|Directed by||Michael Watkins|
|Produced by||Michael Pavone|
|Written by||Bear Aderhold
Thomas F. X. Sullivan
|Music by||James A. Johnston|
|Cinematography||Kenneth Zunder and Ollie Turner|
|Edited by||Peck Prior and Jai Paddam|
|Distributed by||Samuel Goldwyn Films|
|Box office||$7,927 (RSA)|
'Knucklehead' is a lowbrow comedy film starring Big Show (Paul Wight), Stuart Pointer, Melora Hardin and Dennis Farina. It was released on October 22, 2010 in select theaters and garnered negative reviews from critics finding fault in the film's premise, its execution and for being entirely cliché. The DVD was released on November 9, 2010.
Critical reaction was unanimously negative, and the film was a box office bomb. Dennis Farina later called it "the most embarrassing project I've ever been a part of".
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Walter Krunk is a 35-year-old orphan who has lived in an orphanage since childhood because he never was adopted but has made a friendship with a fellow video game addicted orphan named Henry. during a play of the Wizard of Oz Walter ruins the set during the opening due his harness malfunctioning which caused him to swing around and crash into the set. Meanwhile, retired MMA fighter Eddie Sullivan is training a fellow fighter for a tournament in New Orleans with a $100,000 prize to the winner, fellow rival Memphis Earl has also trained a bigger, scarier fighter named Redrum for the tournament, both of their trainees have a short match but Eddie's fighter is easily knocked out with one punch. Earl threatens Eddie saying that if he doesn't find a new fighter they'll beat him down bad. One day Walter is cooking with Henry when Walter suddenly goess to the bathroom and tells Henry to watch the food, Henry is distracted by a game and doesn't see that the food has started a fire, the fire department manages to put the fire out but it leaves the kitchen destroyed. a local law enforcement States that without a working kitchen the orphanage will close down and the kids will be put in foster homes unless they can get enough money to fix the kitchen in one 10 days. Eddie enters a church and asks god to let him find a good fighter in time for the tournament, the owner of the orphanage is scolding Walter for causing the fire but makes him fall into the church and Eddie decides to train to be his fighter. After watching his video advertisement they are reluctant since Walter is not much of a fighter but the owner agrees due to that it's their only option and agree but they threaten Eddie that if he runs away with the money they'll hurt him bad, so she makes Mary Alice go with them and persuades Walter with saying what happens to the other orphans and set off for matches around the nearby city's and States in the orphanage school bus. The first match is in Jefferson city at a church, Eddie decides to tape and upload the match highlights for internet fan buzz, during the match Walter doesn't show much of a fight and is easily dominated but manages to win when he falls on his opponent making him submit. Meanwhile, Memphis Earl and Redrum go to the gym and want to see Eddie but his father tells them that he isn't there and got a new fighter, they want to know who it is but he refused to tell them even after intimidating him. That night at a motel Mary and Walter have a talk about the situation with the choice to fight, Mary doesn't want it to go but Walter changes her mind by saying that he's on the road for the first time in his life and that he's doing something important to himself. Meanwhile, Earl and Redrum have found the group at the motel and threaten Eddie to stay away from New Orleans. The next day driving to the next match the bus engine starts smoking causing the bus to crash into a pole and eventually explodes, Eddie, Mary and Walter escape unharmed. Walking on the road with only $200 Mary manages to get a truck driver to take them to the next match, the next fight is at a kids house where he hosts fights in his backyard and pays the fighters with the attendance money from other kids. While Eddie gives Walter a pep talk to get him riled up the kids dad notices the fights and goes on a rampage telling everyone to get out of his yard, Walter runs into the backyard and tackles the dad into the fence thinking he was his opponent. Eddie calls his dad who got injured because of Earl and Redrum and tells him to enter the tournament and win to avenge him, Mary takes them to a trailer park where her friend Tina lives, they tell her of the situation and remembers that at a nearby carnival there was a sign that offered anyone to fight a grizzly bear with a $500 prize and gives Walter a new look (shaving his head and giving tattoo's), and falls in love with Tina. Walter manages to win with a choke hold and is given the nickname "the Bear Basher". Later that night while riding a bus Walter has a serious gas attack that leads to the group being kicked off the bus, meanwhile Memphis Earl has found that Walter is a serious threat and might win the tournament so he decides to adopt Henry and hold him hostage but the owner refuses to let him adopt even after he promises a good life for him. The group walks to a gas station