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…
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…
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.
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…
This is one of Carpenter's few comedies. This isn't a horror or action film, it is purely a satirical comedy that just happens to have science fiction elements.
I think that when you take this film seriously you'll end up hating it. It has so much tongue in cheek and cheese in it (tongue in cheese??), that it is hard to really take seriously. Not that it matters, because it is so much fun. The premise works, the corny one liners are hilarious and it just ambles along at a pleasant pace, never outstaying its welcome.
And the fist fight scene is just one of the best things ever put on film.
"I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I'm all outta bubble gum."
Roddy Piper taking on aliens and directed by John Carpenter, what more do you need
Best fight scene... ever.
"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum."
It's a story of a man, a working man who just wants to make his way in this harsh world. Fresh off the train in a strange city, the man searches for work and tries to scrape a living in tough economic times. So you can imagine his anger when those problems are further complicated by a race of aliens that have taken over Earth.
Roddy Piper is on a mission to kick some major, major ass in John Carpenter's horror/sci-fi classic that is, for my money, one of the most entertaining movies ever put to film! So many funny lines. Great 80s tech…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass and I'm all out of bubblegum.
Carpenter's best film after The Thing.
"Mama don't like tattletales."
Watched the Scream Factory bluray which I hadn't watched yet for some reason. Looked awesome on bluray.
SETTING: POOLSIDE, WRESTLING (W)RETIREMENT FACILITY, BOCA RATON, FLORIDA
ROWDY RODDY PIPER: (sips daiquiri) You know, Hulk, the wrestling gig sure was great but I'm pretty thankful that I was involved in something of more lasting value. Something that will stand the test of time.
HULK HOGAN: (rolls eyes) Are you seriously bringing up They Live again?
PIPER: Yes, as a matter of fact I am. To think that movie was made decades ago and it's as relevant today as it was then. More so even.
HOGAN: You know I was in a bunch of movies too, Piper.
PIPER: Yeah, but people aren't really appropriating imagery from Suburban Commando for their art careers now are they?
HOGAN: Hey, I was in…
"Brother, life's a bitch... and she's back in heat."
Subversivo é a característica perfeita para descrever "They Live". Ele pega a premissa de filmes B dos anos 50 de invasão alienígena (sempre associados ao medo da invasão do comunismo), e troca os papéis fazendo dos vilões as grandes organizações capitalistas e o modo de vida americano ! E faz questão de deixar isso bem claro ! Como diabos John Carpenter passou incólume por isso ainda em tempos de Guerra Fria ?
Com tudo isso e com a variedade de quotes sensacionais dos personagens, dá até pra perdoar a atuação horrível e algumas falhas grotescas do roteiro !
- 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
- Down by Law
- Hard Boiled
I started with a top 10 list and decided what the hell lets see how far I can go. Top…