Wedlock (1991) Can Rutger Hauer Escape A Prison Of Exploding Heads?

Wedlock (1991) Rutger Hauer Mimi Rogers VHS Cassette box tape rental

Day 21 Wedlock from 1991

Tagline –In the prison of the future, criminal justice will have a deadly twist.

Who’s our hero today?
That super cool dude from the Netherlands, the legend with the blue eyes, Mister Rutger Hauer plays Frank Warren also known as Magenta.

Wedlock (1991) Rutger Hauer exploding necklace prison

Had I seen this one on VHS back in the day?
Big fan of Rutger Hauer, what with Blade Runner (1982) being one of my favourite films ever. So if it had his face on the cover it went with me to the counter. Wedlock has come up in discussion a few times with me and brother over the years as to which films have prisons with exploding heads. You know normal conversations! The Running Man (1987) has a good one and Fortress (1992) has exploding innards.

Quick plot run down.
Set sometime in the future three friends start the ambition plan of stealing million’s of dollars worth of diamonds. Like with all perfect plans it soon runs into trouble. For Frank that includes getting shot and imprisoned in a new prototype prison system called Camp Holliday. Fitted with explosive collars that are designed to blow your head clean off. Added to that is each inmate is connected to one unknown partner. Wedlock. As long as you all stay no further than 100 yards apart you will be fine. Step out of that zone. BOOM! You and your Wedlock partner lose you heads. Little secret, Frank got away with the diamonds. The prison Warden wants them and he isn’t alone.

Does the hero have a day job?
He had dreamt of becoming a first rate bank and jewelry robber but ends up desperately trying not to drop the soap in front of Bubba! (See best line)

What’s our heroes special skills?
Frank is a skilled electronics expert utilizing his art to become a diamond thief. We get a little drop of information later that he used to be in the Navy’s bomb disposal unit. Could kind of come in handy that!

Heroes weapon of choice?
His quick thinking brilliant mind, dexterous fingers and the ability to not trust anybody anymore.

Heroes drink of choice?
Not a drink by choice! An unrequested golden shower!!!!

Wedlock (1991) Rutger Hauer Mimi Rogers exploding necklace prison

Does hero have a sidekick?
Tracy Riggs also known as Ivory (Mimi Rogers) is tied to Frank. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Frank has resided himself to work through his sentence, to bide his time. Tracy on the other hand is desperate to get out and on the run. As Wedlock partners you gotta go where the other one goes if they look like they gonna run. Begrudgingly they help each other out along the way to freedom.

Hot girl? Damsel in distress or ass kicker?
Tracy is pretty hot but it’s Frank’s jewelry robbing acquaintance that’s rock’s my world as hard as a diamond jewel! (whispers “sorry!“). Noelle is played by the little firecracker Joan Chen. I always had the hots for Joan. From her playing Jocelyn Packard in Twin Peaks to The Last Emperor (1987) and with Rutger again in The Blood of Heroes (1989) to even Judge Dredd (1995) and she’s even more gorgeous now! in her late 50s in the recent Netflix series Marco Polo. Joan Chen is cool.

Wedlock (1991) Rutger Hauer Joan Chen gun promo shot

Who’s the main baddie?
The prison is run by it’s inventor and tyrannical overseer, Warden Holliday (Stephen Tobolowsky)

Baddies special skills?
He’s removed all the prisoners name’s and replaced them with colours. He let’s the toughest gang member Emerald (Basil Wallace) brutally run the prison as he sit’s back drinking cocktails.

Psycho baddies rating out of ten? 7/10
The warden is sadistic but real dweeb scoring him 5/10 but Emerald is completely psychotic gaining himself an 8/10

Heroes balls of steel and anger ratings out of ten? 7.5/10
The poor guy gets his balls squished a few times! Maybe because of that, Frank is pretty mild mannered throughout the film, however he’s always calculating his next move. There’s more to Frank than meets the eye.

Surely it features a training montage scene?
Not a training montage but I’ll add this here and it’s kind of on the same path. Frank is put in the Floaty! A sensory deprivation tank. A coffin like tank filled with water. Frank is tortured for days. At first doing a Skip Donahue from Stir Crazy (1980) “Just one more day, please” type of thing but so much time passes as he grows a beard. It nearly breaks his mind. In this sequence we get to see different people either tormenting him or helping him as the tank door keeps opening.

Wedlock (1991) Rutger Hauer Mimi Rogers Danny Trejo Stephen Tobolowsky

Does it feature an impossible mission?
Actually this is a pretty impossible mission and could of got real messy real quick!

