Movies that are slightly off.
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…
why are the skull aliens still buying magazines and groceries and shit
April 17, 1954 – July 31, 2015
What a horribly sad day this turned out to be. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper isn't just a former wrestler, he was a huge part of the golden age of wrestling in the 80s when professional wrestling was one of the most important things in kid DuLac's life (like many kids of the 80s). It really is the passing of a childhood hero who was just as much fun to watch when he was a villain.
Now Canadian wrestling fans have a tendency to be incredibly loyal to their countrymen. It's like a pride thing I guess... for a fake sport. Now Piper was billed from Glasgow, Scotland, but us Canucks knew…
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.
This is one of very few Carpenter movies I've avoided for so long that it almost feels silly watching it today, when I'm thirty and should've developed some nostalgic love for this movie ages ago. I did just that with Big Trouble in Little China, and even though the theme in They Live should fit an adult (as my self, even though I refuse to really grow up), I found myself not getting as entertained as I should've been. I also had some problems with it not being Kurt Russel that played our beefy hero in a mullet.
They Live has more than one great thing going for it though. It has a does-this-fight-never-end? moment that I loved. It gets…
Binary Star samples a scene from this movie in "Indy 500" on Masters of the Universe, one of the most slept on albums in the history of hip-hop. The film was pretty cool too.
I think this might be Day 5 of "Brian Is Between School and Working So He Will Watch A Lot of Movies By Himself-a-thon", and today we have 'They Live'!
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper gives a delightfully hammy performance as he single handedly opens our minds to see those who control us. Those who sell out their species for their own social and economic gain. Those who put signals in our television sets and propaganda throughout our cities in order to put the simple mind control into our heads: "Consume. Conform. Obey."
When Roddy Piper puts on magical sunglasses, he sees the black-and-white truth: They're brainwashing us. And they live among us.
And mama don't like no brain control...
Interesting concept, nothing more.
It's as if Bruce Springsteen totally lost his mind and wrote a song about aliens. And that song was adapted into this.
I'm giving you a choice, either love this movie or start eating that trashcan
While the now legendary fight was rolling this watch and the neo great depression trappings were still in my head I couldn't help but wonder if I was watching a sci fi version of Walter Hill's Hard Times.
I see this film is labelled as science fiction but I suspect it will come to be seen as a documentary.
In the 1980s mainstream Hollywood seemed content to spew out bright, shiny, expansive and aggressive right-wing movies very much in tune with the viciously conservative Reaganite times. John Carpenter's "They Live" was a politically subversive leftist antidote to much of that propaganda. It is also a great slice of paranoid horror SF film-making. The screenplay, written by Carpenter, is based on the short story "Eight O' Clock in the Morning" by Ray Nelson, which originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and which Nelson subsequently adapted into a story called "Nada" for the 1986 comic book anthology "Alien Encounters". The story revolves around unemployed construction worker John Nada (Roddy Piper) who drifts into town and finds a…
I wish they handed out glasses before the movie that made all the terrible lines look like lizards so everyone would stop remembering them as the reason this is great.
“They Live” is not a good film. But it has eighties charm drenched in style from director John Carpenter. He takes you on a very dialogue sparse ride through dingy LA.
You can’t help but imagine how much better it would be if the lead were Kurt Russell instead of the awful Roddy Piper.
(Working on organizing it by similar aesthetic.)