Sylvester Stallone made Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot because of Arnold Schwarzenegger lying to him.
Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger are friends today, having appeared in The Expendables and Escape Plan together, but that wasn’t always the case. In the 80s and 90s, the two action stars were in direct competition, constantly trying to one-up the other with bigger movies, bigger special effects, and even bigger kills. The feud got so bad that Schwarzenegger allegedly decided to trick Stallone into making Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot, a horrible comedy that was a major flop, and in recent years, the former Governor of California confirmed that the Hollywood urban legend is true.
On an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, Arnold Schwarzenegger finally came clean, even admitting that he thought the script was “a piece of sh*t.” The only reason Sylvester Stallone agreed to make the movie was that the producers had called his rival first, and when Stallone followed up, the Terminator star lied and said he was interested in making the comedy. As far as pranks go, getting someone to film a movie is an extreme one, certainly further than Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman have ever gone…unless that’s why Reynolds signed up for Green Lantern.
Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot paired Sylvester Stallone as Sergeant Andrew Bomowski with Estelle Getty from Golden Girls as the erstwhile Mom. Tutti, the elderly and frail mom, falls into a misadventure trying to replace her son’s gun, witnessing a murder and lying about it so her son can investigate and get all the credit. Stallone explained later that he knew the film was doomed when Getty, one of the nicest women in Hollywood, was cast for the role that was originally supposed to be “a nasty piece of work.”
The film went on to make $70 million worldwide, slightly over half of what Shazam: Fury of the Gods made this year, and was derided by every critic, failing to even gain a reputation of being “so bad it’s good” like other Sylvester Stallone box office bombs. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rotten rating of 14 percent and an audience rating of 21, placing it below Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III. Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted that he loved seeing the film “go directly into the toilet.”
Sylvester Stallone and Schwarzenegger started feuding in 1977, when Stallone lost the New Star of the Year award at the Golden Globes to the former bodybuilder. From there, the pettiness grew, from complaining about photos on the wall at a nightclub to mocking the other one in their movies (Ivan Drago as a Schwarzenegger stand-in and a Rambo poster that’s the butt of a joke in Twins), and even throwing jabs through the press about dating Brigette Nielson. Stallone and Nielson married years after it was rumored that the Danish model had a fling on the set of Red Sonja with Schwarzenegger, and each star has a different story about how the marriage started.
A few years after the catastrophic release of Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot, the long-running feud came to an end. Sylvester Stallone was a guest of honor for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s inauguration as Governor of California, with the Rocky star even donating to his former rival’s re-election fund. Escape Plan, the 2013 action movie that brought them together as co-leads, was a smash hit, earning $137 million against a budget of $54 million.
No longer rivals, the two action stars enjoy their semi-retirement, even if neither one has yet to truly slow down. Sylvester Stallone had another hit, this time on streaming, with Tulsa King, while Schwarzenegger stars in Netflix’s FUBAR, which he is also executive producing. Though everything ended well, it’s still amazing that one of the worst movies ever came about because of a petty feud between action stars.