Saturday, February 10, 2018

Phil's Netflix Picks: GLOW: THE STORY OF THE GORGEOUS LADIES OF WRESTLING (2012) - February 5, 2018

Hello my faithful readers and welcome to a new segment entitled Phil's Netflix Picks! The reason I decided to start this was because there are a plethora of movies that never really received a theatrical release or were only seen at film festivals. Because of this, some find audiences on Netflix-either becoming a Netflix exclusive or just debuting on the streaming service provider. One of these films I watched was a documentary on one of my favorite shows from the 1980's. I grew up watching wrestling throughout this decade, and what set this apart from the WWF and NWA was that it was all about women's wrestling. Now, I can relive those fun-filled days and learn all about this revolutionary show in the 2012 documentary GLOW: THE STORY OF THE GORGEOUS LADIES OF WRESTLING.

Original Theatrical Poster (2012)
The film's official synopsis: The year is 1986. Mike Tyson has just won his first title, the Chicago Bears are super bowl champs and unlikely rap-stars, and Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW) is about to burst onto the scene as the first ever all-female wrestling show on television. Like its then sole competitor/frequent imitator, the World Wrestling Federation, GLOW was a prime-time wrestling series, complete with elaborate characters, costumes, skits, personalized raps, and, of course, wrestling. Week after week, women like Mountain Fiji, the Samoan giant with a heart of gold, and Matilda the Hun, the evil German with a taste for raw meat, battled it out for the GLOW crown. By 1989, the GLOW girls were an international phenomenon, attracting over seven million viewers worldwide, touring the nation, and making big bank for the show's producers. One year later, GLOW was gone.   

GLOW: THE STORY OF THE GORGEOUS LADIES OF WRESTLING chronicles the rise and fall of this once successful television show through the stories of those who lived it. From the initial open-call auditions, to the grueling training with wrestling legend Mando Guerrero, to over-night success and global recognition, to the show's sudden and unexpected cancellation in 1990, the GLOW girls recall their time on the show with a mixture of heartfelt nostalgia and tearful regret over injuries and the loss of friends. For some, the show was a brief foray into acting and a short-lived adventure on the way to a normal life. For others, that time in GLOW would impact and influence their lives for years to follow. For all of the women, working on GLOW was a unique and exciting experience that will bond them forever.

Director Brett Whitcomb really gives the audience an in-depth look at how the show was created and all the craziness that went on during its production. Many of the women who participated in the film provided some really interesting stories and aspects of the show while reminiscing on just how much they all had. What they didn't realize was at that time, they were pioneers - trailblazing in uncharted territory. There have been women wrestling for years, but a show centered on women's wrestling and making it a weekly show, that had never been done before.

Whitecomb was able to get some interesting and hilarious stories from several of the wrestlers, including Mt. Fiji, (Emily Dole), Little Egypt (Angelina Altishin), Ninotchka (Lorilyn Palmer), Tina Ferrari (Lisa Moretti, better known as Ivory to WWE fans) and Babe the Farmer's Daughter (Ursula Hayden) just to name a few. Others interviewed include series director Matt Cimber, trainer Mondo Guerrero aka Armando Guerrero (of the legendary wrestling dynasty Guerrero Family), but unfortunately show creator David McLane refused to participate in the documentary. I feel that this was a real shame because his input would've been very important to the story of GLOW and what his opinion of the show's legacy.

As soon as it appeared on our televisions, the show was abruptly cancelled without warning in 1990, due to the backers withdrawing their funding of it. This blow left the ladies without saying goodbye to one another, as they were forced to move on. But because of the filming of the documentary, Hayden - now owner of GLOW - decided to organize a reunion with her fellow friends. The highlight of this was Mt. Figi - who was residing in a nursing home due to health issues - shedding tears of joy as she is once again reunited with her friends.

Because of the popularity of the show and the positive response to the documentary, Hayden teamed up with Netflix to produce a series about the creation of the show. Naturally, the show is called GLOW and became a smash hit for the streaming service. No word yet as to when the second season will premiere.

However, fans of the original show recently received some heartbreaking news. On
on January 3, 2018, Emily Doyle, the beloved Mt. Fiji, passed away in Orange County, California due to health issues. She was just 60 years old. There will never be anyone like you Emily. All your fans, including myself, want to say "Thank you" for entertaining us for all these years. We will remember you and will miss you always.

GLOW: THE STORY OF THE GORGEOUS LADIES OF WRESTLING is a no-holds barred, emotionally charged, informative, hysterical and moving documentary about one of the greatest wrestling shows of all time!! I was so invested in the film that I watched it for three days straight! That should indicate you on how much I loved this film! If your a wrestling fan, or just a curious bystander, then you owe to yourself to see this! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

GLOW: THE STORY OF THE GORGEOUS LADIES OF WRESTLING is now available to view on Netflix, along with the series. The movie is also available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and Google Play. The movie is also available on DVD. To purchase a copy for yourself, visit the film's website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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