They Live

They Live

Consider the tag line: “You see them on the street. You watch them on TV. You might even vote for one this fall. You think they’re people just like you. You’re wrong. Dead wrong.”

Could a film from the 80’s possibly be more timely today than John Carpenter’s “They Live”? Listen to this week’s episode to discover why this might be the scariest movie we’ve reviewed all year.

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Automatic Transcript

They Live (1988)

Episode 35, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw Podcast

Todd:  And welcome to another episode of 2 Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd.

Craig: I’m Craig.

Todd: And today’s film was the 1988 John Carpenter movie, They Live. Craig, you’d seen this before, right?

Craig:  Yeah. When I was a kid. It’s been a long time. I think I saw it just one time when I was a kid.

Todd:  Oh, yeah. I I think I saw it fairly recently, like maybe 3 or 4 years ago. Yeah. I sat down. It was one of those movies I always kinda wanted to watch, but, and of course, the cover. I think my dad really liked it but, you know, I didn’t get to see it for quite later in life. Right. Yeah.  It’s an interesting film. Is it not?

Craig:  Yeah. It is interesting. You know, I I remember the basic premise and I kind of remembered some things about the plot. Really, in a lot of ways, the movie hasn’t aged all that well, except for that I feel like the subject matter is perfectly timely. It could have

Todd:  been made. Yeah. Right. Like just, you know, with a little more explosion, moving a little faster, and that that

Craig:  sort of deal.  And all the advancements in our technology. But, I mean, a lot of it, you know, it’s kind of a movie about aliens, I guess, coming in and kind of controlling us subliminally through advertising and technology. And, my God, the way that we’re all glued to our phones right now. If if some alien race wanted to do this today, I don’t think they’d have any problem.

Todd:  No. It wouldn’t be. They’d sneak it by us. You know, I was just thinking about that actually. The the movie revolves a lot around the television and

Craig:  Mhmm.

Todd:  How we’re all glued to our TVs and, we’re being controlled by these waves coming. Because now everybody has a TV in their home, and there’s a point in the movie where you hear, somebody talking about how even when the TV is off, there are these signals coming through. And I thought, well, you know, it’s pretty much cell phones now. Right. We’ve all got them in our pockets. Right.

Craig:  And you know, they, the man, can tap in and listen to you or record you whenever they want.

Todd:  Yeah. And that’s really what this is all about. It’s like about the man. Yeah. John Carpenter himself just said flat out, yeah, this is like an allegory. I mean, it’s it’s it’s not much of an allegory. It’s pretty bold on its face. Yeah.  His response to Reaganomics is, basically, he’s saying that through this film that the elite, as in the aliens, are controlling us and keeping us subservient through entertainment and sending us subliminal messages all the time that we’re not awakened to. And, the main character in this movie gets awakened to all that and runs off with a small group of people who are also awakened, enlightened as you will, and, tries to do something about it. Right. Yeah.

Craig:  I mean it’s really a very simple story, and that’s it exactly. And you could see, like I said, I feel like it’s ripe for a remake. There’s so much that they could do with it now. And, you know, in the political climate that we are in here in the United States, it would not at all be a stretch to think that some of these folks are aliens, you know, out to control us and destroy us.

Todd:  Trump the alien.

Craig:  Yeah. He okay. You wouldn’t even you don’t have to wear the glasses to see it on him.

Todd:  No. In a way, honestly, I I was I it was almost depressing watching this movie because of how much it rung true. Mhmm. And maybe that’s why I I don’t know. I I just watched it with this melancholy air, of dread in a way. You know, John Carpenter’s really good at, at getting that out, I think. I’ve always loved him as a director. I think if anything John Carpenter makes fun and interesting movies that are just so different in that I don’t know.  I I I get this feeling that he’s just a little frustrated, that some of these lower budget films, like this one was made for, like, $3,000,000. I think it was shot all on location in different places. It opened up number 1, like, that weekend, and then immediately just was out of the theaters like a week later. Yeah. It’s crazy. But this one starts out man from nowhere type thing. Right. It’s like a director.  And, even the guy’s name is Nada, even though we don’t hear it anymore.

Craig:  I kept listening. I kept thinking, surely somebody’s gotta say his name, but they never do.

Todd:  Yeah.

Craig:  And, you know, Nada means nothing in Spanish. And, I guess this the the source material was a short story that was written, I think, almost 30 years or so before they actually sixties. Yeah. Yeah. And, the the main character in the short story’s name is Nada, but it’s it’s never mentioned. But played by, Roddy Piper. Rowdy Todd Piper. And, you know, that’s the thing.  Like, I wasn’t really you know, I would watch wrestling because my friends did and stuff. I really wasn’t all that into it, but it seemed like every other boy my age was super into it. Yeah. And I remember that, you know, amongst, like, young adolescents at this time, this movie was super cool, because it was like this action movie with all these gun fights and these big fight scenes and aliens and Roddy Piper. Roddy Piper. Right.

