Days of Change

Hell Comes to Heaven | July 31, 2015

TV wrestling legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper died unexpectedly at the age of 61 today. I watched as much wrestling as the next kid my age in the 80’s. Mostly, I knew Roddy from his movies. He starred in one of the handful of sleeper scifi films by John Carpenter and an absolutely terrible movie that became a late-night staple. He never quite got to the level of The Rock in film, but I certainly remembered him.

In the hilariously titled “Hell Comes to Frogtown,” Roddy played Sam Hell, a former soldier who has been captured by a post-apocalyptic US government. It seems that he is one of the last males with any sperm left after a nuclear war and he’s needed to repopulate. Frogtown is unsurprisingly inhabited by human sized mutated frogs. Hell is on a mission to save the few fertile women left. There’s less sex in the movie than you would think.

What everyone is and will talk about for the next few days is the now infamous “They Live.” Most of John Carpenter’s movies are allegories (I could say a lot about “Prince of Darkness”) and “They Live” is a classic invasion story. In this case, Piper plays an out of work guy in the 1980’s who stumbles on day labor and a pair of sunglasses that reveal the true face of alien creatures posing as humans. They use subliminal messages to keep people from questioning authority and making them want to buy more stuff.

The movie is fun to watch, sometimes ridiculous and occasionally interesting. Besides the iconic bank scene there’s an incredibly protracted fight scene that has been parodied a few times. Carpenter has explained that the aliens are actually the representation of the rich who got richer during the Reagan era while the poor got poorer. Why I love Roddy Piper is that he said in interviews that he didn’t understand that because he did pretty well in the 80’s. It’s a perfect example of the narrative being thwarted by reality.

Rest in Peace, Roddy Piper. It’s time to kick ass in heaven.

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  1. God forbid that he rich, who create wealth for everyone else, should get something or themselves. Screw you, jealous peasants.

    Comment by Mary — August 1, 2015 @ 1:27 am

    • RIP, Rowdy.

      Comment by Mary — August 1, 2015 @ 1:28 am

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