Pop Junk’s 31 Days of Halloween; #17 They Live

This is the point where this list is going to leave some people scratching their heads.  I knew I had to pay tribute to some classics (within the last 50 years) but I also knew there would come a time where I had to just be honest with myself and bust out the movies that I just love and some people may not consider horror classic but fuck em, it’s my list.  That brings up to today’s pick and I couldn’t help myself, after meeting the man himself I went home and re watched the classic 1988 horror/sci-fi thriller “They Live”

This movie follows a man (Roddy Piper) as a drifter who stumbles upon a conspiracy concerning aliens who have hypnotized the populace through subliminal messages transmitted through television, magazines, posters, and movies. The man (Nada) discovers a special pair of glasses that when wore can see the horrible truth beneath what seem like normal everyday people.  He joins a resistance group who fights against these aliens and this makes for one kick ass movie.

There’s a lot to talk about here, first being this movie is directed by horror Icon John Carpenter who uses this movie to voice his opinions about consumerism, greed of the government and a society that is sleepwalking through life as the rich and powerful do as they please.  Carpenter uses these themes as a backdrop of an Invasion of the body snatchers type thriller where you have to be careful who you trust, something he executes excellently in “The Thing” and here again in “They Live”  He uses these themes very well while using a lot of tropes and visuals straight out of his favorite B-Horror classics on the 50’s and 60’s.

The lead in this movie went strangely enough to professional wrestler turned actor Roddy Piper, which if you’ve ever followed wrestling it’s no surprise because this guy is loaded with charisma.  Now he’s no Robert Di Nero but hell if he isn’t pretty damn cool in this flick as a kick ass drifter who kicks ass and executes some classic lines.  “I’m here to crew bubble gum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubble gum” for anyone who’s seen this flick is easily a favorite and overly quoted line. The scenes where Nada discovers the aliens when he first puts on the glasses tow a brilliant line between really comical and really creepy.

If you’ve seen this film, you can never gloss over the “fight scene” which take place around the middle where Nada tries to convince a friend of his (Keith David) to put on the glasses.  This erupts into an all out war as these two guys trash each other around in an alley way easily spanning somewhere between five or ten minutes, it’s viscous!   On top of this fight, there’s a ton of shoot outs with the aliens that are really entertaining but it’s Carpenters conflict with us vs them that makes this flick just work.  If you’ve never seen this flick it’s on Netflix instant stream and you have to check it out ASAP.

This flick quizzically chews bubble gum and kicks ass…metaphorically speaking.

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~ by ATOM on October 15, 2011.

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