Sylvester Stallone initially broke out as a serious dramatic talent after landing Academy Award nominations for his screenplay and lead performance in Rocky, with the classic underdog story going on to win Best Picture and Best Director, but over the decades, he’s also starred in some cheesy efforts.
The Rocky franchise rapidly descended into the throes of excess, reaching a glorious peak with the fourth installment, while Stallone also went on to partner up with Dolly Parton for musical comedy Rhinestone, gun down everyone and everything within sight in Cobra, tick the buddy cop box opposite Kurt Russell in Tango & Cash, as well as doing Die Hard on a mountain with Cliffhanger, to name but a small few.
However, one stands out among the pack for how patently ridiculous the entire endeavor is from start to finish, and that’s arm wrestling epic Over the Top. In a plot that sounds like we’re making it up, Sly plays the fantastically-named long haul trucker Lincoln Hawk, who seeks to reconnect with his estranged son by winning a high-stakes arm wrestling tournament with a big cash prize, but there’s a nefarious father-in-law on the scene who wants to stop the duo from bonding.
Over the Top flopped at the box office back in 1987 after failing to come close to recouping the $25 million budget, but it’s gone on to enjoy a long-lasting and fully deserved life as a cult classic based on the sheer cheese factor alone. If you can handle ad interruptions, then the bizarrely specific Sylvester Stallone sports film is now streaming for free on YouTube Movies, and it goes down nicely over the weekend with a couple of beers.