When it comes to professional wrestlers in movies, there are not many situations where someone becomes Dwayne Johnson or Dave Bautista after retiring from the squared circle. Most of the time, films with wrestlers are low B-budget movies, horror flicks, or movies about wrestling in general. In many of those cases, the wrestlers are the worst parts of the film.
In rare cases, these movies become cult classics (Roddy Piper in They Live) or popular action movies with the wrestler as a small part (Jesse "The Body" Ventura in Predator). However, digging deep into film history finds some interesting movies starring professional wrestlers that deserve at least a watch to see how crazy they really are. Here is a look at 10 absolutely crazy movies starring professional wrestlers you might now know about.
10 HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN
Everyone knows about They Live, the John Carpenter instant classic that put Rowdy Roddy Piper in the lead as the man trying to convince people an alien invasion already took place -- and humans lost. However, less successful was his 1988 science fiction movie Hell Comes to Frogtown.
The movie takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where most people are infertile. The government prizes those who can still breed. When frog people capture some fertile women to use as sex slaves, Piper's Sam Hell was sent in to save the women. He even has to wear a codpiece that will explode if he betrays them. It is a cheesy low-budget version of Escape from New York.
9 PRO WRESTLERS VS ZOMBIES
Released in 2013 and directed by Cody Knotts, Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies is exactly what it sounds like. Shane Douglas plays an exaggerated version of himself and catches his girlfriend cheating on him with another wrestler. He uses a real piledriver to kill the cheating wrestler in a match. That wrestler's brother then unleashes a zombie army during a later show for revenge.
The card where the zombies sees famous wrestlers fighting for their lives. These names include Douglas, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Matt Hardy, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Reby Sky, and Kurt Angle all involved in the battle.
8 NO ONE LIVES
In 2012, iconic horror director Ryukei Kitamura (The Midnight Meat Train) directed the movie No One Lives for WWE Studios. The film starred Luke Evans as a man who was captured with a woman by a gang and held in a gas station with demands to give them money.
After the woman commits suicide, the Driver (Evan's character in the movie) seeks revenge. Unlike many WWE Studios films, there were no actors in the lead roles. However, former WWE superstar Brodus Clay starred as Ethan, the man who tortured the couple and caused the death of the woman.
7 ROARING FIRE
Released in 1981, Roaring Fire is a Japanese martial arts movie that features legendary martial artist Sonny Chiba, who also choreographed the movie's action sequences. When a wealthy heir to a major business is killed, the new heir turns out to be a cowboy in Texas who didn't know who his birth father was.
The movie features a WWE Hall of Fame superstar in a significant role. Abdullah the Butcher stars in the film as Spartacus, an enemy turned ally to the film's hero.
6 PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE
Considered one of the worst movies ever made, Ed Wood directed Plan 9 from Outer Space and released it in 1959. The film involves the story of a spacecraft landing on Earth and then humans forced to battle the aliens. The movie was cheesy, had terrible acting and effects, and even included an appearance by Bela Lugosi. Humorously, his scenes were shot for a different film and added in to give this movie star power.
Now considered a cult classic, the movie also starred a famous professional wrestler at the time in Tor Johnson. The wrestler appeared in many of Ed Wood's films over the years. In some trivia, when the biopic Ed Wood was made, Tim Burton cast George "The Animal" Steele to portray Tor Johnson.
5 SANTA'S SLAY
If you are interested in seeing a B-grade Christmas-themed horror movie head over to watch the 2005 Canadian-produced horror flick Santa's Slay. The movie wastes no time as a family is arguing about how much money and possessions they have at Christmas and Santa Clause shows up and kills them all.
The movie stars Bill Goldberg as Santa Claus, a man who takes his sleigh led by Hell Deer to different locations to kill anyone he can. It turns out that Santa was the child of a virgin produced by Satan. Santa was forced to deliver presents for 1,000 years after losing a duel, but that ended in 2005, and it was time for Santa to slay again.
4 THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS
Dave Bautista has become a legit Hollywood movie star. Thanks to his roles in Guardians of the Galaxy and a James Bond movie, he became a commodity. Bautista has even done critically acclaimed films like Blade Runner 2049 and indie hits like Stuber. However, like The Rock, he had to start with action roles.
In 2012, Batista starred in the martial arts flick The Man with the Iron Fists. The movie had a great cast with Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, and Rick Yune, with RZA directing and starring in the film about 19th-century warring clans.
3 SOUTHLAND TALES
After making Donnie Darko, Richard Kelly had a free pass to make just about anything he wanted to next. That choice was Southland Tales, and the movie was so polarizing Kelly saw his career skid to a halt. The film wasn't bad, it was just very confusing, convoluted, and was very much not meant for mainstream audiences.
Released in 2006, the movie had an all-star cast including Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seann William Scott, Justin Timberlake, and Mandy Moore. It also starred Dwayne Johnson as an amnesiac action star.
2 RUNNING MAN
Jesse "The Body" Ventura looked like he was on his way to becoming a Hollywood star until he just stopped. However, there was a one-two punch when he left WWE. The highlight was his memorable role in Predator, and the forgotten part was the science fiction action movie Running Man.
Based on the story by Stephen King using the pseudonym Richard Bachman, Running Man takes place in the future. A reality game show has convicted criminals running to escape hired killers. Arnold Schwarzenegger starred as a man framed and forced to take part while Ventura is a retired stalker and hired killer.
1 ALBINO FARM
Possibly the least known movie on this entire list is the 2009 horror film Albino Farm. The film takes place in the backwoods of America and specifically at a place called Albino Farm where rumors swirl that people who enter the farm never comes back out.
The movie is all about rednecks and several deformed people, including some strange pig people. When they are shown the way to some unruly teens, they find Levi and his two deaf friends who take them to Albino Farm. Chris Jericho stars in the movie as Levi, who was not a villain but someone who led the lambs to the slaughter.