Big John Studd's performance is still the best thing about 'Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man'

Originally published at: Big John Studd's performance is still the best thing about 'Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man' | Boing Boing


I couldn’t make it through that preview. But I will never ride a bull when I can take a bus.


Reminds me of the character names in Max Barry’s novel Jennifer Government.

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I was reminded of Repo Man. Otto is taunted with “Otto Partz?” when his name is in fact Otto Maddox. Then there’s Bud, and Miller, and Lite.

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You might think Big John Studd’s motorcycle bowling is the best thing about HDATMM and that’s fine. But there are many other best things about this movie.

  • Mickey Rourke
  • Mickey Rourke shoots Don Jonson
  • Harley’s custom built Harley Davidson FXR Evo motorcycle
  • Harley’s two-piece flat-track racing leathers
  • Tia Carrere before Wayne’s World
  • Virginia Slim’s futuristic police Honda Pacific Coast PC800
  • The Aeroplane Graveyard

Okay, so it is a flawed movie. It doesn’t have very much of a plot, and even more so it doesn’t really have a point. I went to see it on it’s opening night (pretty much no one else did) and I left the cinema with a confused mix of disappointment and satisfaction. But mostly disappointment.

But I kept being drawn back to it. And I gradually realised that despite its flaws, its essentially a joyful movie about friendship and every time I watch it I’m left feeling uplifted.

But for me, the best thing about HDATMM is the opening sequence. Even if you’ve never ridden a motorcycle, if you have an ounce of romance in your soul you will realise that there is a quintessential truth to this scene.

Harley bids farewell to his beautiful companion, gears up and goes through a complicated motorcycle start-up procedure before roars off into the dawn.

It speaks of moving on, of new beginnings, of new adventures. Sometimes when I’m feeling down, I watch this sequence (below) and it it cheers me right up.

Then the rest of the movie starts, and well, your mileage may vary…

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Unfair! You mention the “Big John Studd powerslides a motorcycle” scene, but you don’t include a clip! I would love to see that bit again! (sigh and my google-fu is failing me - I can’t find it!)

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