While wrestling waned in popularity in the past decade, it’s experienced a slow comeback with the introduction of new wrestlers, new angles, and new federations like the AEW. The new Wrestlemania show premiered last weekend to mixed reaction from fans, meanwhile WWE has been making its mark on Netflix. They premiered the family sitcom “The Big Show” about the life of the former wrestler, and today released “The Main Event,” a kids’ sports comedy about a kid who enters a wrestling competition in the WWE to become the next superstar.
As an on again, off again fan of the sport since I was old enough to walk, I thought I’d list five great wrestling movies. These are of course fictional Wrestling films, as we have enough exploitative documentaries about the rise and fall of various superstars.
With the Umbrella Academy making waves on Netflix and Marvel getting the ball rolling on “X-Men,” DC and Warner get a jump on the formula with their adaptations of “Doom Patrol.” Although the series is now widely acclaimed and mostly celebrated by comic book fans alike, “Doom Patrol” brings with it a huge legacy. It’s widely and arguably considered the precursor to Marvel’s “X-Men” and many fans argue that Marvel outright stole the premise from right under DC Comics. The elements are all mostly the same right down to a massive mansion housing these various super beings.
Most recently, the sequel to “The Big Lebowski” was released in theaters without much fanfare and much of a response, if we’re going to be honest. I wasn’t even aware there was a sequel in the works until I came across the trailer online by accident. “The Jesus Rolls” lacks just about everything “The Big Lebowski” brought to cult cinema, and John Turturro never makes much of an argument for why Jesus Quintana deserved a sequel/spin off during the entire film. It is pretty sad, considering I wouldn’t have minded if Jesus ended up sparking a cult classic in the same league as The Dude.
That said, here are five other sequels that came years (sometimes decades) later, and flopped big time.
In 2000, Syfy (then known as Sci Fi Channel) was undergoing a transition in programming that included the introduction of “original programming.” Among these new shows was “The Invisible Man,” a series that mixed classic HG Wells’ science fiction classic, with comedy, drama, crime, science fiction, fantasy, and some good old fashioned espionage and heist antics. The story followed Darien Fawkes (Vincent Ventresca), an inept cat burglar who accidentally murders the owner of a condo attempting to steal some jewels. He’s caught by authorities and given life in prison with only one way out: he can go free if he promises to sign up for a clandestine government program by a mysterious government benefactor.
He agrees to the stipulation and is injected with an experimental formula known as “Quicksilver.”
I was a hardcore He-Man fan when I was a child. He’s pretty much the precursor to my obsession with Superman and for many years fueled my love for fantasy and action. My love for He-Man is long and storied, especially with how he helped me appreciate the fantasy genre, and I look forward to a time where he can come back and enthrall a new generation of fans. It seems like the time for a He-Mannaisance is rapidly approaching, thankfully, and I couldn’t help but think back to “Masters of the Universe.” In 1987 studios were still searching far and wide for their own “Star Wars” that would allow them to pump out action figures and all kinds of merchandise for young fans.
Unless you’re in the Berlanti-verse, DC and Warner doesn’t seem to know what the heck they’re doing with their properties on TV these days. After a surge in TV shows based on their IP’s, they suddenly were all wiped off the air and left for future discussions on what could have been, by comic book geeks all over the world. It’s a shame because, since while all of DC and Warner’s TV series don’t re-invent the wheel, they’re at least bold enough to try something new and unique. Your mileage will vary when it comes to “Krypton” and “Swamp Thing” Blu-Ray releases, but you have to give them credit for at least thinking outside the box.
After some um—rather interesting internet ballyhoo, “Sonic the Hedgehog” is finally brought to the big screen in what is a shockingly good adaptation. Although I’d argue that the “video game movie curse” ended in 2018 (ahem–“Tomb Raider”), “Sonic the Hedgehog” does open the door for more, higher quality video game movies down the road. While I’d be hard pressed to say that “Sonic” re-invents the wheel, it also dodges a lot of video game movie pitfalls by side stepping cloying pop culture references, and paying homage to the source material.
Before the over-the-top mayhem and dark humor of Amazon’s The Boys, before the post-apocalyptic nightmare of The Walking Dead, before the sprawling space adventure of Avengers: Endgame, there was MARS ATTACKS! The original pulp sci-fi card set, released by Topps in 1962, influenced them all.
Now nearly six decades later, The Topps Company has licensed Mars Attacks to SideKick Lab, who will develop, produce, and publish a new series of Mars Attacks trading cards, which is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter. This campaign was fully funded in just over an hour!