounty hunters show up, one of which is played by a delightfully young looking Undertaker, and try to stop Hogan (they were sent by the evil guy, not by the leaderless planet), and the combination of Doc Brown and Mr. America save the day, also the climax is repeated when the evil guy shows up and does the same thing. Very formulaic, very kid friendly.

I guess I can't get down on this movie too much, because it clearly was meant to be a kids movie, but then I remember that I saw a trailer for it on the Ninja Turtles movie, which was made for kids and was infinitely darker, and better written. Kids movies can be good, and for a movie, coming this close to the 80's when every kids movie was amazing, a movie this bad is unacceptable. Kids aren't stupid, they can handle good films. In fact, if you offer a kid a chance to watch this, or Star Wars: A New Hope, which do you think they will go for? I will give you a hint, it will be the one that has grossed all the money in the world.

Meanwhile at the Skywalker Ranch.

Normally I like to take a moment at figure out how a film could be fixed, the scenario in which things could have been better. With "Suburban Commando" there is an easy cop out, originally this was going to be a film with Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but the two of them went off to make "Twins", so that didn't work. I mean no one remembers that movie, and the two of them went on to absolutely no fame whatsoever.

There is one moment in the film that almost serves as a moment of "could have been". Christopher Lloyd has been frozen, and Hulk Hogan is driving him down the road. We get an image of a stiff as a board Lloyd standing out of the skylight of a Ford Fiesta, occasionally sliding into Hogan, who pushes him over with disgust. If every scene was handled with that level of surrealism, and darkness, I think the story could have worked a lot better. Drop Hogan, replace him with a good, humorous actiony actor, like Kurt Russel, make the script darker, and funnier, and actually give the dad a few growing moments. Make is so that not only is the Hero a fish out of water, but so is the family, due to his inclusion. Make the family a bigger part of the story, and not nameless (true parts of the movie: 1.) Shelly Duvall plays the wife, Jenny, on more than one occasion she is called Shelly, on screen and 2.) Hogan saves the son at one point, and the line is actually, "We want to thank you for saving our son, Mark." at this point Hogan would have known them for several days. This is the first time the kid is named).

And, actually, I think I just described "Captain Ron", so I guess my advice is to watch "Captain Ron" instead.

Note: Don't actually watch this.

Rating C-
I would have rated it lower, but you can't have a movie with Larry Miller, Christopher Lloyd and the Undertaker and not smile a bit at how the universe works.

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