Thunder and Mud

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Thunder and Mud
Thunder and Mud.jpg
Directed by Penelope Spheeris
Starring Tawn Mastrey
Jessica Hahn
Sam Mann
Release date
  • 1990 (1990)
CountryUnited States

Thunder and Mud is a 1990 musical documentary film directed by Penelope Spheeris and starring Jessica Hahn, Tawn Mastrey, and Sam Mann.



The film depicts a show as presented by Sam Mann with a local DJ host (Mastrey) alongside Jessica Hahn, who a few years prior was known as having an affair with Jim Bakker of The PTL Club; jokes involving sex and PTL are done throughout the film, which includes skits (since everything, including the fight outcome is scripted). Several bands (Grave Danger, Nuclear Assault, Tuff, She-Rok, and Young Gunns) are shown with brief performances before mud wrestling is done, with each wrestler in a fight being a representative of the bands (after each fight, a band comes onto the stage and lip-syncs one of their songs). Various wrestlers and performers are seen, such as Jeanne Basone, Tiffany Million, and Quisha; Bill Gazzari, once described as the "godfather of metal" and previously featured in Spheeris' The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988), is also shown. [1] [2]


When doing an interview in 1999 for The A.V. Club , Spheeris was asked about the film. She stated, "How about that for a flaming piece of crap? That was a matter of… God, how did that happen? Thank God nobody has ever asked me about that until now. There was a guy working with Miles Copeland, and he said, "Let's do a live show and tape it, and then put it out straight to video." And I said, "Like what?" It wasn't really my idea, I don't think, but he said, "How about doing heavy metal and mud wrestling and putting the two together?" I said, "Yeah." So I did it. And I don't even think I got paid for it, which is kind of pathetic, don't you think?" [3]

Paul Colichman, president of I.R.S. Records along with a producer of The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years , has stated that he and Spheeris came up with the idea, with him wanting to do a "pay-per-view event" that would combine wrestling with music, which he thought would work since he had seen mud wrestlers handing out with metal bands at the nightclub Gazzarri's. [4]


Entertainment Weekly reviewed the early career of director Penelope Spheeris which they called "flashy but desultory". They gave a Thunder and Mud a grade D. [5]

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  1. "Incredibly Bad Film Show: Thunder and Mud – Trash City magazine" . Retrieved 2023-03-15.
  2. Kaye, Jeff (1989-11-09). "Sex, Mud and Rock 'n' Roll : Television: A spectacle that combines female mud wrestling, a heavy-metal rock concert and a game show is being touted as an attempt to expand the boundaries of pay-per-view television". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2023-03-15.
  3. "Penelope Spheeris". The A.V. Club. 1999-03-10. Retrieved 2023-03-15.
  4. [ bare URL ]
  5. Glenn Kenny (February 10, 1995). "Penelope Spheeris takes on "The Little Rascals"". Entertainment Weekly .