GLOW the Movie Review



Originally posted to Under Scoop FIRE, but presented here with some tweaks. Better yet, there are no silly lists to get in the way.

Film directed by Brett Whitcomb.

In the late 1980s, David McClane carved a niche in the worlds of professional wrestling and weekly television. His creation, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (G.L.O.W.), emphasized the innate goofiness of pro wrestling with a roster of women wrestling under colorful personas. G.L.O.W.’s blend of style and silliness kept it popular with viewers from 1986 to 1990.

There was plenty of goofy rapping.

GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, is a result of a successful Kickstarter campaign. The movie provides comments from several alumni: Big Bad Mama, Little Egypt, Matilda the Hun, Godiva, Hollywood & Jailbait, the Housewives, and so on. It’s easy to imagine what types of characters they are from just reading the names. None of the interview subjects seem bitter. Even Ninotchka, who has no Soviet Union to go to anymore, appears content.

It helps that Tina Ferrari, possibly the most famous G.L.O.W. alumnus, contributes her thoughts. The documentary is almost wrestler-centric as the ladies speak of a time of true sisterhood underneath the show business and job restrictions (e.g. KAYFABE!). G.L.O.W.’s end supposedly came due to the personal troubles of a key investor, the then-owner of the Riviera hotel in Las Vegas. Those details are covered in the movie.

I hesitate to say “G.L.O.W. should’ve lasted a few more years,” since pro wrestling’s general popularity cooled off in the early 1990s. The filmmakers make me submit to being fond of this defunct organization, though.

Poster for GLOW the MovieNot everything in G.L.O.W. was glorious as these ladies share some of their frustrations (training with Mando Guerrero, curfews, the ironfisted Matt Cimber) and pains (brutal injuries are discussed; some of the ladies are currently unable to walk). One wrestler given notable coverage is Mountain Fiji, now the sadly immobile Emily Dole living in a retirement home. If your favorite part of G.L.O.W. was watching the personalities then you’ll really like this.

It’s too bad McClane declined to be interviewed for the movie. In his place, I have the impression that show director Matt Cimber was the major creative force behind G.L.O.W. He doesn’t sit down and comment like the wrestlers, but the ladies’ comments make him a more memorable presence than the G.L.O.W. founder. Without McClane’s participation, the movie remains festive but not whole.

At least we see his off-rhythm rapping.

The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling! Source: GLOW Movie’s Facebook page.

These Gorgeous Ladies achieved a piece of late-80s stardom. The home recording quality of the G.L.O.W. gals on talk shows and Married With Children provide a sort of nostalgia filter. The nostalgia returns when the G.L.O.W. reunion occurs. I mention Mountain Fiji earlier; she joins the rest in a heartwarming moment. The footage of the reunion is a joyous occasion that will satisfy G.L.O.W. fans.

She’s greeted with the G.L.O.W. rap. Awwww.

I may not have the strongest memories of G.L.O.W. when it originally aired, but I’m the type to seek out stuff like this. (Remember Grudge Match?) GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling is a refreshing break from the grittier looks at pro wrestling. LOGO aired a slightly shorter version of the GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling in March 2013.

Enough of me teasing the G.L.O.W. folks about rapping. Here’s my own rap. Not the best effort, I admit:

They were tough.
They were shrill.
Is McClane related
to Todd Pettingill?

If you like my review of GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling then here are more pro wrestling articles or movie reviews. I’m also on Twitter @redheadedmule & Subscribe to the RHM RSS Feed for more movie insights.

Official Sites

GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, where you can purchase the DVD
GLOW The Movie on Facebook
Official Merchandising

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Author: Clarence

Webmaster, editor, writer of Red-Headed Mule. RHM was founded in 2011. Currently is liking British TV better than U.S. TV, mayhaps.