Lee Maughan: And now the third two-episode tape from the 1999 re-release of the series.
S1, E13: Bucket
An alien robot from the planet Slag (no, really) shows up in JYD’s junkyard after taking a wrong turn at the Milky Way. Dog introduces him to the rest of the gang as “Bucket”, with Hulk comparing him to R2-D2 and C-3PO, and Andre suggesting he should “phooone hooome”. The gang head out to find Bucket’s ship, but when they arrive they see it being towed by a group of private investigators with a tracking device. The P.I.s later show up at the junkyard and demand possession of the alien, but Hogan and the boys refuse to hand him over. What is with these dudes always stealing stuff and disobeying authority?! For a gang of babyfaces, they’re not exactly being portrayed as the best role models on this show!
The team hatch a devious plan to give the investigators a robot and it’s utterly foolproof: they dress Hillbilly (who I’d be remiss in not pointing out is a colossal fatty on this show, despite being relatively buff in real life) up with tires and boxes and have him make a series of unconvincing bleep sounds. Hogan thinks the plan is perfect and sure enough, the investigators give chase. The cops soon intervene, so JYD explains that he and Hillbilly are going to a costume party. So add lying to the ever-growing list of felonies attributed to this crew. Wendi then poses as a damsel in distress, pretending the Hulkmobile has broken down, and the diversion allows the rest of the guys to steal a poor innocent helpful bloke’s van, abandoning him in the middle of nowhere. What a bunch of assholes!
The in-crowd head to a science lab where they find Bucket’s ship has been dismantled. The scientists threaten to dismantle Bucket as well, so Andre retaliates with promises of violence. Chalk up another one for the hit list. The group rebuild Bucket’s spacecraft, but discover the quadro oscillator is missing, so Captain Lou replaces it with a rubber band plucked straight from his face and sends Bucket back to his beloved Slag. The scientists return and reveal that they’re actually government officials and want to introduce everyone to the President, as the first human beings to make friends with an alien lifeform. You know, in spite of the fact the aided and abetted the escape of what was essentially an illegal immigrant on the run from the law. Yeesh.
S1, E2: The Four-Legged Pickpocket
Looking to grab a nice big breakfast the morning after a big match, Hulk and his clan find themselves being pursued by an overexcited horse. Why the long face? The chef demands they get the horse out of his restaurant. Everyone denies it’s their horse, with Albano joking “If he were our horse, he’d be glue!” The horse kicks him in the face for that one. It just makes good horse sense.
Meanwhile, a couple of ugly up-to-no-gooders steal a trash compactor and forklift Albano away. Showing up at Hogan’s gym, they pose as Animal Regulation and repossess the horse, but when their car won’t start they steal the Hulkmobile instead. The gang give chase in JYD’s junkwagon and rescue the horse carriage after it gets stuck on railroad tracks as a train fast approaches, but the thieves get away causing Hulk to get mad. A little girl called Amy Kuramoto steps out from behind the horse and cries that she just wanted them to protect her horse Pickpocket from the evil men and didn’t mean to cause so much trouble, which Hulk tells her she didn’t. The bloody liar.
Hogan promises to protect Pickpocket for Amy and hatches a plan to use Lou and Hillbilly as decoys in the park. Oh sure, volunteer the idiots while you hide in the bushes ‘Hulkster’! Soon enough, the crooks arrive and abduct Pickpocket and Amy via helicopter, which is clearly the best way to go about things. Hulk promises to save Amy, but Wendi thinks they should put a report in with the police, which is a far more sensible idea than whatever Hulk’s plan to draw the criminals out was supposed to be. That does result in quite a funny line (at least as far as kids’ cartoon from the 80s gets) as Hogan tells the cops he’d like to report a missing person. “She’s a 14-year old girl” says Wendi, “And she’s got four legs and a tail!” adds Hillbilly. Well, maybe you had to be there. “And when she’s mad, she bites you on the behind” concludes Andre.
Over at the thugs’ hideout, Pickpocket breaks free and heads out to find Hulk and his crew who are out searching for Amy. Pickpocket leads Hulk to the hideout where Hogan jumps on a zipwire chain, Tarzan style, and slams into Ferguson’s face with his groin. Another guy gets covered in quick-drying foam and Pickpocket apprehends the boss’ escape. The police soon show up and thank Hulk for capturing the jewel thieves, which is news to the gang. Andre burps Pickpocket, who coughs up a bag of diamonds, Hogan makes a crack about horsing around, and Pickpocket bites him on the bum in retaliation. Well, he was asking for that.
Summary: A couple of odd animation elements to note this time out. In the first episode, there were some really odd framing issues at one point with half of Tito’s face being cut off the screen as he spoke, almost like you were watching a really bad pan and scan transfer of a widescreen film to the 4:3 format. That was followed by JYD delivering a line whilst completely off screen. In the second episode, after the criminals stole Hulk’s car, one cutaway showed them to still be riding in their own, supposedly wrecked, car. What I also thought was interesting about the two episodes on offer here was the fact that none of the heels made any kind of appearance, outside of the usual opening and closing credits. I wonder if that was intentional since it likely cut down on royalty fees for including the names and likenesses of those wrestlers, though that may be a moot point anyway thanks to the aforementioned credit sequences.