Others have been doing somewhat a good job, and turned out to be not just good entertainers (wrestlers) but also fairly good action men on screen (John Cena, Steve Austin, Dwayne Johnson).
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper is on a completely different level, in my opinion. I am not going to talk about his wrestling career, but rather focus on what he has done in the movies.
And since I’ve watched more of his movies than just “They Live”, I think I have a few good points to cover.
So, let’s see why Piper is above the other wrestlers who decided to act in films.
1. Piper has at least two movies that have become classics.
One of such, is of course John Carpenter’s “They Live”. A film is a cult sci-fi tale of aliens taking over the Earth, and Piper is among those who figure it out and fights against it. The film packs some great lines from Piper (“…they ain’t from Cleveland”, and “I’ve come to chew bubblegum…”) and overall is a great watch. Another cult classic is “Hell Comes to Frogtown”, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea, nonetheless the film is also a cult classic.
Of course if we compare him to Pacino or De Niro – no he cannot act at all. However, if we compare him to Hulk Hogan, Don “the Dragon” Wilson or Olivier Gruner – oh boy he can act good!. When given interesting material to work with, Piper is exciting and entertaining to watch. At least he was in the 80s and 90s.
Piper made great, memorable action movies in the 90s.
Piper made two of the best, in my opinion, action movies in the 90s, both with soon-to-become-Tae bo-guru Billy Blanks. Those were “Back in Action” and “Tough and Deadly”.
I must say that Piper and Blanks had great chemistry on screen, and were really exciting to watch. Both action films were b-movies, but overloaded with shootouts, fights and cheesy dialogue. More of Piper’s films that should be mentioned are “Marked Man”, “The Bad Pack”, and “Last to Surrender”.
Yes, probably unintentionally funny, but the way he was delivering some of his lines, just made me burst into laughter.
Previously, I mentioned a rather unknown Piper movie, titled “Last to Surrender”, where Piper (once again) has to team up with another cop (Ong Soo Han in a surprising hero role) to track down a killer.
Every time I watch the film, nearly every scene with Piper there is unintentionally funny.
Same can be said about “The Bad Pack”, where Piper and Patrick Dollaghan have a great short funny dialogue at an abandoned military barn.
Unlike Piper, Hogan was never funny, neither were Dwayne Johnson, or Paul Levesque (Triple H), Bill Goldberg, or others. I doubt Piper could be doing stand-up comedy, but on-screen he sometimes was very funny.
From what I know, a couple of years back, Piper was diagnosed with cancer, and according to IMDB, Piper is still doing shows, appearances and even acting occasionally.
He’s not the “Rowdy” Roddy Piper we’ve cheered for in the 80s, and not the Piper we’ve watched in the 90s, but he’s still the same man, and I am glad he’s still around.
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