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Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘There Goes the Neighborhood- An Exploration of Hulk Hogan’s SUBURBAN COMMANDO’


Few wrestlers have transcended the sport of professional wrestling. Sure, you’ve got the Rock and Batista now, but during the 80s, the business was still an oddity. It was a culture within itself. Then came the boom of the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE). Their rise was a swift one, but it could not have come without stars. And in the 80s—even into the late 90s—there was no bigger star than Hulk Hogan.

In the early 80s, Hogan had appeared in the box office behemoth Rocky III as “Thunder Lips” and even graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. He was a face recognizable to not only fans, but general audiences.

Thus, in 1989, Hogan was catapulted into his first starring role on the big screen, No Holds Barred. The movie was a modest hit, grossing over $16 million on an $8 million budget. Its success, though, came with notoriety; enough that Hogan would be selected for another high profile part—that of Shep Ramsey in Suburban Commando

Unlike his previous film, Suburban Commando—a fish out of water tale of an intergalactic warrior forced into a vacation on earth—failed to make a profit, grossing only $8 million on a budget of $11. Despite its earned infamy as a flop, it’s a movie that must be seen; it’s an unapologetic, ridiculous B-movie that works simply because of how committed Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown from Back to the Future and many other films) is to the shtick.

I can’t say that you’ll love it, but you’ll sure find plenty to laugh at (a good bit of it unintentionally)—Shep punching a mime, skateboarding in Zubaz, and engaging in a clash with a yet to premiere in the WWE Undertaker included.

So sit back, grab a spare vial of anti-freeze, and enjoy as I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), and the Irate Lover embark on a podcasting adventure to not only save the neighborhood, but the galaxy at large.

This Weeks Segments:

  • Introduction – Our general reaction to the film and lingering questions we have. (00:00)
  • “Am I full of s**t or not?” – The Irate Lover attempts to debunk or confirm facts I discovered while investigating the interwebs. (38:33)
  • Recasting Suburban Commando We recast this amazing film, replacing all the major roles with Oscar winners. (52:54)
  • Six Degrees of Movie Separation – The Irate Lover gives me two actors, and I have to connect them in six degrees or less. I rebuffed his challenge three times in this episode. (1:06:56)
  • Recommendations – We offer up our recommendations for the week—both what to avoid and what to stream. (1:11:00)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter (@HopsandBOFlops) to check out all the interesting factoids—the video game, the unbelievable theme song, and so much more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops, as always, on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcher, Podbean, and Spotify!


Thomas L. Kelly

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