HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
PG: Psycho Goreman
Maeve
Sound of Metal
Things of Life, The
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
   
 
Newest Articles
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
   
 
  Pumping Iron Let's Get Physical
Year: 1977
Director: George Butler, Robert Fiore
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Franco Columbu, Mike Katz, Matty Ferrigno, Serge Nubret, Victoria Ferrigno, Ken Waller
Genre: DocumentaryBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Every year the two main bodybuilding contests are held: the Mr Universe, which is open to amateurs, and the Mr Olympia, in which the professionals compete. Austrian-born American Arnold Schwarzenegger has won both many times, and plans to succeed in the Mr Olympia 1975 one last time before his retirement, but the competition is tough this year, with his main rival being the American Lou Ferrigno, a promising young newcomer with a small number of wins under his belt. Can Schwarzenegger retire as a champion, or will he have to accept defeat gracefully?

No he will not, as this documentary demonstrates. Before this film was released, bodybuilding was a niche of the more eccentric line of sporting acheivement, if you can call it a sport. But after its release, bodybuilding became a minor craze, and there was barely an action movie in the eighties that didn't feature a muslebound leading man who would frequently take off his shirt for us to admire his physique. Yet the king of these actors wasn't Sylvester Stallone or Dolph Lundgren, much as they'd hate to admit it perhaps, he was Arnold Schwarzenegger, and it's here you see him show off not only his body, but his undeniable charisma as well.

Apparently sincerely, the film makers follow a small selection of competitors around as they prepare for the Mr Olympia championship in Pretoria, South Africa (there's no mention of apartheid, so this is a resolutely non-political film). The first time we get a look at Schwarzenegger is in the introduction, where he is honing his posing down to a fine art by practicing ballet moves, as if to say, yes, these men are artists, see the care and attention they put into their craft; Arnold's later comments about sculpture underline this. There's a diversion with bodybuilder Mike Katz, who enters Mr Universe and loses, which attempts psychology to explain the motivation (Katz was bullied at school) but it's the Olympia contest that the main emphasis is on.

The towering Ferrigno, we learn, has been trained by his father for some time, and the effort has paid off. Being deaf hasn't held Lou back, actually it seems to have made him more determined to succeed, but there's something missing in his makeup, in fact in the personality of most of the competitors, which is, well, personality. This is where Schwarzenegger comes in, and his star quality is apparent for everyone to see (he's announced onstage as "the one and only", so he's obviously a favourite) . And that's not all that's apparent for all to see after watching the interviews he gives, the man not only has an ego to match his size, but a ruthless streak that ensures he is a winner, too.

First we learn from Arnold that lifting weights is an almost sexual experience for him, and makes him feel like he's coming "day and night", making certain to mention that the more conventional coming he does is with women. The strong overtones of homosexuality that fetishising the male form can lend are downplayed, with photo shoots of Schwarzenegger with bikini-clad young ladies (poor Ferrigno gets to pose with a leopard). The training seqences prove the work that these men put in, but make for unexciting viewing, far more entertaining is seeing Arnold wage psychological warfare on the other contestants, and boast about it in addition. "What did you say Louis?" he asks Ferrigno as his grunting rival works out, but his insults are always tempered with a broad grin. It's no great shock who wins, as Schwarzenegger is launched to superstardom. Music by Michael Small.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 10745 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: