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Film Reviews:John Carpenter THEY LIVE Cronenberg's Videodrome- PARANOIA, CONSPIRACY,Satire

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John carpenter They Live Conspiracy Theory & Paranoia and In The Mouth Of Madness

John carpenter They Live Conspiracy Theory & Paranoia

Mouth of Madness John Carpenter



They Live-john Carpenter






PHOTO JOHN CARPENTER'S " THEY LIVE"(1988) YUPPIES UNMASKED???
Posted by Hello

Another favourite film of mine about the subject of the Yuppie Plague is John Carpenter’s THEY LIVE (1988) which I have talked about before. It was directet & written by John Carpenter who also created the original music for the film. It is rather compelling viewing like most of Carpenter's films from "Assault on Precinct 13" & "HALLOWEEN" to the intense monster-fest " THE THING" & his extraordinary & mind-bending " IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS" to his other two more blatantly political & subversive films "ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK" & " ESCAPE FROM L.A." Carpenter is one of the great masters of horror & science fiction.


POSTER OF JOHN CARPENTER'S " THEY LIVE "
Posted by Hello

IN "THEY LIVE " JOHN Carpenter uses science fiction themes of the totalitarian state using a form of mind control i.e. a signal broadcast by way of tv as in David Cronenberg’s Videodrome (1983) but in They Live the control is more pervasive as the main character Nada , a construction worker, played by Roddy Piper discovers. When he finds a pair of sunglasses which enable him to see things as they really are that is; he can now see the subliminal messages on billboards & in magazines & he can see the ugly alien creatures as they really are who have blended into the society using their mind-control techniques. And when he puts on the glasses the world is no longer in colour but it is a black & white world . Nada 's reaction is one of shock & disbelief since the control is so pervasive & THEY are everywhere. Feeling alone & desperate he gets a rifle & starts killing the aliens in broad-daylight in the downtown core of the city. He is chased by alien & human police .

ALIEN POLICE OFFICER IN JOHN CARPTENER's " THEY LIVE"
Posted by Hello

He escapes by jumping into Holly's(played by Meg Foster) car & hides out in her apartment til she tosses him over her balcony. She has her doubts or as one wonders later on in the film ; is she a collaborator with the aliens from the beginning.

NADA EXPLAINING HIS CONSPIRACY THEORY TO HOLLY IN JOHN CARPENTER'S " THEY LIVE "
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He then goes to Frank(played by Keith David) also a construction worker he has just made friends with & asks him to put on the glasses so he will know the truth. Frank thinks Nada is crazy & refuses to put on the glasses which leads to a fifteen minutes long fist fight til Frank finally gives in. The fight is a real slug-fest which some may find a bit too long but the fight occurs in the film at a point where it doesn't detract that much from the story. In fact, it adds to the tension & frustration of what is going on & allows the viewer to empathize more with Nada who is a straight forward naive & honest character who has always tried to play by the rules as he waits for the big break .

AFTER THE SLUG-FEST FRANK SEES WHAT NADA HAS ALREADY SEEN IN JOHN CARPENTER'S " THEY LIVE"

This helps to explain in terms of the film how shallow & materialistic & unsympathetic the 1980's Yuppie crowd have become they no longer have normal or natural human feelings about their fellow-human beings. Those in power have been co-opted by the aliens and are ruthless using force to maintain power. We see this illustrated as the police & soldiers invade the shanty town where the homeless have taken up residence. People suspected of being members of the underground are summarily shot by a firing squad .

MORE ALIEN POLICE IN JOHN CARPENTER'S "THEY LIVE"
AS THEY CHASE NADA & FRANK.
Posted by Hello

Unlike the fantasy type ending of the film these cold-hearted money- grubbing middle- class are still among us but in a way they have always been. It is sort of like Pres. G.W. Bush claiming he cares about the working class while he continues to amass afortune for himself & his friends . People like him will say anything & promise anything to get elected & to maintain the Status Quo & creating more opportunities for their children while they continue to take advantage of anyone they can. & do it while smiling.
Or as the popular song around that time preached "DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY"
Or as Sheryl Crow sings "I wish everyone would just lighten up"
Tell that to the Marines & guards at US detention centres or to tens of thousands of American Muslims who feel they have been living in a Virtual Internment Camp since 9/11.

