Director: Hal Needham
Writers: Steve Burkow, Shel Lytton
Stars: Dirk Benedict, Tanya Roberts, Roddy Piper, Sam Fatu(Tonga Kid), Capt Lou Albano and Afa and Sika(Wild Samoans)
In looking into the Roddy Piper movie library I came across a hidden 1987 gem called “Bodyslam”. There is nothing like a movie about pro wrestling starring guys from the business. The movie’s initial release was delayed due to legal issues between the producers and director Hal Needham. The project never had a theatrical release which may be why it is not more popular.
The movie stars Dirk Benedict (Face from The A-Team) as a M. Harry Smilac a music manager who has hit hard times. Smilac bogged down by debt gets a break into a new business when he runs into Quick Rick Roberts played by Roddy Piper and starts to manage his wrestling career. Roberts then refers good old Harry to his buddy Tonga Tom played by Sam Fatu (Tonga Kid) and he also begins managing him too. Smilac’s start in the wrestling business does not make him any friends early as he becomes rival to Rick’s former manager Captain Lou Murano played by Lou Albano.
With worlds of wrestling, politics and music coming at Harry he doesn’t seem to know which way is up or down. He is fighting debt collectors who like to destroy cars and the repo man always chasing down his cars. Smilac makes a turn when he figures out that his two professions of rock music and wrestling can work together. The rock and wrestling concept may sound familiar to you 1980s kids and that is why this movie is a must see.
Piper and Tonga are not the only real wrestlers in this movie. The Wild Samoans, are seen throughout the picture and one half of the rival tag team in the movie is played by The Barbarian. There are also cameos from Bruno Sanmartino, Ric Flair and Classy Freddie Blassie. In a movie starring Face from A-Team what more can you ask for.
This movie rates as a US Champion
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr