Film Review: Mad Bull
This article reviews a film you won’t find in theatres; in fact, you have likely never heard of Mad Bull, but it’s a great story of strength culture. The made-for-TV movie aired in 1977, and it starred former NFL player Alex Karras. The film in centered around Karras’ character Iago “Mad Bull” Karkus, a pro wrestler, who is dealing with divorce, reconnecting with a father who disapproves of his career, a brother in the hospital, and the prospect of beginning a new romantic relationship.
At first glance, it’s easy to dismiss the film. Mad Bull is a movie of its time. It has the styling of most movies made in the late 70’s along with the lower budget look of a movie made for TV. However, if we look past the production value and melodrama, we see Iago encounter many of the problems we face today i.e., career challenges, parental disapproval, and rebuilding trust with a child after a divorce. Although Iago is strong in the ring, his true strength is revealed in the way he handles problems and takes care of family outside of the ring.
When bodybuilders and strength athletes walk through a crowd, they seem larger than life, but the crowd often doesn’t realize these athletes are people too. We all have hopes and dreams, times of joy and disappointment, and we all want to give and receive love. Mad Bull depicts strength culture a good light, and it shows strength athletes (pro wrestlers in this case) as real people with human issues.
It’s a fun movie to watch, and it’s currently streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Check it out.