A Poster for Walking Tall
Film,  Podcast

Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘WALKING TALL’

Swing and a Miss

Walking Tall is a remake of 1973 film starring Joe Don Baker. It’s also “inspired” by a real-life sheriff, Buford Pusser, who patrolled the crime-laden streets of McNairy County, Tennessee, with a crudely fashioned cudgel.

That’s essentially the movie. The Rock walks softly and carries a big stick. As a conceit, that sounds like it could be pretty badass. Walking Tall is just executed poorly. 

It’s hokey and feels far more like straight-to-DVD fare than an action showcase for its star. Worse, the fisticuffs and fireworks just can’t sustain the silly plot that surround them.

The Rock Wielding His "Pusser Stick" in Walking Tall

There’s an entire shootout where the Rock’s paramour just wears her bra because … reasons. It’s a dumb movie, folks. So, not shockingly, critics hated it. It’s 26% on Rotten Tomatoes with 126 reviews.

At the box office, it bombed, as well. It earned just over $57 million on a budget of $46. That’s a far cry from the $40 million the 1973 version grossed  on a cost of just $500,000.

There’s no amount of corny courtroom speeches to redeem that. So sit back, club open a Luau Krunkles POG IPA from Terrapin Beer Co. with a 4×4, and don’t roll those loaded dice! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Chumpzilla, and Mayor McCheese are administering street justice with our Pusser Sticks!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – As a star vehicle for the Rock, does Walking Tall do enough to utilize his talents? (00:00) 
  •  Lingering Questions – We hear from our beer bros at Hop Nation USA, and then we discuss what could’ve made this movie far more interesting. Spoiler: It’s mainly casting all wrestlers. (50:29)
  • The “Big Stick” Trivia Challenge – After a word from the podcasting world’s Hart Foundation, The Double Turn Podcast, Chumpzilla challenges the field to a series of trivia questions about the movie and the man who inspired it, Sheriff Buford Pusser. (1:05:30)
  • Recommendations – We offer our picks for the week and next up: We finish off “Hops and Rock Bottom Flops” with The Rundown—featuring the aforementioned Double Turn! (1:15:36)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the Piledriver music video and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotifyAcastTuneIniHeartRadioVurbl, and Amazon Music!

Thomas Kelly
Latest posts by Thomas Kelly (see all)

Writer, Superman aficionado, lover of odd and underperforming sports teams, and co-host of the film adoring podcast, Hops and Box Office Flops

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