Review: Winners Take All (1987)

by Aaron Vaccaro – Head Staff Writer


Best Bad Quote:

“Now I’m ready for the Russian circus!”


Winners Take All is to motocross, what Rad was to BMX, and Gleaming the Cube was to skateboarding.  Cheesy, ridiculous, and a helluva lot of fun.  There is nothing truly original about Winners Take All, but I was totally fine with that.  This movie is about showcasing the “radical” sport of motocross, which during the 1980’s was considered just as cutting edge as skateboarding and BMX racing.  And in the 80’s your level of “cool” was measured by your racing gear, and trust me when I say there is enough neon green racing gear to go around in Winners Take All.


Friends since childhood, motocrossers Rick Melon and “Bad” Billy Robinson clash when Billy walks off with a corporate sponsor, a personal manager and Rick’s girlfriend. On the course, Rick displays lightning-quick reflexes and steely courage, but he is never first at the finish line. Then he meets Judy, a skilled rider who coaches him for the ultimate showdown with Billy!


80’s movie written all over it right?  Right.  I don’t know what it is about 80’s movie, but I almost love all of them.  Whether it’s the crimped hair, the endless montage sequences, or the douchebags with their popped Lacoste polo collars driving their blue Corvette’s, there’s something truly special about 80’s movies.  And Winners Take All pretty much delivers on all those fronts, only it’s the white trash version of any 80’s movie you ever loved.  Because let’s face it, only white trash get a thrill from motocross.  You don’t believe me?  Well, to prove to you that motocross is a white trash sport, in the finale race in the movie…there is some inbred yokel with his shirt off in the stands during the national anthem.  I rest my case your honor.


Winners Take All also has one of my new favorite characters in any movie.  His name is “Bear,” and he’s played by Tony Longo.  “Bear” is the kind of guy you’d want to party with because he punches holes in kegs and drinks straight from the hole.  “Bear” is the kind of guy you want as your wingman because he can pull tail anywhere he goes including a motel party where he pulls two blonde twins at the drop of a hat.  “Bear” is the kind of guy you’d want to take fashion tips from because he popularized the use of the neck sweatband, and pulls it off masterfully.  “Bear” is by far the most entertaining part of Winners Take All.  But if that’s not enough you also get a young Gerardo before his “Rico Suave” days.


The story is not why you should watch Winners Take All.  The reason you should watch this movie is to relive how people were able to get away with just about anything in 80’s movies.  A lot of this shit would never fly today because it would simply be considered too damn ridiculous.  The only thing that made me sad about Winners Take All, is that it made me realize that Airborne (1993) totally ripped it off.  But then I quickly remembered that it was simply continuing the chain of ridiculous extreme sports movies with rollerblading.  Great movie by the way, I highly recommend it.



4 out of 5 Mediocre 80’s Chicks

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2 Responses to “Review: Winners Take All (1987)”

  1. Me says:

    If you are a 13-14 kid , this movie is perfect to you.
    only saw this for Deborah R.
    Geraldo ¨Rico Suave¨ its here too.

  2. rick melon says:

    listen you mother f***** that movie was the best movie ever out there in motocross is not for white trash f****** new dirt bike today cost nine thousand dollars so where’s your white trash mother f*****. you’re the white trash mommy suckerI don’t know where you come from you probably live in the middle of Kansas and you know you f*** your sister and your daddy likes your assI represent Jersey Shore f****** hillbilly mommy dick you don’t know anything your mom is a bad movie night

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