Wait a second, this is a movie and gaming site…so why am I writing an “In Memorandum” for a wrestler, plus there is also the fact I really dislike wrestling too.
Well the reason I’m taking time to remember a sadly recently lost wrestler on my movie and gaming site…when I do not like wrestling anyway is because Roddy Piper starred in one of my favourite films of the 80s and even featured in a game I had great fun with a couple years ago.
The film I’m talking of is John Carpenter’s They Live and the game he also featured in was Saint’s Row IV, which borrowed from They Live.
Born Roderick George Toombs on April 17, 1954.
While I’ll acknowledge Roddy was a popular wrestler, as I’ve said, I don’t like wrestling. So I’ll not be talking about his wrestling career here and just his performance in They Live and the Saint’s Row IV references.
John Carpenter’s They Live is an often overlooked classic. Using social satire and our love for consumerism as it’s backdrop. But throwing in aliens disguised as humans to give it a Sci-Fi edge.
Roddy Piper played Nada. A simple and unassuming man just looking for a job, who accidentally stumbles on the disguised aliens via some sunglasses…don’t question it, just enjoy it.
While Roddy’s acting would never win him any Oscars, his performance in They Live was very convincing and he played the part really well.
He was believable as a gentile giant showing a softer side when needed but then there were the fights and action scenes where he also stood out.
One can not talk about Roddy Piper and They Live without mentioning the awesome back alley brawl he has with his co-star, Keith David.
Seriously, this fight scene is one of my all time favourite fight scenes ever on film.
Roddy also got to show off his acting chops in other films such as; Tough and Deadly, Marked Man, Last to Surrender and many other films as well as several TV show appearances like; Zorro, Superboy, Highlander and many more.
But it’ll always be They Live that I’ll remember Roddy Piper for.
So let’s also talk about his work on Saint’s Row IV.
Roddy played himself in this game and he was reunited with his They Live co-star, Keith David, who also played himself as well as playing Saint’s Row founder, Julius.
Saint’s Row IV showed its love for John Carpenter’s They Live too with its many in-jokes and references.
Like having both Roddy and Keith in your crew would spark off conversations between the two actors where they would talk about the infamous fight scene in They Live and argue over who won.
Plus there was a mission in Saint’s Row IV called “He Lives”, where you had to destroy an alien transmission device placed on top of a building…which is what Roddy Piper does in They Live.
Then there was the recreation of that fight in the game too.
I recall the huge smile on my face when I first played Saint’s Row IV and Roddy appeared, realising Keith David was also in the game all while the game itself had a very They Live vibe to it anyway.
I was more than happy the game made references to the overlooked They Live and gave Roddy Piper some of the limelight too.
I may not have been a fan of Roddy as a wrestler, but I sure did enjoy him as an actor.
Piper died in his sleep after a heart attack on July 31, 2015. He was 61.
Wherever Roddy Piper is right now, I’m sure he’s kicking ass and chewing bubblegum…
Roddy Piper: “When we were shooting that movie [They Live], Keith [David] came over to me and he’s a schooled Julliard actor, a professional. He would help me with my script, while everyone else was saying, “This is just some dumb jock coming to act now.” But he stood up for me, and we had such a bond.”
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