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One More For The Mike Curb Film Festival

October 26, 1986|John M. Wilson

Democratic Lt. Gov. Leo McCarthy has been on the offensive about some of Republican opponent Mike Curb's early movies--"Cycle Savages" couldn't buy so much publicity when it came out in 1969. We thought we'd give you a preview of Curb's latest cinematic opus--"Body Slam."

Curb is credited as producer on the "rock 'n' roll wrestling movie," which gets a test marketing run in Las Vegas Nov. 21 and (presumably) wider release later, according to John Daly, chairman of Hemdale Film Corp., which produced with Curb's Musifilm Productions on a $5-million budget.

Daly expects the pic to get a PG-13 rating and said Curb's involvement was "really a business venture," not creative.

Directed by Hal Needham, "Body Slam" stars Dirk Benedict, Tanya Roberts and pro grapplers Capt. Lou Albano and Rowdy Roddy Piper.

The storyline, according to a publicist: "A sleazy talent agent with creditors coming after him manages two pro wrestlers in the wacky world of pro wrestling." He also handles a punk band that he can't book until he hits on the idea of having them open for his wrestling bouts, and . . . well, you can expect a happy, free enterprise kind of ending.

Co-written and co-produced by Sheldon Lytton, Curb's chief of staff when Curb was lieutenant gov and now his Musifilm partner, the film was largely a non-union production, according to various sources. Daly said that SAG actors were used, it was OKed by the Directors Guild and "it was not non-union in the sense that people were underpaid. But to make a picture at a price justified by a foreign company (Hemdale is English), it had to be made non-union."

Curb campaign manager Fred Karger told us the pic was "partially union and partially non-union . . . made completely in California. It created a lot of jobs." He called the use of non-union employes a common "cost device" to avoid runaway production.

As for "Body Slam" itself, Karger said Curb felt it was a "good film" and was "very proud of it."

Added co-writer Steve Burkow, laughing, "I can tell you, there are no biker sluts or anything like that in it."

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