Todd:  Now I was into wrestling only because my friends were into it, so I got into it, you know, and we’d watch it, and Roddy Piper was the guy. What a nice man. I mean, he just comes across as a cool dude. Yeah. Yeah. You know, and he was always the, most of the time he was the enemy in the wrestling world, but occasionally he’d flip over to good, you know, in this in the male soap opera that is professional wrestling. And in this movie, he just exudes a certain charisma, a sort of energy that just by being there, I don’t Todd you feel that way?

Craig:  Yeah. Definitely. I mean, he’s he’s definitely a guy’s guy. Yeah. And and I feel like, you know, John Carpenter makes those kind of movies. You know, they’re they’re, you know, stereotypically. Of course, women can enjoy these movies too, but I I feel like these are kind of guys’ movies. You know? A lot of focus on the action.  The storytelling is not really all that intricate. It’s kind of secondary. But they’re fun romps  to

Todd:  get through. Yeah. So he comes in and, it’s it’s again, it’s just like out of a western. It’s like he wanders into town from, I think he said Denver, eventually, Colorado. So it’s not totally The Man From Nowhere kind of thing. But, when he’s wandering into town, you’re seeing these scenes of these big skyscrapers towering above.

Craig:  What what was this? Los Angeles? Is that what you think  it’s supposed

Todd:  to be? Yep. Los Angeles. And you get that dichotomy of the tall, towering city, and you’re just a small cog in this wheel. And he, in particular, has nothing but the backpack on his back. And so when he wanders in, all he’s doing is looking for work. Right. Just total blue collar. I just need a job to get paid.

Craig:  Well, and and he goes to, like, social services, like, for unemployment or to find work or whatever. And, you know, they I feel like Carpenter really smacks you in the face with this in the first 10 minutes, how there’s this big divide between the wealthy elite and then the downtrodden poor working class.

Todd:  Yeah.

Craig:  And so you you know, you see that in the busy office where they’re you know, it’s it’s announced over the Todd speaker. There’s a glitch, and we don’t have food stamps. We don’t even bother apply. When he’s, interviewing with this, I guess unemployment woman. Last place of employment.

Clip:  Denver, Colorado. Worked there for 10 years, and things just seemed to dry up. They lost 14 banks in 1 week.

Craig:  There’s nothing available for you right now.  He  has to go out, you know, and just kind of beat the streets to try to find work. And he does, not easily, but he finds some construction work. And then, you know, you see the other construction guys, and he meets Frank, who’s played by Keith David, who I don’t know a lot about him except for that he’s really familiar. Yes.  He was  in The Thing. Right?  Yeah.

Todd:  He was in The Thing. He’s been in a few, films that, you know, are pretty recognizable. I’m trying to remember names.

Craig:  Well, just another big tough guy. Yeah. And, you know, they kind of buddy up just a little bit. And, Keith, takes Frank Todd, like, this shanty Todd, I guess, where people are kinda just building these little shacks or whatever, and they’re kinda a little local community. And it looks like there’s some kind of charity organization. Like, it’s right across the street from his church. Yeah. And they offer hot meals and stuff through the church or whatever.  Again, a lot of the focus is just on look at these poor people. They’re hard working folks, but they’re downtrodden. And then we start to get into some of the sci fi stuff.

Todd:  Yeah, homeless. And you know what’s so depressing about it is that right now LA is going through this very, thing. I mean, obviously, it’s always been an issue, but it’s it’s even been in the news. These tent cities and shanty towns that are growing larger and larger and larger. And what do you do? You know, you don’t go in and bulldoze them down and destroy these people’s homes, but how do you provide for this group of people? And then there’s always that aspect of the rich folks, people who maybe can’t put themselves in their shoes saying, well, we just need to get rid of the riffraff. Why don’t they just go out and get a job?

Craig:  Oh, well, oh my gosh. That’s so timely right now. Yeah. You know, that’s the kind of the prevailing attitude, in politics right now is that, you know, people who need social services or whatever are in the position that they’re in because it’s their fault, because they’re lazy or shiftless. And I think that, Carpenter is, you know, he’s responding Todd, you know, that couldn’t be more timely today.

Todd:  No. It couldn’t. And it’s really illustrated, and Frank and Nada have a conversation pretty early on. And Nada seems to be of that, maybe more so in the dark, optimistic American guy.

Clip:  Right? We gave the steel companies a break when they needed

Craig:  it. You know

Clip:  what they gave themselves? Raises.  You know, you ought to have a little more patience with life. Yeah.

Craig:  Well, I’m all  out.

Clip:  The whole deal is like some kind of crazy game. They put you at starting line, the name of the game is make it through life. Only everyone’s out for themselves and looking to do you in at the same time. Okay, man. Here we are. Here we are. Now you do what you can, but remember, I’m gonna do my best to blow your ass away. So how are you gonna make it?  I deliver a hard day’s work for my money. I just want the chance. It’ll come. I believe in America. I follow the rules. Everybody’s got their own hard times these days.

Todd:  In a sense, he’s saying you make your own luck. Yeah. And, I just all I know is I’m gonna have to work hard and eventually I’m gonna make it. Right. And Frank really shakes his head at that like, you’re an idiot.

