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The most fascinating episode in the entire series
midnight_raider200113 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This was one of only two TV guest roles Arnold Schwarzenegger did before getting into movies, and it's his best early role before The Terminator. It was hard to find good roles for a muscle-bound hunk for whom English was a second language (very second language at the time), but the story works beautifully for Arnie, who plays a bodybuilder who comes to San Francisco to make it in the big time. Despite his immense muscles, he can't quite crack it, and he has developed an extreme hypersensitivity to criticism which could combine to produce a lethal assault on somebody (which it does). I only watched this episode on first broadcast so I'm fuzzy on the details, but my recollection is that steroids weren't explicitly mentioned. Schwarzenegger has always denied taking them, but there's no doubt that he saw other body builders use them and saw many of their effects -- which would include the temper and the hypersensitivity. In today's steroid-scandal era, this episode would be a fascinating look at the beginning of the steroid era and why people should be so concerned about it. Hopefully, this episode will show up on DVD some day and be a selling point for the fifth season.
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Arnold does a pretty good job..
adonis98-743-18650310 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Ah-nold, long before his movie stardom, made his TV-acting debut as a champion bodybuilder (which he was at the time) visiting San Francisco for a competition. Something (it's not made clear what) has made him incredibly buff and muscled, but has also left him extremely hypersensitive to criticism and with no control over his anger. When he shows off his poses for a young woman, he becomes enraged and unwittingly chokes her to death. He's taken in by a couple and entered into the bodybuilding contest, but broods when he finishes only second. Stone and company suspect him in the death of the woman, and fear he may kill again if provoked. Now keep in mind that Dead Lift was made in 1977 and it was made years before Schwarzenegger became a big star with The Terminator (1984) and although Arnie does a good job and it's actually a touching storyline about a bodybuilder that only seeks trust, love and respect some moments are just kinda dumb like the fact that Arnold kills a girl only by grabbing her shaking her a bit and then throwing at the couch and she basically dies and i get it this is still Hercules in New York Schwarzenegger he didn't have any big hit at the time although he was starting getting on top after a while with films such as The Villain (1979) and The Jayne Mansfield Story (198) a TV Movie but couldn't they cast him as something else than another Bodybuilder he was getting type cast with each film, series and TV Movie but that of course changed with Conan the Barbarian (1982). Like i said the episode is quite fun and even sad if you actually understand and get inside the mind of Josef Schmidt and what Detective Lt. Mike Stone did at the end of the episode when they eventually track him was pretty damn respectful to a man who was actually "innocent" in kind of a sense plus Diana Muldaur also does a really good job that totally understood him and who or what he was trying to be and become.
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The Mad Muscleman
kapelusznik1827 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILERS**** Very sensitive at being laughed at and ridiculed pumped up weightlifter Joe Schmidt, Arnold Schwarzenegger, just loses it when pretty collage student, whom he picked up in the park while doing his morning jog, Irene Lupoff, Hillary Thompson, cracked up laughing as he was doing his muscle flexing routine. Grabbing Irene and shaking her like a rag-doll Joe end up killing her by breaking her neck. With the SFPD headed by Let. Det. Mike Stone, Karl Malden, and his partner Insp. Dan Robbins, Richard Hatch, on the case that know the man that their looking for is as strong as a wild silver back gorilla and would definitely needs back-up, like the entire San Francisco police department, to bring him down and have him put behind bars.

Meanwhile Joe's problems don't just end with Inrene's murder he's fired from his job as a loader in a beer distributor wear-house for making his fellow employees look bad by doing, in lifting 100 to 200 pound beer cages, 10 time as much as work as they do. Not really a bad guy Joe can actually be both witty and charming especially with the ladies when he wants to. But just make the slighted fun of him and his physic he turns from being a kindly and lovable a Dr.Jeakel into a crazed and homicidal Mr. Hyde at the drop of a hat.

***SPOILERS*** After his latest outburst in him being laughed up while doing his muscle man act on the stage during a Mr. San Francisco contest, Joe finished 2nd, he turned his rage on his very understanding girlfriend Judith Winter, Diana Muldaur, who was always supportive of him and his feelings about being treated like a freak by everyone he ever encounters as well as beat up. Flipping out big time Joe tears Judith's house apart and when he's just about to do the same to her the police arrive. With Let. Det. Stone, who knew that bullets won't hurt the big gorilla, using both psychology as well as kindness and understanding he gets a by now very confused and guilt ridden Joe to meekly give himself up without as much as a shot being fired.
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