LOST TV WEEK: Shadow Warriors: Assault on Devil’s Island

When he heard about Lost TV Week, Paul Andolina had the perfect idea for a show that almost made it that tied together his love of movies and pro wrestling. We’re excited to share it with you. 

When Sam told me he’d be doing a week of failed TV Pilot reviews, I didn’t know what to cover. I vaguely remembered that Assault on Devil’s Island, a made for TV movie that premiered on TNT starring WCW’s own Hulk Hogan was rumored to be turned into a series at one point.

Eric Bischoff even claims on an episode of Nitro that TNT had promised them a series run if the movie did well enough in the ratings. It did well but nothing ever came of the series.

A sequel titled Assault on Death Mountain came about though and was aired in 1999. I’ve had this title for a while on a couple of multipack dvds from Echo Bridge but I’ve just now got around to it.

I collect movies that star professional wrestlers and write about them on my blog Wrestling with Film. I usually write about other things for B&S About Movies but couldn’t pass up this opportunity to write about one of my biggest passions in life.

Assault on Devil’s Island stars Hulk Hogan (here billed as Terry “Hulk” Hogan) as Mike McBride, a Navy Seal with a penchant for island culture and oddly gesturing in front of fires as a pre-mission ritual. This odd dancing opens the movie and after uttering obscenities and turning it off a day prior while enjoying some beer I gave it another shot.

This film also stars action movie staple Carl Weathers, who once played for the Oakland Raiders football team, Martin Kove, who would go on to be in another movie with wrestlers in 1994 titled Death Match (starring Ludvig Borga, and Alundra Blayze), and Shannon Tweed, former playmate of the year and co-star of Roddy Piper in 1995’s No Contest.

Mike and his team of seals are tasked with seizing drugs from and capturing Carlos Gallindo, played by Billy Drago. After arriving to Gallindo’s compound, he is betrayed by a compatriot named Fraker, a foreign operative who has been bought out by Carlos. Fraker is played Trevor Goddard, who you may know as Mortal Kombat‘s Kano.

Mike successfully captures Carlos, but Carlos demands his lawyer get a hold of Fraker and tell him to help Carlos escape or he’ll never see his money. Fraker cooks up a plan to abduct a US gymnastics team and hold them hostage so as to exchange them for Carlos Gallindo.

This leads to another mission by Mike, Roy (Carl Weathers), and Hunter (Shannon Tweed). The movie is pretty standard action fare and I can see why it did well on TNT. It is a satisfying action flick and Hulk Hogan though somehow completely out of his element is able to play the distant Mike McBride in a decently believable manner. He’s not as over the top as his character Rip in No Hold’s Barred which is something I’ve come to expect with most of his performances. It’s odd seeing him without his trademark mustache but I have to admit he looks pretty badass with a five’o’clock shadow.

The action scenes are extremely well done and there is a bit where Hogan’s character gets into a tussle with a shark which is worth the price of the movie alone.

The dynamic between Hogan and Weathers in this movie is electric and wildly entertaining. The catchphrase they love to utter, “Nothing to it but to do it!” is an infectious little rally that I’m sure to find myself uttering many times within the coming weeks. All in all I was expecting to dislike this movie, which is not a mindset I like to have going into a flick, opting for a more positive approach of I hope I like this film most of the time. I might have just been in a sour mood when first attempting to watch it.

If you have the time and want to see a movie packed to the gills with some pretty big names in the action world you really can’t go wrong with Assault on Devil’s Island. You may find it a bit easier under its title Shadow Warriors 2 but disregard the misleading title as it is the first movie in the 2 movie cycle followed by Shadow Warriors aka Assault on Death Mountain. It can be obtained pretty cheaply with its sequel and two other films including Maximum Force starring Danish professional wrestler Asbjorn “Bear” Riis on Amazon.

You can also find this movie on Amazon Prime.

3 thoughts on “LOST TV WEEK: Shadow Warriors: Assault on Devil’s Island

  1. Pingback: Deck the Halls with Bau(tista)s of Holly: Escape Plan 2: Hades |

  2. Bischoff encouraged the WCW fanbase to watch this film by staging the long-awaited Starrcade 1997 contract signing between Hogan and Sting during the commercial breaks.

    This strategy paid off, as Assault on Devil’s Island did pretty well in its first showing, scoring a 4.2 rating, soundly beating the WWF’s Survivor Series Flashback special, which only drew a 2.8 against the first hour of the movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Also, Assault on Devil’s Island was brought to us by co-executive producer Michael Berk, he of Baywatch and Thunder in Paradise fame.

      He seemed totally convinced that the Hulkster could ascend to main event TV status, the utter dismal failure of Thunder in Paradise not convincing them other.

      And another thing, Assault on Devil’s Island was directed by Jon Cassar, who went on to direct episodes of La Femme Nikita and 24.

      Liked by 1 person

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