Craig:  Yeah. And Frank says, you know, it’s the golden rule. He who has the gold makes the rules. And Nada says, I believe in America. You know, I believe if I go out there and do my hard work that eventually things will happen for me. And it’s an interesting, you know, kind of contrast.

Todd:  It is such the national conversation

Craig:  right now.

Todd:  It’s crazy. While they’re there, you

Craig:  know, I guess somehow there’s some electricity in this shanty town because some of these

Todd:  – There’s people who got TV.

Craig:  Yeah, some of these bums sit around watching a TV. And breaking into the regular programming is this kind of weird, subversive message that’s only kind of coming through staticky and saying how they’re controlling us. I don’t remember what I’ll have said. It’s this old, bald guy talking. Nada had seen a street preacher when he had first gotten into town who was preaching the same kind of thing. They’re controlling us, we’re just sheep, we’re asleep, that kind of thing. And he, sees this street preacher here again in this little shanty place. And he sees one of the guys who seems to kind of be in charge, Gilbert.  He sees him take the street preacher into this church across the street, and he kind of becomes interested in what’s going on over there. And as it turns out, there is something going on over there. The church is just a front for this kind of revolutionary movement.

Todd:  Yeah. He walks in, and all the singing and choir sounds that are coming from the church are really just coming from speakers. Yeah. Reel to reel tape. That’s where Yeah. Part of this noise is so charming. All the technology edited. It’s got a mix of this sort

Craig:  of future technology and this clearly eighties technology.

Todd:  Oh, yeah. It’s so eighties. Yeah. And opens up a secret panel. Yeah.

Craig:  Which is totally not secret at all. No. I thought that was kind of funny. Like, he sees this, like, lab. Like, it just looks like your generic chem lab, almost like a a meth lab or something. And, then, yeah, he trips, which he does several times throughout the movie. I thought that was kind of funny. He’s kind of, like, clumsy, always tumbling over things.  But, yeah, there’s this door that’s kind of hidden, I guess. And, I didn’t even really get the significance of it because there are all these boxes all along the outside too.  Yeah.  And then, like, they just had some of them hidden away.  Well, and all you’ve got to

Todd:  do is walk in the side door of this church and you stumble into the whole operation. Right. Right. Right. I mean, there’s no guard. He just wandered in. Yeah. You know? It’s a little silly, the way that that’s set up.

Craig:  Well, the boxes are full of sunglasses, and he doesn’t have any idea what that means, obviously. But, I I I think it’s pretty much right away, you know, right after he kinda stumbles upon that and he’s then he’s kind of watching them from a distance. Right away, the place gets raided. You know? All these cops  come in.  Helicopters come in. Everybody, you know, who is in there runs out and runs away. The cops are chasing them and beating them up. Like, this old preacher guy is is Todd and blind and

Todd:  They’re kicking the crap out

Craig:  of him. Oh my gosh. Yeah. You know, I I I kind of presume they killed him  Yeah.  Is what I’m thinking. But, you know, Nada gets away. And then he he comes back later after everything’s kinda died down. Right?

Todd:  Yeah. He does to investigate. And, of course, the church has been burned up. The police have actually come in and completely cleared out the Chevy Todd with their bulldozers and stuff. And I was reading about this and apparently Roddy Piper came from a not too dissimilar, background of had some home some times when he was homeless, and he said that actually shooting those scenes was very difficult for him, to kinda see. So some of that reaction on his face, you would think is is genuine, I guess, except the reaction on his face a lot of times is this slightly disinterested, dispassionate smirk. You know? Yeah.

Craig:  Yeah. He’s

Todd:  not honestly, I love watching him, but he’s not really the best actor. No. No.

Craig:  I mean, he’s not terrible. I mean, you know, I feel like we still see, you know, kind of stunt casting today where they’ll, you know, cast a big name singer or or athlete or something. And it’s just for the name. And and a lot of the times, their performances are shoddy. But, you know, he held his own. It wasn’t awful.

Todd:  His acting wasn’t so bad. It’s kind of Schwarzenegger esque, right? Yeah. Yeah. Arnold back in the day. Right. He becomes more of a Rambo at some point later on

Craig:  in the film. And it’s pretty one note. But it’s not terrible. It’s not like you’re laughing at how terrible he

Todd:  ends in.

Craig:  It’s just a little flat.

Todd:  That’s true. Well, he goes back in and the church has been cleared out, and a big message that had been written on the wall that said, they live, we sleep

Craig:  Mhmm.

Todd:  Has been painted over. Of course, because he knows about this not this pretty obvious, boy, those police really were not

Craig:  doing it.

Todd:  Right. I’m not very thorough.

Craig:  And it, you know, it becomes an alien movie, and we find out that most of the police are aliens. And it’s so funny because they’re totally inept. Like, we get later on late in the movie, there are these big gun fights, and there will be, like, dozens of these cops, like, shooting machine guns at these 2 guys. Never hit them. Meanwhile, the 2 guys, you know, just have these old pistols. Yeah. And they’re just taking them out left and right.