and Eddie goes in to ask for directions to a rental car company, a motorcycle gang shows up and starts messing around with Mary, Eddie attempts to help but is outnumbered by them, Walter comes and fights them off, Eddie goes in to get the security footage and continue their journey on one of the gang member's motorcycle. During a camp out Mary and Walter ask Eddie why he retired from fighting and then make jokes saying a was a testicular injury, threw out the journey Walter wins more fights earning more money while Eddie teaches Mary and Walter more fighting moves. During another camp out Eddie and Mary start having feelings for each other. Finally arriving in New Orleans Eddie checks the group in to a luxury hotel, plans a pre-fight celebration for a night on the town and buys Mary a dress and Walter a tuxedo. At the restaurant Eddie tells Walter to not stare but Eddie does when Mary walks in, some girls invite Walter to dance but Mary stays at their table. Mary gets drunk from drinking Eddie's drink and confronts the Waitress when she sees her talking to Eddie which results in a fight ending with Mary knocking out the Waitress with a spinning heel kick. The following day while Walter is preparing for the tournament at the hotel Tina shows up giving a pair of shorts that she made for him. During the sign in Mary calls the owner saying that the trip is almost over but after the call ended a fellow worker informed the owner that they couldn't find Henry. The man who is in charge of the sign in says that Eddie didn't pre register so Walter can't compete, Mary tells everyone who Walter is so they get in to the tournament. Both Walter and Redrum make it to the finals, backstage Eddie's dad shows up not wanting to miss the main event, Eddie not sure if Walter will win asks his dad to make sure that the money they made on the road makes to the orphanage. Memphis Earl reveals to Mary in the Girls bathroom why Eddie retired, it was because he was banned from fighting for life for taking a dive in a title fight and that he only cares about himself and probably betting against Walter now. When she confronts Eddie, before he can explain the situation the orphanage workers reveal that Memphis Earl has kidnapped Henry and is holding hostage unless Walter takes a dive in the fight, Eddie plans to have the match stalled while the workers look for Henry knowing that Earl won't leave with Redrum in the ring. During the fight Earl shows up with Henry to distract Walter but this makes him angry enough to win the fight by Submission and Memphis Earl is arrested for kidnapping. During the celebration Eddie's dad reveals that he bet the $4,000 on Walter to win and got $80,000 for the orphanage, Eddie and Mary kiss to end the scene. Walter is then filling a moving truck for his new apartment, he notices Henry looking upset and Henry tells him its because he's moving and he's not and that he is losing his best friend, Walter tells that he's going to adopt Henry and wouldn't leave him behind, they hug to end the movie.
- Paul Wight as Walter Krunk
- Mark Feuerstein as Eddie Sullivan
- Melora Hardin as Mary
- Stuart Pointer as Himself
- Kurt Doss as Henry
- Dennis Farina as Memphis Earl
- Wendie Malick as Sister Francesca
- Rebecca Creskoff as Tina
- Will Patton as Vic Sullivan
- Lester Speight as Redrum
- Saul Rubinek as Rabbi
- Bobb'e J. Thompson as Mad Milton
- Lurie Poston as Todd
- Lance E. Nichols as Milton's Dad
- Jake Austin Walker as Dennis
This is WWE Studios' second produced film (the first being Legendary, starring fellow wrestler John Cena), with Samuel Goldwyn Films. Filming began in New Orleans, Louisiana, and finished in November 2009.
The film has received generally negative reviews by critics. Slant Magazine gave the film half a star out of 5 stars, writing that the film's title is "a description for both the film and anyone who chooses to be its audience." About.com gave it 2 out of 5 stars, commenting that "while the movie has a ridiculous premise, somehow the execution of the story lines were even worse, Stuart Pointer's acting performance was deemed somewhat clumsy." Variety wrote that the acting "leaves a bit to be desired", and that "no one in the cast is that strong". Film Journal International called it a "lame comedy about a big doofus who enters the fight game manages to take every cliché in the book and render them even more clichéd." The New York Times called the film "mediocre".
- "Knucklehead – International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- "The Big Show Goes Full-Retard in 'Knucklehead'". Screen Junkies. November 4, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2010.
- Schager, Nick (October 16, 2010). "Knucklehead | Film Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
- Anderson, John (October 21, 2010). "Knucklehead". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved November 9, 2010.
- "Film Review: Knucklehead". Film Journal International. The Hollywood Reporter. October 22, 2010. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
- Hale, Mike (October 21, 2010). "Paul Wight Stars in the W.W.E. Film 'Knucklehead'". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved November 9, 2010.