Barbarian Brothers

Barbarian Brothers
Barbarian Brothers

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Movie Trailer: The Barbarian Brothers in Ruggero Deodato’s 1987 The Barbarians.

In the annals of the entertainment industry, there exist tales of aspiring talents rising from obscurity to achieve fleeting stardom. Such is the story of two charismatic and brawny twins, Peter and David Paul, whose journey from high school wrestlers to movie stars remains an intriguing chapter in the realm of show business. The Paul brothers’ rise to fame was remarkable, spurred by their exceptional physiques and captivating personalities.

Hailing from the picturesque coastal town of Narragansett, Rhode Island, Peter and David Paul began their journey as high school wrestlers and bodybuilders. Recognizing their potential and, more importantly, their ambition, they opened a gym in their hometown during the 1970s. However, the allure of show business beckoned, and the twins decided to take a bold leap, leaving behind their gym and setting their sights on the glittering lights of California.

Their move to California in 1979 was driven by the aspiration to follow in the footsteps of legendary bodybuilders-turned-actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno. The duo became known as “The Barbarian Brothers,” a moniker that reflected their impressive physique and unique stage presence. With charisma to spare, they soon earned the title of “The World’s Strongest Twins,” captivating audiences wherever they went.

The turning point in their career came in 1982 when the Paul brothers garnered media attention. Their striking images appeared in magazines such as Powerlifting USA and Muscle & Fitness, and they even received an eight-page feature in Sports Illustrated. A segment on Showtime’s “What’s Up, America?” further propelled them into the limelight.

The twins’ leap from bodybuilders to actors took shape when they landed a role in the film “D.C. Cab,” where they portrayed muscular cab drivers alongside the iconic Mr. T. Subsequently, they made cameo appearances in various films, notably “The Flamingo Kid,” where they played burly lifeguards, and a television appearance on “Knight Rider” in an episode titled “Knight of the Drones.” They also graced an episode of “Hollywood Beat,” starring alongside the renowned John Matuszak.

Their ascent continued with a feature in Playgirl magazine’s July 1986 photo spread. The brothers’ remarkable journey inspired them to pen a comedic spec script based on their life experiences, titled “Better Than One.” In 1986, they pitched their script to Cannon Films’ Menahem Golan. Golan signed them for a two-picture deal, which paved the way for their first major film, “The Barbarians,” released in 1987. The film aimed to capitalize on the success of Schwarzenegger’s “Conan the Barbarian” franchise, thrusting the Barbarian Brothers into the epic realm of sword and sorcery.

It’s important to note that the Pauls’ appearance at the Golden Raspberry Awards was a significant moment. They became the first nominees to attend the Razzie Awards, where they were nominated for Worst New Stars, although they ultimately lost to David Mendenhall for his role in “Over the Top.”

Their journey continued as the Motion Picture Corporation of America signed the brothers to a two-picture deal. They fulfilled this commitment with the release of “Think Big” in 1990 and “Double Trouble” in 1992. They were even involved in a scene for Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers,” where they portrayed bodybuilders in a gym milieu. Unfortunately, the scene was edited from the final cut, but it can be found in the director’s cut of the film.

Amid their rise to stardom, their father, Leonard Paul, proposed the creation of a Barbarians theme park in 1993. However, this visionary endeavor never materialized. The last feature film in which they portrayed the Barbarians characters was the 1994 comedy “Twin Sitters.” The film’s soundtrack featured three songs by the Paul brothers and was later released as a CD soundtrack in 2006.

With their acting careers winding down, the twins ventured into the music industry. They engaged in live performances and even made appearances on “The Midnight Hour,” a music-centric talk show hosted by Steve Dahl and Gary Meier. Their most significant success was achieved on live stages in Hawaii, where they continued to captivate audiences.

Their careers were marked by personal appearances, interviews on TV shows, and appearances at the Alamo Drafthouse in 2006 in support of repertory screenings of “The Barbarians” and “Double Trouble.” Additionally, they worked on a film called “Souled Out,” featuring Gary Busey, which was pre-sold in the international film marketplace but remained incomplete.

In 2013, the Barbarian Brothers appeared in the video “Faith Street Corner Tavern,” portraying themselves. Despite never being part of the International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness (IFBB), the Paul brothers had become high-profile fitness celebrities. Their unconventional and freestyle weight training practices had earned them a reputation as the “outlaws” and “bad boys” of bodybuilding.

In 2020, the unfortunate news of David Paul’s passing emerged, just two days before the twins’ 63rd birthday. David and Peter Paul’s remarkable journey from bodybuilding and gym ownership to becoming action movie stars and entertainment celebrities remains a captivating tale in the annals of show business. Their impact on the fitness and entertainment worlds is a testament to the allure of pursuing one’s dreams and breaking boundaries.

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About Yegor Khzokhlachev 795 Articles
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