Tuesday, August 4, 2015

They Live

Score Technicians: Joe Hemmerling and Amanda Hemmerling

So, by now you're probably aware that we lost another hero last week. One Rowdy Roddy Piper joined that great wrestling ring in the sky, leaving us with a plaid-skirted hole in our hearts. In honor of his memory, we're taking a look at his most enduring cinematic achievement. The nanobots have come here to chew bubble gum and score They Live. And they're all out of bubble gum.
  • For inspiring this tweet. = +15pts 
  • For inspiring Shepard Fairey's OBEY art, which ironically became a profitable clothing line. We're waiting for the Kardashians to start a "Marry and Reproduce" handbag line. = -5pts
  • For naming your main character "Nada." = +10pts (LA may not be a particularly clean place, but it's certainly well-lighted.) 
  • For wearing the same outfit the entire movie. = +8pts 
  • In the '80s, all construction workers were shirtless due to union regulations. = +4pts 
  • When a guy in a cut off jean jacket offers you a place to stay, expect there to be strings attached. = +7pts 
  • In '80s movie logic, all black people were from Detroit. = -6pts 
  • “Follow the Golden Rule. He who has the gold makes the rules.” Turns out Occupy Wall Street was inspired by They Live. = +2pts 
  • Looks like the church across the street from the shanty town is a front for a meth lab. = +4pts 
  • No, worse, they're making knock-off Ray-Bans. = -4pts 
  • Movie cops brutally busting up a shanty town more gentle than real-world cops performing a routine traffic stop. = -7pts 
  • “Surely, the safest place to hide this mysterious box of sunglasses is this half-empty garbage can. This plan has been carefully vetted and I have found zero flaws in it.” = -10pts 
  • Sure the sunglasses reveal subliminal messages hidden in all media and advertisement and expose aliens who have been walking hidden among humankind for generations, but they don't seem to do shit about blocking the sun. = +11pts 
  • It’s pretty rude to call a stranger "formaldehyde face," even if they are an alien, Roddy Piper. = -3pts 
  • We like that RRP's strategy when confronted with evidence of the greatest and furthest-reaching conspiracy in the history of the planet is to immediately draw as much attention to himself and his newfound sight as humanly possible. = +12pts 
  • Surely none of the regular humans in the supermarket will find anything askance about every patron speaking into their watches in unison while glaring intently at the crazy man causing a scene. = -6pts 
  • Pulling a clothes line on an alien police officer. = +15pts 
  • Oh, sure, when Roddy Piper walks into a bank and starts opening fire on its patrons, he’s an oft-quoted hero, but when we at the PCS do it? = -8pts 
  • But what a quote, right? = +50pts 

  • Does it seem like Roddy Piper jumps just a little too quickly to a shooting spree after putting on the sunglasses? Almost like maybe this was just the green light he was waiting for before attempting something like this. = -11pts 
  • Trying to look inconspicuous walking down the street with your giant gun. = +7pts
  • “Beat your feet.” = +2pts 
  • When you're already wanted for multiple homicide, why not throw a kidnapping charge on there as a topper? = +4pts 
  • Holly's gay neighbor eyes Roddy Piper intently, but only because his mullet wants to get into a fight with Piper's. = +8pts 
  • Being surprised when the box of glasses you hid in a garbage can in a back alley are no longer there when you come back for them. = -6pts 
  • Good thing the garbage truck they were dumped in was one of those that only picks up shredded boxes and Christmas tree tinsel. = +3pts 
  • Why doesn’t anyone want to try on the sunglasses? = -2pts 
  • That fight scene. = +50pts 
  • At the end of the day, these aliens don’t want to kill you or take over your body, they just want your money. = +9pts
  • “Life’s a bitch, and she’s back in heat.” = +4pts 
  • Nothing weird about two beat up guys getting a hotel room together. = +5pts 
  • Roddy Piper on the potential origin of the aliens: “They ain’t from Cleveland." Uhhhh, we've been to Cleveland and you know what? We wouldn't rule it out off-hand. = -3pts 
  • Sunglasses after dark. = +10pts 
  • Roddy Piper and Frank make their way to a meeting of the human resistance, where one of the resistance leaders counsels the freedom fighters that they should continue to act as if everything is normal and show up to their day jobs. We're sure that "shooting up a bank" was going to be his next piece of advice, but unfortunately, the party is interrupted by an alien invasion force. -4pts 
  • After finding themselves transported into the aliens' secret bunker, they find a willing tour-guide/handy expositional mouthpiece in the form of a former vagrant-turned-alien-bootlicker. = +5pts 
  • Roddy Piper and Frank discover that the signal disguising the aliens' mind-control is coming from the roof of the Cable 54 station, conveniently built atop the secret alien bunker. = +3pts 
  • The aliens might stand a better chance of halting Roddy Piper and Frank's advance if they would rethink their strategy of sending their men at them in rigid two-at-a-time formations. = -12pts 
  • There were no clues that Holly was in the pocket of the alien overlords. Well, except for the fact that she bashed our hero on the back of the head with a wine bottle and shoved him through a window. And the fact that she works at the TV station located directly above the aliens' LA headquarters. And the fact that she told everyone the alien signal wasn't coming from Cable 54, when in fact it actually was. Basically what we're saying is that poor Frank's death was completely unavoidable. = -8pts
  • Roddy Piper has a farewell message for our alien overlords. = +30pts
Total Score = +180pts
Available On: For rent on any streaming service, but only if you have special eyewear that allows you to see it.

They Live, more or less closed out the classic period of John Carpenter's career, where the man could almost do no wrong (almost). And what a hell of a way close that chapter down. Carpenter combines biting social commentary with b-movie action in an effortless manner not seen since. The movie will forever stand as an unblemished monument to the badassticity of both its director and its late star. Or at least it will until some asshole tries to remake it.

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