Schlock Watch: Over The Top

Hello and Welcome to our newest category: SCHLOCK WATCH! Schlocktoberfest is always a high point for Hard Ticket to Home Video so we decided that reviewing only horror flicks just isn’t enough sadomasochism and we should be covering all the genres like Sci-Fi, Action/Adventure, Post-Nuke, Kung-Fu flicks, Rape/Revenge flicks, Blaxploitation flicks, Movies about Gladiators, etc! May Crom have mercy on our souls.


Over The Top (1986)


*Spoilers Throughout*

 Menahem Golan (Enter the Ninja, The Delta Force)

Schlock Category: Drama, Sports

Happy Birthday Sly!

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:

  • I guess arm wrestling to middle-age truckers is like soccer to kids. Anyone can participate and there’s not much equipment involved. In soccer you basically just need the ball, in arm wrestling you just need a table and low self-esteem.
  • Stirling Silliphant won an Oscar for the screenplay for In the Heat of the Night! What a downward spiral for Mr. Silliphant. He was quite prolific, he wrote a bunch of Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes, Village of the Damned, In the Heat of the Night, The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, Shaft in Africa, The Enforcer, Telefon, and The Swarm.
  • I love how Stallone comes to the guard post of a military school in his beat up rig and they instruct him that deliveries are someplace else and he casually says he’s here to pick up his kid and they simply let him in. Top notch security.
  • What exactly are these kids graduating from here? Fifth grade?
  • This kid is more embarrassing than Stallone’s own son in Rocky V. What is with Stallone and acting with terrible kids?
  • I love how this movie can’t get the protagonist’s surname correct. Some people are saying Hawk and others are saying Hawks. Even the trailer said Hawks. Both IMDb and Wikipedia have it as Hawk. (Editor’s Note: In the credits, he is listed as Lincoln Hawk. In addition, the door on his original truck says, “Hawk.” However, Robert Loggia’s character refers to him variously as Hawks and Hawk, as do many members of the supporting cast. Finally, Hawk writes a letter to his wife and addresses it to Christina Hawks.)
  • People are staring at Hawk(s) because his clothes are subpar.


  • How many times is the name Mike said in this movie? Almost every line, especially spoken by Stallone contains this kid’s name.
  • Was it intentional to have this kid’s name Mike Hawk?
  • A school principal can order a student to go home with his father?
  • How exactly does one get the reputation as not only a good arm wrestler but a serious arm wrestler? Is there a seedy underworld of tough guys meeting at dives and truck stops competing (for money) in arm wrestling like cockfighting? Is there really a major competition in Vegas for arm wrestling? How is this a serious sport for crowds to pay to watch these guys arm wrestle? It may just be my opinion but it’s not a very interesting competition between two dudes sitting down holding hands.
  • Couldn’t the kid have waited a few more minutes for a better place to pull over where he wouldn’t get raped by the grill of a Datsun?
  • He actually takes arm wrestling so seriously that he installed a weightlifting pulley in his big rig!
  • And if I recall correctly didn’t this flick more or less spark a decent interest in professional arm wrestling? I seem to remember the licensed Over The Top arm wrestling set with the table top application with the handles to hold with your opposite hand and the grooves to put your wrestling elbow in to keep it in place. We should check eBay and see if anyone is selling one.
  • HAHAHAHAHA. There was actual action figures! 


  • I’m 25 minutes in and I’m already regretting watching this turd. How are they getting along already? This kid asked for his biological father’s ID to leave the military school with him because he didn’t believe he was his father and practically killed himself on a highway trying to run away from him and now he’s already sleeping on his shoulder and exercising with him in the morning while Kenny Loggin’s love theme plays in the background. Did I miss something?
  • Isn’t it highly illegal for anyone not licensed for an 18-wheeler to drive one much less a 12-year-old? Lincoln Hawk(s) is no saint.
  • Take a good look at the scumbag kid in the mullet that Stallone picks up to arrange his effeminate son to arm wrestle?
  • I wouldn’t ask that kid for the time much less casually ask him to arm wrestle. Come on! Who the hell arm wrestles? If some dude asked me if I arm wrestle I’d run fast in the opposite direction and get the police. And what is that creepy life lesson he gave Mike when he got beat by the mullet kid? It’s goddamned arm wrestling!
  • Remember when Seth Brundle arm wrestles that guy in The Fly and breaks his arm in half? Jeff Goldblum’s facial expression after he does that is priceless. Sorry my mind wandered because I’m so freaking bored.
  • What kind of grandfather hires goons to kidnap his grandson from his rightful father? Robert Loggia. That’s who.


