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Movie Reviews: Wrestling With Shadows + The Story Of Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling

Hitman Hart: Wrestling With Shadows (1998)
Canadian professional wrestler Bret Hart whines, stomps around his old job as he plans to head off to a new job and complains about being ‘screwed’ as he leaves his old company. Somehow a documentary crew is there to capture it all. It is obviously all staged

~
GLOW: The Story Of Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling (2012)
From 1986 to 1990, 'G.L.O.W', an all female professional wrestling show was a huge success. Filmed in a Las Vegas hotel the low budget, neon cheapness was event TV despite the tacky attire and bizarre names. The women danced in the ring, did opening raps and comedy skits. The comedy, bad catfights, cartoon characters, camp and humour was oddly entertaining. Jackie Stallone was involved as the manager of the ‘good’ wrestlers and creator David McLane took part in the comedy skits too.

Now former wrestlers (only credited under their ring names) look back at the pain, camaraderie and success interspersed with clips from ‘G.L.O.W’ as well as sitcoms and talk shows they guest starred on. Sadly Jackie Stallone isn’t interviewed, David McLane refused to be interviewed but Mt Fiji, Matilda the Hun, Hollywood and Vine, Godiva, Ninotchka, Babe the Farmer’s Daughter, Tina Ferrari, Susie Spirit and Little Egypt are. While Little Fiji, Ashley Cartier, The Royal Hawaiian, Cpl Kelly, Attaché, Spanish Red, Palestina, Dementia, Little Feather, Americana, Debbie Debutante, Jungle Woman and Tammy Jones only appear in old clips.

Mando their trainer is interviewed as is a writer and a referee. This is a very good documentary. The clips are full of 80s charm and the backstage talk of how they were clearly divided into good and bad girls and how they lived is interesting. We get to see skits of the G.L.O.W house and locker room and a hilarious skit where David McLane’s office is in fact a public phone booth. We are regaled with tales of how they wanted to get attention and offend everyone. They did Nazi gimmicks, anti drug messages, gun fire, chainsaw attacks and people loved the women who acted like glue sniffing trailer trash.

Yet there are backstage revelations about fat shaming and various injuries. Susie Spirit suffered a horrendous ugly injury during a match (we are shown it in slow motion several times), Matilda the Hun is now wheelchair bound and the beloved G.L.O.W icon Mt Fiji has been a nursing home for years. Despite huge rating, guest appearances on Phil Donahue, Joan Rivers, Sally Jesse Raphael and ‘Married With Children’ the show was inexplicably cancelled in 1990. It is darkly rumoured that Pia Zadora who was married to one of the money men ordered the show’s cancellation out of fear he was cheating on her. Little Egypt organises a reunion where the women reminisce about 80s hair, sparkles and the G.L.O.W crown is produced and tried on. This was full of fond and not so fond memories and is really entertaining.

Best Lines:
“This is a Gestapo match! Anything goes!”

“Our giant glittery hair and little outfits.”

“Our wild make up and our skimpy costumes.”

“I give them pain!”

“Bitch fighting. People love that.”

“I think they’re paying us to show up.”

“Bikini model agencies.”

“Sleazy old smelly gym.”

“The mats had bloodstains on them.”

“Your food drove all the rats next door.”

“I’m the ref! Obey the rules!”

“I could wrestle a bear.”

“She can threaten to come over to their house.”

“Tried to offend.”

“Can I have a horse?”

“You’re a hussy!”

“We hire people to do this.”

“I’m so insane!”

“We’d set stuff on fire.”

“Afraid for my safety.”

“I tore the tendon off.”

“People thought we were killing each other.”
Tags: glow, movie review
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