Todd:  They’re just spraying left and right, whatever. Yeah.

Craig:  So so the aliens are good with their technology, not so good at the, police work, I guess.

Todd:  Yeah. That’s kinda silly. He opens up this secret panel and pulls out a box of sunglasses. When he pulls out the box, runs out to an alley to see what’s actually inside, and he looks into it, oh, it’s more sunglasses.

Craig:  And Yeah. He kinda, like, rifles through thinking there’s Like, sure.

Todd:  There’s more. Right. And he ends up putting the sunglasses on as he’s walking down the street, and instantly he sees one of the large billboards across the street. Now the world’s in black and white through the sunglasses, and it says, obey. Right. It’s a big ad for just a computer, but, the subliminal subtext of the ad is obey. And he looks across at another ad of a chick in a bikini who’s lounging, and it’s telling you to to, you know, go to some faraway place, Hawaii. And he looks at it through the sunglasses and it says, marry and reproduce.  Right. Right. Right.

Craig:  And so he’s looking all around. And, you know, this is what I remember. I I remember thinking this was so cool when I was a kid. You know, these sunglasses that allowed him to see what was really there, even though it was in black and white. And, you know, I don’t know what kind of transfer we watched. It looked really great for a movie from the late eighties. And the black and white stuff was really clean. It looked really good.  But, yeah, he just looks all around and everywhere. Everywhere where there’s an advertisement, everywhere where there’s anything in print or photo, it’s these different subliminal messages. And they’re just in these big, black, block letters on white backgrounds. And it’s stuff like non independent thought, consume, watch TV, buy, stay asleep, submit, do not question authority. And it’s just everywhere. And it’s kind of cool because it makes you realize how much you don’t realize how much you’re inundated with really subliminal stuff all

Todd:  the time. These very same messages.

Craig:  Yeah.

Todd:  Yeah. You you cut it to its core. This is the truth behind what it is. Right. And the truth is black and white, right? Right. So he sees it in black and white. It’s clever. I mean, I liked it.  I thought that that, that worked for me.

Craig:  Oh, yeah. I liked it too. I think that’s one of the most fun and and, creative elements of the movie. I like it a lot.

Todd:  Yeah. And and even when he looks down at some money, at one point in one guy’s hand, the money printed on it says, this is your God. Right. But, also people. So, you know, at first the people he sees just look like normal people through the glasses, but every now and then somebody in a suit or somebody who’s obviously a little more upper class comes into picture, and they are freaky looking alien people. Right. I remember again, I only saw it when

Craig:  I was a kid. I remember those aliens looking so cool and scary. Today, as we’re watching, you know, it’s it’s almost like they’ve just got like, it’s like a rubber mask. Yeah.

Todd:  It’s so low budget. Yeah.

Craig:  I mean, it’s a good man. It’s an interesting look. It’s not, you know, it’s not copying anything else. I mean, these are unique looking. They’ve got these kind of big, sparkly eyes, and it almost looks like they’re kind of human esque, except it almost looks like they’re flayed or something, like they’re missing skin. Like, you’re just kind of seeing muscular tissues and bone and stuff.

Todd:  Which is smart for the message. I mean, if you’re trying to make parallels to real life, you’d wanna make the aliens more humanoid. Right. Because in essence, he’s basically saying the message is that there are humans who are doing this. Right.

Craig:  Right. Exactly. And that, you know, some people are monsters. Yeah. Basically, is what he’s getting down to. Uh-huh. And, you know, it’s a very clear attack at a certain class of people, which, you know, is is interesting coming from a successful film director.

Todd:  That’s a

Craig:  good point. Right? But,

Todd:  So as he’s going around, he’s he’s really saying out loud what he thinks. Yeah. That’s one of the goofy things about this movie really is that it’s it’s sadly Carpenter couldn’t come up with a better way for us to get into his mind. And honestly, he really didn’t need more than him wandering around and reacting to things. But he says to people

Clip:  You know, you look like the head fell on the cheese dip back in 1957. Lou, you’re okay. This one, real ugly. Oh. You see, I take these glasses off. She looks like a regular person, doesn’t she? Put them back on. Formaldehyde face. That’s what

Craig:  we got. What’s the

Clip:  knock out of you? You get out of there. I call the cops. Call the cops. You know what you need? You You need a Brazilian plastic surgeon.

Todd:  You look ugly. And you know, and he just completely reveals to everybody that he knows their secret Right. Which causes people to start talking into their wristwatches. Right. The alien people. Yeah.

Craig:  Right? Like saying stuff like, I’ve got one who can see. And you know, then you see that they’re all communicating in these watches, and they’re, you know, all starting to kind of, I don’t know, come in. Yeah. Converge on him. Exactly.

Clip:  Yeah.

Craig:  And  so he takes off running, and he ends up kinda getting cornered in this alleyway where 2 cops who are also aliens stop him. And they say something like, I don’t know, like, you know, we can do this the easy way or the hard way or whatever, but he ends up just kinda kicking their asses. Yeah. And he kills them.