Does the hero get a chance to show off their muscles?
No he doesn’t. Looks like Rutger might of packed on a bit of extra weight since terrorizing Rick Deckard 10 years previous.

Will I be needing to pause the video player? AKA are there any boobies?
Rest those fingers people. Not today, not on this watch. Though Frank does get a feel when trying to save Tracy’s life and gets an unexpected slap for his kindness!

Sex scene?
BANG DAY! Where do I sign up? Oh! I have to commit a crime and wear a fancy necklace with another definition for BANG DAY! One of the only good thing to come out of Camp Holliday is the compulsory nooky day. Release all that tension for a pretty working prison. It all sounds great except there’s no visuals. Next!

Any good totally random surprise scenes?
The African wedding outfits was pretty random!

Wedlock (1991) Rutger Hauer Mimi Rogers stolen African wedding party clothes

Films body count? Low/Medium/High? 
What counts as low! We’ve seen some crazy high ones. What we have here on Wedlock is roughly about 10? Just getting ready to tip the scales into medium territory I would say.

Innocent baddie death rate?
A couple of inmates! Were they innocent baddies? Who knows.

Explosion ratio? Low/Medium/High?
Head poppin explosions dotted around but not enough to warrant the high rating.

How many stuntmen probably really died making this film?
This one seemed a safe bet for stuntmen walking out alive. A few moments the body doubles came into action however I would like to think they were all unharmed on this project.

Any cool car chases?
A stolen prison jeep down a few sand dunes but nothing really cool.

Best lines
Warden Holliday –Well it could of been worse? You could of been getting butt slammed by Bubba and his buddies!“……… Excuse me?

Any other familiar faces and actors pop up?
Stephen Tobolowsky will always be the annoying and forever punched in the face Ned in Groundhog Dog (1993). He was also in Mel Brooks sci-fi comedy Spaceballs (1987)…. Keep a look out for Machete (2010) star Danny Trejo pop up in a tiny part….. Plus the tough Ajax aka James Remar from The Warriors (1979) is big part of the story.

Wedlock (1991) Rutger Hauer Mimi Rogers exploding necklace prison poster

Production Credits
Wedlock is directed by Lewis Teague who made the follow up to Romancing The Stone (1984) The Jewel In The Nile (1985). Unintentional diamond connection! The story was written by Broderick Miller who went on to write a sequel! Yep and I have a funny feeling I saw it too! Deadlocked: Escape from Zone 14 (1995)

Cheese-O-Meter! Low/Medium/High?
Lots of cheese but you know what it suits it. Be a boring film if it took itself too serious. Embrace the cheese.

IMDB score rating – 5.9/10

Wolfman ACTION & FUN rating – 8.5/10

Wolfman over all film rating – 6.5/10

Closing thoughts………………………………………….
I’m always gonna like most things Rutger and this is another of the times that he got to play a good guy. Whats great about Wedlock is it flickers in and out of serious and comic. Rutger’s character isn’t all tough and has a certain vulnerability to him. Both he and Mimi Rogers bounce off each other well and they take all the obstacles thrown at them in their own pace. Whether that’s getting split up on a bus or not managing to get on the same lift in a high rise. When you can’t be too far apart small things become desperate.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the films if you want but please don’t feel you need to as I know it’s pretty relentless this month. However, most important, have fun with the movies.

Keep it filmy…. Mikey Wolf.

6 thoughts on “Wedlock (1991) Can Rutger Hauer Escape A Prison Of Exploding Heads?

  1. Never even heard of this one, but strange that it has that director and lineup of actors, and (from my point of view) went nowhere and remained off the radar. I wonder if it went straight to video back in ’91, or maybe played in a few theaters for a week and disappeared. And I know there’s a meaning behind the title ‘Wedlock’, but perhaps ‘Headlock’ would’ve garnered more interest from the action cinema crowd.

    And Stephen Tobolowsky as a bad guy? What next…Liberace as a serial killer?

    Liked by 2 people

    • From what I read Todd is Wedlock was originally called Deadlock. Strangely it’s a HBO tv movie. Which I can imagine must of been a big budget back then with a relatively big cast and it feels better than a tv movie if you know what I mean. Then it went straight to video rental and the name change whilst getting distributed across the seas. If it pops up on your journeys it’s definitely worth checking out. There’s some really great moments especially as it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Very entertaining.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the nudge, I’ll try to give it a look…but will it make my Top 5 Wolfy Action Films of the Month? Hmmm…

        And why stop at Deadlock? There’s also Breadlock, Dreadlock, Treadlock, and the ever-popular version starring Fred Ward, Fred Gywnne, and Fred Savage, called of course Fredlock.

        Liked by 1 person

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