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Man Movie Encyclopedia - The Condemned

Star: Steve Austin, Vinnie Jones
Year: 2007
Director: Scott Wiper

1989 was the first in WWE’s attempt to branch out into the world of film, the Hulk Hogan vehicle, No Holds Barred. It came out the same weekend as Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade, and came in at 2nd place at the box office. It wasn’t much of a success, and critics weren’t having it. So, fast forward almost 20 years and Vince is ready to give it another shot, this time with Stone Cold Steve Austin at the helm.


Ian Breckel has come up with the ultimate idea for reality TV. The Condemned. 10 death-row convicts trapped on a deserted island, all fighting to the death for what’s behind door number 1; a bag of cash, their freedom, and a year lease on a Yugo. Jack Conrad [Stone Cold] is one of those convicts, he’s ex-Delta Force and being held in a Salvadoran prison because he won’t tell them he’s there on a black ops sorta deal.

All the convicts are then flown to a private island, and kicked out of a helicopter at separate points. Before they’re asked to tuck and roll however, they get a bomb strapped to their foot, each with a 30 hour countdown. There’s also a pin that one can pull if they feel the need to expedite things. Hell, I’d probably forget and use the pin to pick my teeth after mobbin’ some beef jerky or something.
One of the convicts is dropped out over a dock and impaled. Another one tries to rape one of the female convicts, and he gets his pin pulled for his troubles.

There’s a convict named McStarley [Vinnie Jones] who’s set up as the main villain of the movie, and it’s an appropriate choice. Vinnie Jones is a total bad-ass in all that he does, and is so manly, I hear that when he gets a hair cut, they sell the clippings to make steel wool. There’s also a bad-ass Asian dude. He and McStarley decide to team up until it’s just those two.

Meanwhile, Stone Cold is tromping around the jungle, looking for something he can help get placed on the endangered species list, when Nathan Jones appears. For those who don’t watch wrestling, Nathan Jones was one hell of a shitty wrestler, but had a great look. So, and I’m sure it was done this way for wrestling dorks such as myself, they proceed to do battle. Stone Cold eventually pushes Mr. Jones off a cliff after his pin as been pulled out. I was really hoping it would have been like PIN PULL KICK WHAM STUNNER [copyright Scott Keith], and then Nathan Jones really sells the sucker.

McStarley and his friend do a bit of damage themselves, as they come across a married couple that's sort of like a Bonnie & Clyde situation. They break the guys leg, then proceed to beat & rape his wife before pulling her pin. So, while this is going on, the guy with the busted leg escapes & hides out. He's then found by Jack, who reassures him that he’s not gonna kill him, and has bigger fish to fry. Sure enough, he’s out to find where all of this is being filmed. Once there, he calls up his girlfriend in the states to give her the location of the island. Well, the people who are making $50 a buy on the PPV aren’t happy with Jack trying to bring shit down, so they unload a few clips his way in hopes of preventing his escape. That plan does not work.

Back with the other members of the game, two of them have taken a time out to chill by a fire. One’s female, the other male. The dude starts to tell a tale of how he got screwed by a woman once, and refuses to trust them again. Then, as expected, before he can even finish his sentence the girl has pulled his pin and ran for the hills. Yeah, leave it to a woman to trip an explosive on you and then just run. Hell, she probably did it right before it was her turn to reciprocate oral sex.

It appears that the dude running the program is in cahoots with McStarley, because he keeps getting grab-bags with goodies. This time it’s a bow & arrows, Molotov cocktails, and a couple knives. The Asian dude gets the knives, and McStarley gets the bow & arrows. Jack starts getting smart, finds some re-bar and duct tapes it to his forearms, so he can protect himself. 

