Santa with Muscles

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Santa with Muscles
VHS Poster
Directed byJohn Murlowski
Written by
  • Jonathan Bond
  • Fred Mata
  • Dorrie Krum Raymond
Produced by
CinematographyMichael Gfelner
Edited by
  • William Marrinson
  • Stephen R. Myers
Music byJames Covell
Distributed by
Release date
  • November 8, 1996 (1996-11-08)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$220,198

Santa with Muscles is a 1996 American Christmas comedy film starring Hulk Hogan and directed by John Murlowski. It was released for two weeks in cinemas.


Blake Thorn (Hulk Hogan) is a conceited self-made millionaire who sells bodybuilding supplements and equipment that have his picture on them. One day, while recklessly playing paintball, he is targeted by police. He is chased to a shopping mall, where he hides by putting on a Santa costume. He slides down a garbage chute to escape the police and bangs his head, resulting in amnesia. Mistaken by Lenny (Don Stark) as the mall Santa, Blake begins to think he really is Santa Claus. Meanwhile, the evil scientist Ebner Frost (Ed Begley Jr.) tries to take over an orphanage in order to gain access to the magical crystals underneath it and dispatches his henchmen to destroy it. However, Blake after discovering that being Santa has made him a better person and that Frost wants to destroy the very same orphanage he grew up in, manages to rescue the children. Frost and his henchmen are arrested, but the orphanage is destroyed due to the overload of the crystals. Frost's compound is now the new orphanage founded and helped run by Blake. Many more orphans have joined since then. They all watch though a telescope at Frost and his henchman doing hard labor in the prison yard.



Box office[edit]

The film was released on 8 November 1996, the film garnered $120,932 in box office receipts during its opening weekend and grossed a total of $220,198 during its two-week run.[1]

Critical response[edit]

Film critic Emanuel Levy gave the film a score of 2 out of 5.[2] Joe Leydon in Variety described Santa with Muscles as a "weakling of a comedy" and thought that Hogan's performance was lacking the charisma of his previous work such as Suburban Commando. Leydon panned the direction in particular, stating: "Working from an irredeemably bland screenplay, John Murlowski directs with all the enthusiasm of someone going through the motions to pay off a debt."[3] Chris Hicks, writing for the Deseret News, stated that films such as Santa with Muscles make films like Jingle All The Way look better, and said that Hulk Hogan "makes Arnold Schwarzenegger seem like Laurence Olivier".[4] MaryAnn Johanson of Flick Filosopher called it "a deeply awful comedy" and "Believe me, it’s even dumber than it sounds."[5]


Reception for Santa with Muscles has continued to be negative. As of December 2011 it was listed at number 62 on IMDB's bottom 100 movies.[6] It was listed as number 43 out of 50 worst children's films by Total Film,[7] and was included in Virgin Media's list of worst Christmas movies.[8] The film was also included on Atlantic City Weekly's list of worst holiday films, ranking third behind Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and the Star Wars Holiday Special.[9] Due to Hogan's starring role, the film has been featured on the website Wrestlecrap, which acts as a "Hall of Shame" for the worst gimmicks and storylines in pro wrestling history.[10] When Golden Globe nominee Mila Kunis, who made her film debut, was asked about the film in 2011 by GQ magazine, she said, "I was too young to fully understand the importance of working with Hulk Hogan. I just thought he was this huge man", while comparing the film to American Psycho 2 in which she co-starred with William Shatner.[11] In 2021, Santa with Muscles was featured on the YouTube channel RedLetterMedia as part of their series, Best of the Worst.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Santa With Muscles (PG)". Archived from the original on 7 June 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  2. ^ "Santa with Muscles Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  3. ^ Leydon, Joe (18 November 1996). "Santa with Muscles". Variety. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  4. ^ Hicks, Chris (10 December 1996). "Santa with Muscles". Deseret News. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Santa with Muscles (review)". 1999-12-11. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  6. ^ Sharp, John (4 December 2011). "THN Advent Calendar Day Four: Santa With Muscles". The Hollywood News. Archived from the original on 6 December 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2011. It is true that SWM is, at the time of writing, no.62 on IMDB's top 100 worst ever movies list.
  7. ^ "43. Santa with Muscles". Total Film. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Movies For a Crappy Christmas: Santa with Muscles". Virgin Media. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  9. ^ Billow, Craig; Kinney, Josh (2 December 2011). "ACW's Weekend Hot Tub Party - Best & Worst Holiday Movies". Atlantic City Weekly. Archived from the original on 5 December 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  10. ^ "Previous Inductions". Wrestlecrap. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  11. ^ Marchese, David (August 2011). "...And She's Funny, Too: A GQ&A with Mila Kunis". GQ. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  12. ^ Best of the Worst: Christmas 2021, retrieved 2021-12-21

External links[edit]