PHOTO RODDY PIPER IN JOHN CARPENTER'S " THEY LIVE" (1988) "I HAVE COME HERE TO CHEW BUBBLEGUM & KICK ASS, AND I AM ALL OUT OF BUBBLEGUM"
Posted by Hello

AND as James O'Ehley from The Sci-Fi Movie Page puts it:
"Probably one of the most subversive films to have come out of Hollywood in decades, They Live is a welcome return to form by legendary cult film director John Carpenter (John Carpenter's Escape from L.A. (1996), John Carpenter's The Thing (1982)) after having directed such abysmal efforts such as Memoirs Of An Invisible Man.

A lonely drifter gets hold of a pair of glasses through which the terrible truth can be seen: the rich are aliens who have already taken over the earth! Billboard advertisements and television broadcasts actually contain subliminal messages such as "Consume", "Watch Television" and "Marry and Reproduce!" All this give new meaning to William Gibson's dictum that the rich no longer resemble anything human!

It's difficult to dislike a film with an attitude like this one. Even when the film forsakes its satiric points and degenerates into a straightforward action thriller, one cannot help but like this film. Take that yuppie scum! "

AND on THEY LIVE see:
www.theofficialjohncarpenter.com/

Also see: SCIFLICKS.COM
http://www.sciflicks.com/they_live/


On THEY LIVE
For a different analysis from the Right see:
http://tim.2wgroup.com/blog/
Random Observations: Review: John Carpenter's "They Live"

That's all for now,
GORD




PHOTO FROM DAVID CRONENBERG'S " VIDEODROME " (1983) EXTREME REALITY TV
Posted by Hello


PHOTO OF BRIAN O'BLIVION ON TV IN DAVID CRONENBERG'S "VIDEODROME"
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"The television screen is the retina of the mind's eye. Therefore, the television screen is part of the physical structure of the brain. Therefore, whatever appears in the television screen emerges as raw experience for those who watch it. Therefore, television is reality, and reality is less than television."
Brian O'Blivion's theory as presented in VIDEODROME

And also:

PHOTO OF BRIAN O'BLIVION'S 'CATHODE RAY MISSION' IN VIDEODROME
Posted by Hello

'Brian O'Blivion’s Cathode Ray Mission grants the misfits of society a chance to recover back into "the real world" by pumping TV-transmissions into their eyes. By the tv-soap operas and talkshows they gain some of the social competence they lack in the cold, unsocial industrial world of ours. "Watching TV will help patch them back into the world's mixing board."... Where else do we learn how to act in a social acceptable way?'


"LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH" JAMES WOODS FLESH TRANSFORMED IN CRONENBERG'S VIDEODROME(1983)
Posted by Hello

In David Cronenberg's film "VIDEODROME" there is an embedded subliminal message which affects the viewer's brain creating a tumor which causes hallucinations. Eventually the viewer is no longer able to distinguish what is real from what is an hallucination. Those who have created Videodrome want to change North American society because they believe our society has become soft,weak & decadent & the rest of the world has become tough & will soon destroy our society.

"VIDEODROME" MAX (JAMES WOODS) GETS A VIDEOTAPE INSERTED INTO HIS BODY
Posted by Hello

Watching the film is like going through the looking glass with Alice as we begin to confuse what is really happening with what is an hallucination or a fantasy of the James Woods' character MAX. And the more times we watch it the more interesting it becomes ; we become like MAX unable to look away even when some of it becomes a little too viseral which is typical of a number of Cronenberg films such as SHIVERS & RABID & EXISTENZ & NAKED LUNCH & THE BROOD. These are all classics of horror & surreal dream-like & nightmarish imagery.

" VIDEODROME" JAMES WOODS & DEBORAH HARRY WATCHING VIDEODROME TAPE Posted by Hello

Max runs a small independent cable tv station which specializes in the unusual for its targeted audience when he stumbles across the Videodrome signal which produces a program of sadism of beating,torture ,rape & death but it is all for real. But MAX is fascinated by the program & sees it's financial implications for his cable tv station.

AND ON VIDEODROME SEE:
www.boxoffice.com/
Also see:
www.davidcronenberg.

or read the book CRONENBERG ON CRONENBERG

Anyway that’s all for now,
GORD

John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness- trailer



In The Mouth of Madness- Music Video




John Carpenter's The Thing -trailer