|Reviews & Columns|
TV on DVD
Reviews by Studio
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
DVD Talk Radio
The M.O.D. Squad
DVD Talk Forum
DVD Price Search|
Customer Service #'s
This title is currently out of print.
You'd have to be born under a rock not to know who the great Rowdy Roddy Piper is ... either that, or a commie. Which is sorta ironic, or something, because Roddy made a pinko movie with John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing remake) back when Ron Reagan was still catnapping in the Oval Office. Well, Roddy made a sci-fi/action picture called They Live (1988, 94 minutes), but Carpenter had this whole subtext in mind that derided what he called "unrestrained capitalism." But don't worry, there's plenty of ass whuppin' in it. Heck, I've watched it a bunch of times and I still get a little misty when Lee Greenwood belts out "God Bless The USA."
The movie: Roddy is this dude by the name of John Nada who falls on hard times back in Denver, so he high-tails it out to Los Angeles looking for work. It's the late '80s and the rich just seem to keep getting richer, and the regular Joes keep finding it harder and harder to keep up their deer leases AND buy beer. Anyway, there's some plot points mixed in, but Nada accidentally gets hooked up with this church choir that turns out to be a militia group. They rant on about unseen forces at work in regular society, "THEY LIVE, WE SLEEP." After the L.A.P.D. bulldozes the shanty town Nada was living in, he starts to think maybe it's time to get out of Dodge. But before he does, he tries on some fancy eyewear the choir folks made ... well, that's when things get real interesting. The "Hoffman Lenses" (probably named for Albert Hoffman, the inventor of LSD) look like regular ol' sunglasses, but they let Nada see all these subliminal messages (OBEY, CONFORM, STAY ASLEEP) and some real-deal space aliens, which he so delicately states, "look like their head fell in the cheese dip back in 1957." Sorta like if you rung a human inside out and threw a bunch of glitter in their eyes, you know, like Tom Petty. These multi-dimensional yuppie aliens from Andromeda, or some such, have infiltrated the powers of the world and talk to each other through their Rolex watches. They lure humans to their side with wealth and power. Roddy, of course, doesn't know all that right away, he just decides its time to start kicking some space alien keister -- and does. He also has THE most hellacious two-man brawl in film history with Keith David (as his buddy Frank). And it's said that Piper and David's fight was originally 5 minutes longer (inspired by The Duke's fight in The Quiet Man.) Anyway, Roddy also meets up with B-movie legend Meg Foster (as Holly) who works for Cable 54 which turns out is beaming the alien's brain-washing signal. Ah, heck, y'all will just have to watch the movie to see how it all works out. I will say, it has probably one of the best endings ever, except on basic cable because this topless gal (Cibby Danyla) and her amazing talents are abruptly hacked out of the TV version. Tragically, Danyla never made another movie -- a real shame.
Notables: Two breasts. 64 corpses. Yuppies from outer space. Exploding TV studio. Bottle to the brainpan. Blind priest clubbing. Riot squad attack. Gratuitous nosy gay neighbors. Multiple gun battles.
Quotables: Roddy Piper spat his gum out before shooting a scene and adlibed this famous line, "I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass -- and I'm all out of bubble gum." His other memorable quotes: "I'm giving you a choice. Either put on these glasses, or start eating that trash can" and a personal favorite, "Life's a bitch -- she's back in heat." Keep an eye on George "Buck" Flower (as Drifter), he doesn't have any particularly memorable lines, but he's great as the slimy alien sympathizer.
Time codes: The resistance movement interrupts regularly scheduled programming (12:00). Nada slips on his shades ... some of the messages he sees, "MARRY & REPRODUCE, NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT, CONSUME, WATCH TV, SUBMIT, WORK 8 HOURS / SLEEP 8 HOURS / PLAY 8 HOURS, BUY, NO IDEAS, SURRENDER, DOUBT HUMANITY, FOLLOW, DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY, NO IMAGINATION" and printed on cash, "THIS IS YOUR GOD" (32:00). First space alien revealed (34:30). Roddy starts whuppin' ass (40:00). Meg Foster arrives (43:00). The fist fight (55:49). Ms. Cibb Danyla is ready for her close up, Mr. Carpenter (1:30:20).
Audio/Video: One of my favorite things about the movie is John Carpenter and Alan Howarth's DA, Da, DA, Dum score, and it sounds great in Dolby digital surround sound. The print is bright, sharp, clean and in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
Extras: Like Rowdy Roddy's character ... Nada. Not even a trailer. Be pleased with the image and sound quality and the fact that this relatively obscure picture is readily available on DVD.
Final thought: Truly a great film, and probably one of the best-kept secrets in the ever expanding DVD library. Let's all say a little prayer for a Special Edition. Highly Recommended.
for additional reviews and bonus features.
G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.
|Release List||Reviews||Shop||Newsletter||Forum||DVD Giveaways||Blu-Ray||Advertise|