Todd:  Yeah. Like, he just shoots shoots them both.

Craig:  And And that was an interesting choice Todd. I mean, I see at some point later on, you know, eventually he gets away and he he teams back up with, Frank. And and Frank says, how many people did you kill? And he said, none. I didn’t kill any people. Yeah. You know, they weren’t people. But it’s kind of he didn’t really have any moral struggle.

Todd:  Yeah. It is an interesting morality Todd this film. Yeah. Total black and white, bad good guy, bad guy. The aliens are the bad guy, and we’re just gonna kill them when we see them, and we’re not supposed to feel, you know, anything for them. Right. And to be fair, I think that’s, I mean, that’s kinda how the movie plays out, all all the way through. The aliens, there’s nothing there’s nothing redeeming about them.  They are here to control us, to consume us, to basically use our planet’s resources and move on to the next one.

Craig:  Right. Yeah. And their their motives are a little bit vague. I never really could understand if they were there because they wanted to inhabit the planet or if they  were just gathering some kind of resources. Or, you know, at  some point, one of somebody says, methane,

Todd:  So now it’s like Exxon is evil because they’re knowingly dumping stuff into the air just because they’re trying to transform the planet. But but then at the same level,

Craig:  our world and and their world. I again It’s a bit of a hole. Yeah. The motives are a little unclear. I I I don’t know that it necessarily matters.

Todd:  You know, it’s it’s because we’re stuck in this bad spot. Right. And that’s all that matters to us. Right? Is that now we feel bad because we’ve been submitting to this the whole time, and we’ve been coaxed in by this message that they are continually giving us that you Todd can be like us. You too can be rich and successful, which again is what Nada originally feels at the beginning. And then it’s only when he puts on the glasses and realizes there is in fact a large conspiracy that the deck is stacked against us from the beginning, and all of that goes out the window. Like, the American dream essentially goes out the window

Craig:  Right.

Todd:  Because the deck’s stacked.

Craig:  Yeah, exactly. And that kind of comes to be the message. Because the deck is stacked, do you stand up and fight, or do you submit to the inevitable? And if you can have personal gain, why not? What is your other alternative? They’re here. They’re in charge. If they are offering you some sort of personal gain for just going along and helping out, why not? But of course, the true American, Nada, knows that no, you know, we have to fight for our freedom and our individuality and all that stuff.

Todd:  Well, it does you know, it raises an interesting point, and that is, okay, if these aliens have the power to come in and give you the wealth and whatever if you go along with them, Why are there poor people? Why are there people who are who are in the dark about why are they keeping so many people in the dark? You know, we’ve seen science fiction films where the aliens come in and just promise the world to the Earth, but there’s always a, like, a sinister catch behind

Clip:  it. Mhmm.

Todd:  In this case, I think the fact that the aliens are coming in, to consume and really don’t care about humanity, that’s why they’ve gotta keep this dichotomy. They’ve gotta keep the poor and the rich. They’ve gotta keep and maintain a certain class struggle to give you something to aspire to Todd grease the wheels for their invasion.

Craig:  Well, and and it’s also, you know, kind of a a control thing. Somebody says that I don’t even remember who says at one point. He says they must love watching us rip each other apart. They must love watching us kill one another. So by raising some people in status and keeping other people down, they’re maintaining that conflict.

Todd:  And allowing us to do a lot of their dirty work.

Craig:  Right. Exactly.

Todd:  Yeah. Yeah. It’s it’s interesting.

Craig:  Which again, Todd, isn’t that scary?

Todd:  I know. It is so scary because, it just sort of feels like we’re living through it right now.

Craig:  I know. It’s crazy. Pitting pitting people against one another and, you know, for for political purposes and it’s it’s it’s you know, you put it in the context of a sci fi movie, it’s scary. You put it in the context of reality, it’s even scarier. Yeah. I don’t know, man. It is. Scary time.

Todd:  The scariest movie we’ve seen, like, way more than Right. Right.

Craig:  Or anything else. Well, he he gets away from those cops, and he runs off and

Todd:  Oh, I wanna point one thing out though, which is really cool, and I thought this was a fine choice by the director, writer, same guy, was that he does encounter a cop that’s not an alien. Right. Right? He’s also saying, you know, not all these people and of course we get introduced to that later, but not everybody in authority is a bad guy.

Craig:  And not even all of them know. A lot of them might, but some of them don’t. And so he doesn’t kill the people, and that, you know, that kind of goes throughout the rest of the movie. You know? They’re they’re running around with machine guns and whatnot, and they kill indiscriminately the aliens, but they’ll just let the humans just kinda

Todd:  skirt by. Scrut on by. Yeah. Even if they might be in cahoots, the idea is that they don’t know they’re in cahoots. Right.

Craig:  Right.

Todd:  So So you’re right. So as they go along, he escapes, and he runs across a woman in a

Craig:  Well, we can’t skip this. Oh, no. No. You’re right.

Clip:  You’re right.

