If you haunted a lot of video stores in the 80's as I did, you were no doubt aware of the world's most muscular twin thespians, The Barbarian Brothers.
The Barbarian Brothers were twin bodybuilders named Peter Paul and Ron Paul that, like so many of us, had dreams of Hollywood stardom (Personally, I think it would be a much more interesting story if there were a set of twins, and one got real huge and muscular, and the other stayed scrawny, but that's just me). Generally they just lurked in the background of scenes in movies like 1985's "The Flamingo Kid" where they played, you guessed it, muscular twin lifeguards. Or they tore the doors off cars in classics like 1983's "D.C Cab", where they honed their craft alongside the likes of Mr. T and Gary Busey.
Then in 1987 the brothers got the chance to show the world their true mettle courtesy of the quality-merchants at the Cannon Group via a starring vehicle called, elegantly enough, "The Barbarians."
Made in Italy with a budget that was probably carried around in a brown paper bag, the film's plot summary on wikipedia is a thing of curt, albeit nonsensical beauty:
"Twin brothers attempt to save their people of entertainers against Kadar who lust for the ruby that ensures their talents."
I've read that about three times now and I think I sort of get it, but I'm not completely sure - it's not really English as I understand and wield it. So I instead went to the more-reliable imdb, where I found a much more richly woven tapestry:
"The young orphans Kutchek and Gore have been adopted by a tribe of clowns, jugglers, and entertainers. The tribe is led by the queen Canary and its wealth stems from her magical belly stone. The evil ruler Kadar desires Canary and her stone, and attacks her clan's caravan to gain possession of them. Before the clan's defeat one of the clansmen sneak away to hide the stone. Canary is locked up in Kadar's harem, Kutchek and Gore in his quarry to be trained as gladiators, and the rest of the clan is to live as outlaws in the woods. When Kutchek and Gore have grown up to VERY big gladiators, they run away and break into Kadar's harem with the aid of the young woman Lemone. Canary quests them to find "The Old King's Weapons" and with these kill the dragon that guards the hidden belly stone. Afterwards they should find a new queen and give her the stone, to restore the tribe to its former glory."
That's better. Anyway, I've never seen the movie, but now don't believe I can rest until I see the brothers "kill the dragon that guards the belly stone" with my own eyes.
Lest you think The Barbarian Brothers rested on their laurels, a little investigation from yours truly has divined that they kept busy in the 90's with a series of direct-to-VHS releases, seen below.
This is funny because there are not one, but two sets of twins (for clarity's sake - the Barbarian Brothers are the dudes who look like the offspring of Jose Caseco and Dolph Lundgren). I also like the subtle reference to "Home Alone" in the blurb.
The "Think Big" logo is awesome, is it not? But my keen eyes indicate that Richard Kiel is in this movie, so I want - nay need - to see it.
Mining territory already covered by Jean Claude Van Damme in "Double Impact", this version differs in that it features twins that are 2,000 feet tall. Which would explain why that sweatshirt doesn't quite fit.
You can watch the trailer for "Twin Sitters" here. The end credits indicate that George "I Played James Bond Once" Lazenby is in the hizzy, but I didn't spot him in the trailer. But maybe I was just struck blind.
And here's the trailer for "Double Trouble." It features yet another fight on a playground, and James "Scotty" Doohan as the hard-nosed Police Chief! I was also quite sad to see that Mr. Roddy McDowell appeared in this mess. Sorry about that, Roddy. You deserved better.
The boys managed to appear in a couple of other films in the aughts, but at this point appear to have kind of flamed out, sad to say. God willing, maybe they'll pop up someday on "Dancing with the Stars" or on some VH1 show like "Celebrity Fit Club" or 'The Surreal Life." Rest assured that in the event such a blessed thing occurs, I will be on the case and swiftly post any alerts.