Santa with Muscles
Santa with Muscles is a 1996 American Christmas comedy film starring Hulk Hogan and directed by John Murlowski. The film was released for two weeks in cinemas; it was panned by critics and has since appeared on a number of lists of films considered the worst.
Blake Thorn (Hulk Hogan) is a self-made millionaire who sells bodybuilding supplements and equipment. 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 manages to rescue the children.
- Hulk Hogan - Blake Thorn
- Don Stark - Lenny
- Robin Curtis - Leslie
- Garrett Morris - Clayton
- Aria Curzon - Elizabeth
- Adam Wylie - Taylor
- Mila Kunis - Sarah
- Clint Howard - Hinkley
- Steve Valentine - Dr. Blight
- Ed Begley, Jr. - Ebner Frost
- William Newman - Chas
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. Film critic Emanuel Levy gave the film a score of 2 out of 5. 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." 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".
Reception for Santa with Muscles has continued to be negative, and it is currently listed on IMDB's bottom 100 movies. It was listed as number 43 out of 50 worst children's films by Total Film, and was included in Virgin Media's list of worst Christmas movies. 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. 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. 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. Kunis and Stark then reunited together in the Fox network's That '70s Show.
- "Santa With Muscles (PG)". BoxOffice.com. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "Santa with Muscles Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- Leydon, Joe (18 November 1996). "Santa with Muscles". Variety. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- Hicks, Chris (10 December 1996). "Santa with Muscles". Deseret News. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- Sharp, John (4 December 2011). "THN Advent Calendar Day Four: Santa With Muscles". The Hollywood News. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "43. Santa with Muscles". Total Film. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "Movies For a Crappy Christmas: Santa with Muscles". Virgin Media. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- Billow, Craig; Kinney, Josh (2 December 2011). "ACW's Weekend Hot Tub Party - Best & Worst Holiday Movies". Atlantic City Weekly. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "Previous Inductions". Wrestlecrap. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- Marchese, David (August 2011). "...And She's Funny, Too: A GQ&A with Mila Kunis". GQ. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "That '70s Show Cast and Crew". TV.com. Retrieved 7 December 2011.