Todd:  He ends

Craig:  up, you know, just he he’s trying to hide. He ends up backing into a bank. And and at this point, he’s taken all the weapons from the cops, so he’s armed. He’s got, like, a a shotgun and, you know, pistols and everything. And so, of course, when he turns around in the bank, you know, people start to freak out. And then I think, you know, the classic line from this movie.

Clip:  I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, And I’m all out of bubblegum.

Craig:  Which is such a silly line.

Todd:  It is. And so funny. It’s iconic. It is iconic. And we’ve seen I mean, we we repeat that line, people talk, or or make modifications on it.

Craig:  I guess, that, you know, stuff that he had planned on using in the ring or or in, you know, interviews and wrestling. Yeah. And so he just ad libbed it, and they kept it. And and I want you know, he’s got silly zingers throughout. I, you know, I wonder how much of that was scripted and how much, you know, when he’s in the bank and he’s been shooting all the aliens, he sees one of them talking into his wristwatch, and he says, mama doesn’t like tattletales. He’s just got all these goofy little quips. And it but it works. You know? It does.  I think it’s, you know, a product of the time. I don’t think that you could get away with that kind of cheesiness today and still be taken seriously, but for the time period, it works, and it’s funny.

Todd:  Arnie did that all the time. Oh, yeah. Stalone. Yeah. Sure. Yeah.

Craig:  It was

Todd:  it was all part and parcel of that. And that guy that he says that to, twists his watch or something and immediately vanishes. And that’s an interesting reveal at that point that these guys can actually disappear, and that comes into play later as well. Right. So then after that encounter in the bank, he lives out. Oh, there’s also like a little flying saucer thing

Craig:  Mhmm.

Todd:  That comes in. It’s like a 19 fifties looking flying saucer. It’s just like

Craig:  a little orb with, like, a little arm that’s like a camera, I guess, that comes out. Yeah.

Todd:  Yeah. Like, 2 big metal plates kinda stuck together, you know, front of Like an Ed Wood thing. Yeah. Yeah. That was an interesting choice. It looked really good in the black and white. Yeah. You know, it looks like it fit completely.

Craig:  Right. Right. But but again, that was something that I didn’t really understand. Like, are those things invisible Yeah. To everybody else? Same here. Who cares?

Todd:  That didn’t make any sense to me. But who cares?

Craig:  You know? Yeah. It’s I guess it’s establishing, you know, they’ve got this advanced technology that we don’t know about, and they’re using it.

Todd:  Well, and also he shoots it and it bursts into a bunch of metal pieces and then it cuts back to him and, like, one little metal thing falls to the ground. Like the budget of this movie really kind of shows at times. So he runs along and, ends up in a parking garage, and, there’s a woman who’s trying to get into her car, and he can see that she’s not an alien, so he essentially kidnaps her or tries to use her as a means of escape.

Craig:  Right. And this this woman is Meg Foster, who I don’t know from a lot of things, but she has such a unique look. Oh my gosh. And I know that she did a lot of TV work, in the eighties, maybe in the nineties too. I I haven’t seen it, but I know that she was in, Rob Zombie’s Lords of Salem. But if you know who she is, you’ll picture her face immediately, because she’s got these piercing blue eyes. Almost scary. Unnaturally blue.  Yeah. And and these, you know, this is her natural eye color. I would almost wonder if she has vision problems. They’re so light. It seems like she wouldn’t be able to be out in the sun for very long. But she’s very striking, and and very memorable. And so he takes her, and and, basically, you know, he just needs to get out of there. The cops are around, and so he just says drive.  And, eventually, you know, he says, take me back to your place. She doesn’t want to, but what choice does she have? And so they go back to, her place. And he tries to explain to her what’s going on, but, of course, she doesn’t believe him. I always thought this was funny, though, you know, because he’s got those glasses, and he says, here. Put them on. And she says, well, even if I don’t see what you see, I’m going to see it. In other words I’m gonna lie. Right.  You’re in charge. I’m gonna go along with whatever you go along with. In my mind, I’m thinking, alright. Just put him on anyway. Yeah. Alright?

Todd:  He’ll see that she sees. He knows that she’s not lying. Right. Yeah. It’s the silliest. That that is another weak point in this movie. Some of the plotting is a little strange. Yeah.  Yeah. So she doesn’t put them on. He doesn’t give them to her. He says fine and he just gives up. And it’s like he’s nodding off, and she starts to walk away. He’s like, don’t you mess with me. And she says, oh, I wanna get a drink. And then he starts to have conversation with her and asks her what she who what her name is, and her name is Holly, and what does she do? Oh, she works for cable channel 54 is the problem.

Craig:  Which we know is the is the studio that the aliens broadcast out of. Yep. So right away, I’m like, oh, come on. This lady’s gotta do more than than she’s letting on.

Todd:  And also, you know, it’s another one of those movie things where, oh, he happened to stumble upon the one woman. You know? Oh, right. Exactly. Exactly. So he gets excited, and he runs toward the television, and there’s a fantastic shot. Mhmm. It’s very Hitchcockian in a way. Of it’s completely overhead.  As he reaches for the TV, she swings around and knocks him over the head with a bottle or something. Yeah.

