Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Flashbacks: They Live

They Live 1988
Director: John Carpenter
Writer: John Carpenter
Starring Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, Buck Flowers, Peter Jason and Raymond St. Jaques
This is one of Carpenter’s most enjoyable films, with a lead that really relishes the role like his work with Kurt Russell. It is a film that takes a sharp jab at the 80’s Reagan era of “me” and it can still be applied to viewers watching it today. This is a film that moves at a rapid click and never slows down. It is a action film at its heart that plays with some social commentary very knowing. The cast is excellent; Piper is the perfect choice for this film. He has a great chemistry with David and their fight in the alley is legendary and one of my favorite fight scenes in all of films. This is a smart film that makes you think as well as make you jump with all the fun this film entails.
The plot basics are this, John Nada (Piper) is a drifter who lost his job in his hometown and is drifting along looking for work. He finds a job and things are going well till one day he finds a pair of sunglasses. He puts them on and it changes his world. It seems a alien race is using subliminal messages to subvert the human race into doing what they want. Nada finds a underground group of people that know of this uprising and joins them in their plan to topple the aliens. The aliens are 2 steps ahead of them every step of the way. It is up to Nada to find a way to beat his alien oppressors.
This is a awesome film. Carpenter’s direction is tight. The fight sequence in the alley is amazing as well as the finale on the rooftop. The film also has a wicked sense of humor that really plays up the social commentary very well. The script is smart and witty. It really plays up the elitist sense of the aliens and the plight of the down trodden workers. For instance, the mane Nada brings forth connotations of being a nobody. The cast is excellent. Piper is a hard edged and funny hero and has some great line delivery in the film. David is a great foil to him as well, especially during the alley fight. Foster is a nice heroine and romantic lead, and she is very stunning with those green eyes of hers. The SFX and make up in the film is done very well. I especially like the prosthetic look of the aliens with their skull like visage. Carpenter does the score as usual and hits it out of the park. It has a droning effect and kind of beats you down sort of like the alien oppressors in the film. This is a great sf action film and a must see film.
This one gets 5 out of 5

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