Radiator Heaven Remembers Carpenter’s They Live (1988)

The John Carpenter retrospectives/analyses/re-evaluations continue to spread across the blogosphere like Sutter Cane’s latest best-sellers. (Well, I hope not…).

The outstanding (and award-winning…) movie blog Radiator Heaven (which I follow religiously…) has today posted a terrific remembrance of Carpenter’s 1988 cult favorite (and masterpiece), They Live.

Here’s a snippet of J.D.’s history and analysis:

“One of the reasons why They Live works so well is the film’s pacing. It starts off like the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers with the threat of alien invasion being implicit at first. Everything seems normal enough but after a half hour into the film, the threat suddenly becomes shockingly explicit when Nada puts on the sunglasses. From there, the film’s pacing speeds up and They Live begins to incorporate action film sequences into its science fiction premise. And yet, throughout the film, there is always thought-provoking commentary. This is represented by the pirate television broadcasts which, initially, seem like some lone conspiracy nut but eventually his ravings are revealed to be right on the money. His presence is the first sign that something is amiss. The television is presented as an electronic sedative in They Live. It’s a drug to the masses. When the TV pirate appears, the mind-numbing routine is broken and people get headaches as a result.”

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3 responses to “Radiator Heaven Remembers Carpenter’s They Live (1988)

  1. Thanks for the shout-out and the kind words! Much appreciated, my friend…

  2. John Kenneth Muir

    Hey J.D.

    My thanks to you for writing a great piece on a Carpenter favorite!

    And I'm looking forward to your blog's Michael Mann week!

    best,
    JKM

  3. Yeah, I've got some good stuff planned for next week. It should be lots of fun!

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