Craig:  Like a liquor bottle.

Todd:  And pushes him out the window, all in just one smooth moment. Mhmm. Boy, is that shocking.

Craig:  Yeah. Oh, it was. I had forgotten about that. And it’s really fast, and it’s this big plate glass window, and, you know, he he flies out of it and then rolls down the hill. It’s a it’s a cool action sequence.

Todd:  It’s brilliant, from a filmmaking standpoint. And John Carpenter’s always been pretty good at staging action. No. He’s without his glasses now, and, you can see he’s constantly under threat from the cops. He’s always looking overhead. There is always a police helicopter on the side.

Craig:  They’ve got a picture of him on, you know, every TV screen.

Todd:  Yeah. An inexplicable picture, like where did they get this picture from? Because Because it’s not like it came off a security camera or

Craig:  anything. No. And it’s clearly an old picture because he has much shorter hair.

Todd:  It’s funny. It’s goofy, but he is more or less able to wander around the streets when he needs to without anybody recognizing him or anybody bothering him. So in that sense, the tension in the movie dissipates a little bit when you realize that when it’s convenient for the film, he can just wander around, Whereas when it’s not convenient or we need to introduce a chase scene or something, suddenly the cops are everywhere or everybody knows who he is and besets upon him.

Craig:  Yeah. And that would be a criticism that I have of the movie. You know, it really takes a while to get rolling. And then even when it gets rolling, when the aliens are revealed, it’s not real fast paced. I mean some some fun action stuff will happen. But then you’ll have a good stretch where it’s just walking around and looking around and whatnot. First, he goes back to the construction site, and he’s trying to, I think, hook back up with Frank. But Frank’s like, you know, I don’t want anything to do with you.  You know? You’re a wanted man or whatever. Get get out of here. And so he leaves, and he goes back to where he left the, the sun the box of sunglasses he had left it in, the bottom of this trash can. And he goes

Todd:  This was the dumbest idea.

Craig:  Oh, I know. Well, at that point, he didn’t know what they were, but I and and who knows? I mean, it’s it’s not within the realm of reality, but I’m thinking if if I realize what those sunglasses did, one of my first thoughts would be, I’m gonna go back and get the

Todd:  other one. Yeah. Right? Like, immediately. Right.

Craig:  But I guess it doesn’t cross his mind. So he goes back, and and the garbage has just been picked up, and the truck is still there. So he kind of sneakily opens the back of of the truck and rifles through and finds the box. And it looks like there’s still a

Todd:  couple of pairs in there. Yeah. You know, this is almost an unnecessary scene. It is. Isn’t it? Yeah. The outcome is the same. Right. He’s never in any peril.  It’s not like the guys, running the truck find him doing whatever he’s doing. He just goes in, oh, okay, there are the glasses after all, and it gets dumped out on the street.

Craig:  And that’s the thing. Like, I feel like they were going for a comic moment with him getting dumped out of the dump truck onto the street that it really wasn’t that funny. No.  I mean,  it just didn’t seem necessary at all.

Todd:  And it’s the like I said to Craig as we were watching this, this is the cleanest garbage

Craig:  I’ve ever seen

Todd:  in my life. It’s just all glass is used. Papers. Yeah. You know? Nothing dirty about it. No.

Craig:  But, anyway, he gets the glasses back, and then from behind And and he’s, you know, he is kinda talking like a crazy person. They’re all around. They’re controlling us. We’re asleep. You know? Somebody was shouting that at me in an hour away. I I probably wouldn’t be real quick to wanna buddy up with them either. Hey. You’ve probably had that

Todd:  shout out at 2 and a half.

Craig:  Oh, shoot. Yeah. I mean, every once in a while. But, but Frank doesn’t wanna

Todd:  put the glasses on. And then so, really, the biggest one of the biggest action pieces of the movie is our 2 protagonists beating the crap out of each other. Nada wants Frank to put on

Craig:  the glasses, he won’t. And he says something like, well you’ve got 2 choices, you can put on the glasses or you can start eating that trash can. And Frank’s like, yeah I don’t think so. And so then they just start beating the crap out of each other and it’s this huge fight scene. And I read that, initially this fight was supposed to last 20 seconds, but Roddy Piper and Keith David got together on their own and choreographed this huge fight. And they they really except for the face shots and the groin shots, they weren’t even pulling any punches. No.  You know,  they were really going at it. And it’s it’s a good fight. It’s a tough fight. I mean, these are 2 big guys.

Todd:  Strong and strong sports. Yeah.

Craig:  And, you know, when it first starts, Frank is, like, punching, Nada in the chest. It just looks like he’s punching a brick wall. Like Yeah. Like he doesn’t like he doesn’t yield at all. And of course, it goes on for over 5 minutes and biting in, they are in bad shape. I mean, they’re they’re half dead it seems like.

