For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
Who are they? And what do they want?
Nada, a down-on-his-luck construction worker, discovers a pair of special sunglasses. Wearing them, he is able to see the world as it really is: people being bombarded by media and government with messages like "Stay Asleep", "No Imagination", "Submit to Authority". Even scarier is that he is able to see that some usually normal-looking people are in fact ugly aliens in charge of the massive campaign to keep humans subdued.
What strikes me most about Carpenter is his coolness, the calm deliberation with which he lets his plots unfurl. This premise, in the hands of any other filmmaker, would be a lightning quick action comedy, Men in Black or Big Trouble in Little China style. But instead it's almost an hour into a 90 minute film before the hero convinces someone else to try on the glasses. And the film's signature showpiece, the big action number, is a good old-fashioned slugging match between two friends, all over the one's stubborn refusal to do something as simple as try on a pair of glasses (hilariously allegorical, of course). Even the film's most famous line, one I've known for years (as I…
I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum.
John Carpenter's commercial appeal peaked in 1984 when he made Starman, a film that earned Jeff Bridges an Oscar nomination. A mere two years later Carpenter's brilliant Big Trouble in Little China would bomb at the box office and his career would never really recover. It only took one box office disappointment and suddenly the director could no longer find financing for his films. The quality of his next films are arguable, but there is no question that his best work was now behind him although he did have one last success in him.
They Live is Carpenter's last box office success, even…
Overall as a complete package, this isn't Carpenter's best film. However the great moments are better than most filmmakers will get close to in their career.
Roddy Piper, having had his eyes opened, tries to wake his friend Keith David from his slumber but he's stubborn. So he literally has to beat him into submission in a bout that seems like it will never end. David is unwilling to accept that the world he lives in is more totalitarian (right word?) than he could imagine. Not until he has to.
I do this to friends who watch X-Factor.
They Live! Regarded now as a cult movie, and directed by the legendary John Carpenter, this movie is one that has somehow evaded my attention for the last couple of decades.
The film has a very interesting idea and premise, and one that appeals to my way of thinking. Considered a satire and inspired by the ever-increasing commercialization of 80's pop culture and politics, the idea for the film came from a short story called 'Eight O'Clock in the morning', written in the 60's.
With regards to the political slant on the film - this is best explained in the Wikipedia article:
The more political elements of the film are derived from Carpenter's growing distaste with the ever-increasing commercialization of…
Watched on the big screen in an old theatre as part of Grimmfest's John Carpenter season and with an audience of around 150 fans, They Live may have just been made with this environment in mind. The humour of hindsight and Carpenter's bubblegum pop film-making has never seemed so right.
The opening Carpenter stomp sees the introduction to Roddy Piper's drifter and the city he's drifted into. It's a ballsy soundtrack, part lazy western - part synth heaven but it sets up the macho grandeur that's inevitably to follow.
The real fun starts with the shades. Allowing Piper to 'see' the world the way it really is and the people how they really are. Not only are they real fucking…
What more could you want from a film, it has a wrestler play it's main character, it's about an alien conspiracy, there is a extremely long fight scene with Roddy Piper and it has the line "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum"
... just watch this film you wont be disappointed
Are your neighbors really aliens? Put on your sunglasses and find out! Yeah, the premise of this movie is a bit outrageous, but it's sort of a pre-Matrix story too, which is pretty cool, but it could have gone about it better than it does.
They Live doesn't really fall under the horror umbrella, but I make the rules 'round these parts and I say WELCOME TO HORROR BUSINESS 2014 ENTRY 10.
John Carpenter has covertly become one of my favorite directors. After years of seeing his name on some of my favorite movies (Escape From New York, Big Trouble in Little China, Halloween) without ever really registering who I was watching (I watched many of them as a little shitbag kid), I finally took notice while watching The Thing earlier this year. So now I'm making an effort to sheepishly sneak my way into the Carpenter cult.
Carpenter can draw up a badass leading man unlike any other. His idea of cool is totally…
The pacing is surprisingly slow for a John Carpenter movie, but "They Live" is still full of his signature coolness. It's not so much a subtle, reflective piece of science fiction as it is a crowd-pleasing popcorn movie, but man is it crowd-pleasing. You've got bad-ass shoot-outs, you've got awesome one-liners, you've got a good sense of humor, you've got some cool ideas, and you've got "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Keith David beating the crap out of each other for five minutes. Hard not to have fun with this one.
"Mama don't like tattletales"
Seeing as the other good quotes of the film have been used there's my choice. I have finally seen They Live which has gained a cult status over the years since its release and I can see why. Often quotable and good fun to watch, John Carpenter's film examines just how distracted we are by media, consumption and all the other materialistic things that make up our lives. It is a really interesting idea, and also reflects American paranoia.
Nada is a drifting traveler who stumbles across a pair of glasses, that have a unique ability after coming to a new town. These glasses reveal to him that aliens are taking over the world.
such a god damn classic
I’ve wanted to see this one for quite some time. The story is pretty simple; a drifter comes across a pair of sunglasses that allow him to see the world as it truly is - a repressive machine designed to keep the populace submissive under the hidden rule of some alien infiltrators.
There’s some good special effects and a few comedic scenes thrown in. Average performances and the story wasn’t as predictable as I thought it was going to be, which was nice. This movie also contains one of the longest friend-on-friend slugfests I’ve ever seen. They beat the shit out of each other for such a long time in this. The fight just keeps going.
All in all an entertaining experience. Would recommend to anyone.
I loved that final scene, too.
- Donnie Darko
- Morvern Callar
- Irma Vep
- Miami Blues
- Babe: Pig in the City
- A Page of Madness
- Un Chien Andalou
- L'âge d'or
- Meshes of the Afternoon
A big collection of films that might be considered as strange, mindfucking, surreal and weird. Sorted by year. Suggestions are…
- Once Upon a Time in the West
- Assault on Precinct 13
- The Good, The Bad, The Weird
- Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
- Hard Boiled
I started with a top 10 list and decided what the hell lets see how far I can go. Top…