I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass

21 Feb

Cult of the Week 7- They Live

They Live has one of the most quoted lines in all of film history, and like the others on that sacred list people get it wrong almost all the time. The above clip will inform you of both the correct order in which shit goes down, and how to make a mullet work for you. Maybe not that second thing.

The Herald-Sun isn't even trying anymore.

They Live, like many of  John Carpenter’s films, has a political undercurrent that has (both surprisingly and unfortunately) become more relevant today, thanks to the fact that everyone with money and power is worried about the state of the world, so they’re trying to dick you harder and faster than ever before.  The idea that the wealthy elite all know each other and they hate you is a popular if not entirely true idea, and the film plays with the paranoia that comes from wondering what exactly wealthy people want.

Ex-Wrestler and Mullet enthusiast Roddy Piper

Our hero, nicknamed ‘Nada’, is the prototypical down-on-his-luck everyman. He finds work on a construction site where he befriends fellow working and spandex-enthusiast Frank Armitage. Together they frequent a soup-kitchen by the local shanty town, and inside the local church is a weird room with magic sunglasses. Obviously.

John Carpenter waits a good 30 minutes before revealing just what the glasses do, and once Nada discover the shadowy cabal of extraterrestrials that’ve been corrupting humanity he has no choice but to grab a shotgun and get to work.

The fashion police enforce a zero-tolerance spandex policy.

As well as the aforementioned quote, They Live is also well-known for its fighting, and while it’s reasonable to expect a certain amount of brawling from a film starring a wrestler this pushes the boundaries of how long you can watch two men beat the shit out of each other. In this case, nearly 6 straight minutes. South Park parodied the sequence with some accuracy in the classic episode “Cripple Fight”, although their version is shorter.

(Apologies for the awful music over the top, apparently there’s a weird clause in YouTube licensing restrictions that says if you take an existing clip and set it to music then it’s a tribute and the tv networks can’t take it down. This explains why 90 percent of YouTube is unwatchable garbage.)

They Live is the sort of movie that’s perfect for a late night dvd session- it’s got a plot but not one so complicated you need a guidebook to follow along, there’s plenty of action and even a built-in drinking game (Drink every time you see a mullet/mustache/weird monochromatic alien). It’d make a great double feature with Big Trouble In Little China.


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