The important thing to keep in mind about Santa With Muscles is that it takes place in a magical land. Not the North Pole, but some unnamed small town in the western United States in which millionaires run around unrecognized, police have no authority, no one has parents, and magical crystals simply exist.
It’s amazing to me how different Hulk Hogan looks here than he does now. Though I’ve never watched wrestling or seen Hulk Hogan in anything in general, I thought I knew what he looked like. This Hulk Hogan, with his naturally-lined face and short hair, looks nothing like the Hulk Hogan I have in my mind. Perhaps this lends itself to the idea that children believe he is Santa Claus, and not the town millionaire? (It doesn’t.)
There’s an orphanage that, as you find out over halfway through the movie, sits above some catacombs that contain magical crystals that explode when you make noise, or something like that. It blows my mind that these exist, because I can’t imagine Hulk Hogan starring in a movie where the geology wasn’t 100% accurate.
In a way, this town is like Gotham City: there’s a millionaire that no one recognizes as the hero, there’s a villain and henchmen, and police can’t do shit. Oh, and lots of orphans. One can only assume that the endless amount of orphans at the end of the movie are an unfortunate result of this Gotham City-like world. Stan Sitwell murdered a lot of parents.
As a big fan of watching awful movies it’s very difficult to say where Santa With Muscles stands. It was certainly ridiculous, weird, and over the top but I’m not sure if it held my interest as much as I had hoped. Certainly what saved it was having Elizabeth there to talk about the absurd physics and giant plot holes that lay in the story.
One might say that, “Of course this movie was bad, it had Hulk Hogan in it,” where I could say the exact opposite. However, it never truly felt like the Hogan in this film is the Hogan we all know and love in our hearts. It sounds stupid but in this film the Hulkster had short hair and it was extremely off-putting. When I sit on my couch and pop in a Hulk classic I want it to seem like they wrote the film around his wrestling persona. True, the word muscle is in the title but it felt like Hogan was trying to become this character on screen instead of just playing the same person he is between the ropes.
Overall this movie was enjoyable and definitely the first of many more Hogan films to come. I can’t say that it put me in any Christmas spirit but it certainly left me with the feeling that I need to start watching wrestling again….it’s too bad Randy Savage didn’t have the same kind of movie career!!