So, Jack whoops some ass on the Asian guy, and now it’s go time with McStarley who just so happens to have a shot-gun. Jack ends up face down in the river, and it appears that it’s game over for him. Mean while, McStarley heads back to base camp, in hopes of getting his cash and freedom. Well, Breckel tries to renege on the cash offer, and McStarley has a problem with that. He says they had a deal, he gives’em a show, and in return gets a boat load of cash along with this freedom. Breckel says nope. McStarley says else wise, and proceeds to literally murder every person at the base camp. He seems to have a problem with the fact that they watch this stuff. Well, a rapist & murderer has to have his morals too. I know Charles Mason had recycling has one of his big things to do, right behind starting the race war.
While McStarley is in rampage mode, he doesn’t see Jack coming up from behind. He forces him to sit in a chair, then proceeds to empty the rest of his clip into him. Afterwards he runs down Breckel, and proceeds to throw an ankle bomb into his helicopter as it crashes into the mountain side. Unfortunately, he didn’t say something cool like “You’re cancelled!”.

Official Man Movie Official Tally:
1-Liners: 4
Guys Beat-Up: 12
Guys Killed: 23
Swear Words: 62
Boobies: 0
Explosions: 6
Slow-Motion Scenes: 5
Car Chase: 0
Chase On Foot: 3
Broken Bones: 2
Guy Gets The Girl: Yeap
Guy Smokes: No
Fight/Shoot-Out At Motel: No

Ian Breckel: What were you doing in El Salvador?
Jack: Working on my tan.
Ian Breckel: Why did you blow the building up?
Ian Breckel: It was blocking my sun.

Ian: Well, where are you from back in the states then, huh?
Jack: Alaska
Ian: Alaska, whereabouts?
Jack: About 80 miles north of Anchorage. Little fishing town. You probably heard of it. It’s called Fuck Your Mama.

Jack: Sounds like you’ve had a hard life
McStarley: Yeah
Jack: Good thing it’s over.

Ian: What do you do for a living, Jack?
Jack: Interior decorator

Box-Office Business:
Released April 27th, 2007, to 2,310 theaters. It opened up at #9, bringing $3,807,595 for the weekend.
Costing around $20 million to create, the total take for it's theatrical run was $8,642,858. But they ended up doing well when it hit DVD.

Stone Cold was originally slated to play the role that Vinnie Jones plays. But once WWE came aboard, they felt it’d be best if Stone Cold were the hero. I think Stone Cold would have been pretty fucking rad as McStarley.

Stone Cold & Vinnie Jones had actually worked together before hand, when WWE did a tour of the UK, Vinnie did a run in for one of Stone Cold’s match in order to lend a hand.

C'mon Bennet, Let's Party:
 The movie got a pretty good chunk of negative reviews when it came out, and I think it's pretty unjust. The film delivers exactly what you expect, and that's more than you can say for a lot of films. You've got a great villain in Vinnie Jones, and Stone Cold, as it's been known for years, makes for a great protagonist. There's a ton of explosions, fight scenes, people dying left and right, and just about everything else you'd expect from an action film. I wouldn't put it in the pantheon of the all-time classics, but it doesn't belong any where near the bottom either. Just a solid film that's worth your time. 

3 & 3/4th Head-Butts Out Of 5

- Caliber Winfield
Str8 Gangster, No Chaser - more Man Movie Encyclopedia entries, along with Top 4 lists, reviews, and pro-wrestling.
WCW In 2000 - I'm sure by now you know of the horror.


  1. Knowing that No Holds Barred lost to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade makes me love Crusade even more.

  2.  Yeah, it's my favorite of the series. And you know, you just KNOW that Hogan & Vince thought that they probably had a shot at beating it. Honestly, I'm shocked it came in at number 2, I would have never dreamed it'd make it that high.

  3. Screw Vinnie Jones, shit footballer, shit actor,  shit hardman.

  4. While I don't think "The Condemned" is a cinematic masterpiece, I'd still prefer watching it over "The Hunger Games" anyday.

    With all the accusations about "Hunger Games" being a "Battle Royale" clone, I'm actually kind of surprised Vince hasn't tried to claim yet that "Hunger Games" ripped off "The Condemned".

  5. So nothing here gave you a boner?  I'm surprised.

  6. Easily the WWE's best attempt at a movie. I've seen the Condemned about four or five times, and it gets better with each viewing. Just a good kick-ass action movie nothing more nothing less.  I thought Vinnie Jones stole the show, but then again I always mark out for cockney gangster types.