  • If this kid wore a girl’s wig I would be none-the-wiser.
  • Is it possible to crash a funeral? Lincoln Hawk(s) can! And interrupt the priest’s prayer too!
  • I cannot fathom the lengths both Hawk(s) and Loggia go to for this kid? I’d go out of my way and the law to get rid of this kid. Well maybe Lincoln got himself arrested on purpose to never see Mike Hawk(s) again.
  • The love theme is playing AGAIN? Eech.
  • Did Lincoln Hawk(s) sell his truck to Harvey Fierstein? Man that guys voice was froggy.
  • “Now that’s what I call gambling.” no, gambling is making a multi-million dollar movie starring Stallone about arm wrestling.
  • How does this kid know how to get to Vegas and the exact place in Vegas that the competition is taking place?
  • Thanks for explaining what a double elimination is Mr. Announcer. And why does he explain it four or five times?
  • Some professional arm wrestler is wearing an Alka Seltzer shirt. Is he sponsored by Alka Seltzer?
  • It would be so awesome if there was a wrestler that was kinda nerdy, like an Eddie Deezen type but had this massively huge and buff right arm just for the purpose of pro arm wrestling.
  • How does Stallone go from Rocky IV to this? That’s like going from driving a Porsche to a Ford.
  • How can one actually be psyched out in arm wrestling? It’s just a matter of strength against someone else’s. There’s no strategy or technique. Any two kids could do it in grade school. How is Hawk(s) hesitating to wrestle Bull Hurley? This is absurd.
  • And why is Loggia allowing his grandson to watch the match. He says after this is over we’re leaving. That’s awfully nice of him considering how much of a dick he’s been this whole movie and that the kid stole his car and drove to Vegas and he also absolutely hates Lincoln Hawk(s).
  • Well that was exciting. I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation in how the match was going to turn out.

Exploitation Level (Gore, Nudity, Etc.): None. I can’t even remember a lady being in this picture. And it would be awfully awesome if an arm wrestling movie had blood, like Stallone broke a few arms but alas that’s asking too much.

Best Scene: Well it is a “sports” flick. A dumb sport though so there’s not too much to rave about it. Even in a boring sports flick you’d expect the actual competition scenes to have some excitement but not so much with an arm wrestling movie. However, the scene where Lincoln forces puny Mike Hawk to arm wrestle some tough kids in an arcade is really great. I mean, how awkward and unusual is it for someone like Stallone to proposition some young kids to arm wrestle and do it for money! He’s essentially using kids to gamble and thinks his wimpy kid could take on some older kid. Then after Mike embarrasses himself and runs away Stallone pretty much tells him that he lost because he let himself get beat (and not because of actual physics) and then says he grew up too privileged and is a spoiled brat. What a great scene.

Worst Scene: But then that same scene continues and Mike works up enough courage to face the kid again and beats him twice! It’s ridiculous!!

Best Line: “I drive truck, break arms, and arm wrestle. It’s what I love to do, it’s what I do best. Being number one is everything. There is no second place. Second sucks.” ~ Bull Hurley

Well How Schlocky Is It?: I hated this movie back in 1987 or whenever I caught it on cable and it’s still a big dumb picture. Back then, I would watch anything Stallone made and I think this and Rhinestone were his biggest disappointments. This was the beginning of the end for Cannon films who made such great cheeseball schlock in the 80s especially in the action genre and within a few years they would crumble and make nothing but unwatchable crap. I was hoping that Over the Top would age like a fine wine and become a movie worth watching for the jokes and riffs but nope, not really. It’s still as bad as I remember it. I would only recommend it if you enjoy Stallone enough and could sit through such sappy melodramatic schmaltz with a lot of faces looking like they are passing a stone. If that’s what you’re looking for, then this is the picture for you!


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