Santa With Muscles (1996)
Ho, Ho, Hogan!
We’re less than a month away from the big day, Christmas, and I couldn’t be more excited. I love this time of year. Not because I receive presents. Well, that’s not entirely true. Year after year, Hollywood has bestowed great cinematic gifts for me to enjoy. And no gift has ever been more appreciated by me than the 1996 yuletide classic Santa With Muscles.
If someone were to ask me who my role model is, I would have a heck of a time choosing between Hulk Hogan, and Jesus. So you can imagine how excited I was when I first heard that one of them was starring in a movie about the holiday that celebrates the other’s birth.
In Santa With Muscles, Hogan plays Blake Thorne, a rich and incredibly selfish bodybuilder, who lives with a slew of servants. He often has them recite his strict set of rules that include gems such as “never lend a hand as you may need it later.” Then he beats them into a pulp.
Things take a dramatic turn for Blake after he is involved in a high-speed chase with the police (and no, Hogan’s son Nick was not behind the wheel). Blake attempts to escape by dressing up as Santa Claus. However, after suffering a hit on the head, Blake awakes believing he is in fact Jolly Old Saint Nick.
That is good news for a group of orphans, who are about to be made homeless by a real piece of work named Ebner Frost (Ed Begley Jr.). Thorne learns some real life lessons from the youngsters, one of who is portrayed by a pre-pubescent Mila Kunis (“That 70s Show,” Forgetting Sarah Marshall). In return for these lessons, Thorne a.k.a. Santa lays the smack down on Frost’s gang of hapless thugs. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but rest assured, there are some awfully happy orphans by the end.
If I had one negative thing to say about this film (besides the fact that it needed to be at least two hours longer), I would say that it was a little unsettling seeing Hogan wearing a toupee. Hogan has been bald since the day he was born (it’s true, look it up). Seeing Hulk with a full head of hair was akin to seeing Superman without a cape, perhaps even wearing glasses, if you could imagine such a thing.
Mr. Hogan, you have given us so much over the years, and I hope you have a very happy holiday season. I hope your upcoming return to the wrestling ring at age 56 proves to be both financially and personally rewarding, and without injury – stay away from those back flips off the top rope. I hope your children remain free from incarceration and recording contracts over the next year. I hope your ex-wife remains satisfied with the ten motor vehicles she received from you, and her tens of thousands of dollars in monthly alimony payments, and does not seek custody of your moustache. Most of all, I hope that the wrestling, the reality shows and the family problems don’t deter you from returning to the silver screen. Christmas 2009 may not even be here yet, but I’ve already started my Christmas 2010 list. Item number one on that list – a sequel to Santa With Muscles! I want to see Santa on Human Growth Hormones sooner rather than later.