  7. I had a dream last night that Steve Austin guest-starred on Community as Stone Cold Steve Austin.

    And his interaction with Abed was pretty awesome.

  8. I had a dream that I won the Big Gold Belt but instead of being happy I was mostly just paranoid that the money in the bank winner would pin me when I wasn't ready, my title rein wasn't going to last long, and would ultimatly be meaningless...I'm not even kidding by the way.

  9. Hey I totally marked out when Rip killed Zeus and Brell!!!! Of coarse I was 11 at the time but still....

  10. Haha, could that dream have been a message that you're a bit paranoid in real life?

    I had this one wrestling dream when I was a kid where I was an army general and all my soldiers were old-school WWF wrestlers like in 1991 with Bret, Perfect, Tornado, Steamboat, etc. We had to hold the line against the invading enemy and were all very worried about this one weak spot which was "protected" by Virgil. We just didn't believe in him.

    Anyone else have a wrestling dream they remember vividly?

  11. This a general pop culture blog now? Or can we safely assume this was posted here because of who starred in the movie?

  12. PIN PULL KICK WHAM STUNNER made me laugh for a good 20 seconds.
    Didn't like it though; couldn't see jack in an action scene even by the usual handheld camera mess, and SCSA was too gruff to be rootable. You got to bring the comic touch a la Arnold in "Predator", otherwise, there's no fun in watching people get murdered and raped. I just felt dirty after watching it and felt like I needed to hug a kitteh or something afterward.

  13. I almost get the feeling like the "Battle Royale" plot has become one of those reusable tropes that just becomes "that kind of story". It all kinda plays off of Gladiator mythology anyway.

  14. When I was about 7 I had a really bad lymphatic infection and I had a 102-3 degree fever. I remember vividly having a half-awake fever dream where I was yelling to my family asking for water, and for some reason Dustin Rhodes and Johnny B. Badd came into my room to tell me I was going to die and my family couldn't help me anymore. Apparently midcard WCW babyfaces from 93 are actually Satan's minions.

  15. No Holds Barred is fucking awesome.

  16. I had a very vivid dream - think it was '98 or '99 where I somehow pinned SCSA and won the WWF Championship (it was off something flukey by the turnbuckle). In the dream I was my exact size too so I knew I was overmatched.  That is the only wrestling dream I've ever remembered.

  17.  It really cracks me up that you had so little faith in Virgil in your dreams. That said, Virgil probably didn't believe in himself in his own dreams.

  18. That would explain a lot about that year, really.

  19.  Scott used to do general pop culture stuff fairly regularly, so between that and the obvious ties to wrestling (and the fact that Caliber seems to be able to pop in whenever he feels like it), this doesn't seem that out of place to me.

  20.  No joke, I had a wrestling dream like, a month ago. I can't explain why, but I had a dream that instead of The Rock vs Cena at WM28, it was Cena v Caliber Winfield.

    It was one of the more real dreams I've ever had, because I had the rush of making my entrance, and it was incredible. Then I remember being in the ring, and telling Cena to smash my face into the ring-post, and how incredible it was to headline WM. Crazy stuff. But awesome, headlining WM is pretty cool, I do recommend it.

  21. I have to ask: did you win or lose? And how did you win or lose? What was the finish? 8 )

  22. Indiana Jones doesn't have Stan Hansen dripping chewing tobacco from his mouth and calling two yuppies "teeny wangers." Nor does it have a homoerotic incestuous relationship between the main character and his brother.

  23. I can say that the match was short. I remember after he smashed my face, I told him "there's no way I'm winning, gimmie the FU and pin me" and sure enough, right there on the outside I got the FU and the pin. I was so jacked on the crowd, and the fact I just headlined WM, that winning or losing was of no matter to me. It was so vivid, that I can honestly say I know what it feels like to head-line WM.

  24.  Glad you dug it, thanks for taking the time to read the article.

    Yeah, I can see people not enjoying the film. While it does have it's occasional spots of humor, it's not steady like all the greats. Commando, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon...


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