Todd:  You know, and a lot of this movie is comedy. You know, it’s a tongue in cheek kind of thing as a as a satire would sort of go. And this does get to comical proportions, intentionally comical proportions. What I really like about this fight scene though is that you’re not seeing fancy martial arts.

Craig:  No. No.

Todd:  You know? Just street fighting. And you’re not seeing them take a really, really bad hit and then get up right away Right. To return the favor. This is what it seems like it would be like if these 2 guys were actually fighting. Yeah.

Craig:  Well, I

Todd:  mean Moments of of of rest where they’re both kind of on the ground and then one kind of gets up and it paces out at a realistic Yeah.

Craig:  I mean, there’s a there’s a couple of wrestling moves thrown in like some body strength.

Todd:  Oh, it’s not all realistic. Totally. Right.

Craig:  But but it’s it’s it’s a it’s a it’s a I I know exactly what you’re saying. Yeah. I mean, they’ll take a big hit, and then they’ll just, you know, almost go unconscious, for a minute and it takes them a while to recuperate, but then they just get back up and get right back into it. I’m like, dang. I know. You guys are in for a punishment, I guess.

Todd:  And what’s so fun about it too is Frank’s absolute refusal to put those glasses on because now it’s gotten, like, personal. Right. Now that you’re beating me up over it, there’s absolutely no way I’m gonna put these glasses on. So he throws them away and he puts them on. Anyway, the way it ends up is that, Nada ends up getting the better of Frank. Frank’s on the ground and he just just shoves the glasses on his face, lifts him up, and points him toward the street where there happened to be now 2 people walking by, where I guess there weren’t before during the preceding 5 minutes who happened to be aliens, and they look at their watches and talk, and suddenly, Frank’s a believer.

Craig:  Yeah. And another one of those orbs shows up, and he sees that. And so yeah. So now they’re friends again. And that was something else that I liked about that fight. It was it was almost like they weren’t apologetic in how rough they were being on one another, but they’re it was almost, like, chivalrous. Like like they would help one another up, like they

Todd:  would apologize. Oh, sorry. Like that like we’re not enemies. Just do what I want you to do. Yeah. Yeah. We don’t hate each other’s guts. Right.  Right. We’re just trying to, win. Win. Yeah. Win the argument with force.

Craig:  So then they go off together and they get a hotel room, and it’s it’s a funny shot of them walking in, and they’re both just I mean, the the makeup is pretty good. They are both just busted up. Roddy Piper’s face

Todd:  is all swollen. They’ve got cuts everywhere. I like that they walk up to the counter of this hotel, which is not the the best part of town, clearly. And they look like hell, and they they’re standing in front of this guy, and you expect this comical other shot of the hotel just, like, staring at the

Craig:  Great.

Todd:  Like, what? Who are you? But it’s not that. He just hands them the pan. Like like like, he sees this every day, all day long. This is nothing unusual. Yeah.

Craig:  It was funny. I don’t know if we were supposed to know that time passed. It seemed like it seemed like the next day, then they were just fine. You know, they’re limping and stuff. They’re all beat up that night, and then the next day is, like, all their wounds are healed. They’re Yeah. Very fast healers. Not to mention that, Nada had, you know, been thrown out of a building and rolled down this huge hill.  But he he’s a he’s a quick healer apparently.

Todd:  Well, this I know for me at least, this is where the movie was starting to slow down again. It’s when they’re in the hotel room and they’re chatting with each other. They introduce an element to this where the longer they wear these glasses, the more painful it is. It’s like it gives them headaches. I guess it’s it’s one of those the truth hurts, you

Craig:  know. Yeah.

Todd:  I think back to, I think back to Nathaniel Hawthorne and Young Goodman Brown where the truth cuts, you know, like blades of grass through their feet, and this is the sense that I think John Carpenter’s trying to introduce in here. So it seems like maybe they are in there for a little while doing some recovery time because it’s required not just from their injuries, but, you know, to absorb what is happening and what they can, you know, what they what could they can do about it.

Craig:  Yeah. Well and and there’s you know, I I don’t know if they were padding for time or if they were trying to build character or what, but, you know, Roddy Piper, goes off on this story that about his dad and how his dad had been abusive, and it Todd doesn’t really seem to have any true relevance. I you know, I don’t know if maybe there was more of that that ended up getting cut. I don’t think so because I think that, John Carpenter had final cut. Yeah. But it just kinda comes out of left field and

Todd:  And it doesn’t go anywhere. No. That’s another thing that I I just rolled my eyes at. I thought, man, it seemed like he was going for that man from nowhere trope.

Craig:  Mhmm.

Todd:  Yet he lets, you know, he tells enough of his backstory throughout the movie, but not enough of it that it’s interesting or compelling or really sheds any more light onto him. I thought it was a weakness. Maybe padding for time.

Craig:  Yeah. I don’t know.

Todd:  But yeah. Or or for him to give another one liner.

Craig:  Yeah. Right. Because he says something like what does he say?

Todd:  He talks about the the story’s bizarre. It’s about his dad when he was 13 kinda holding a razor blade up against him, and I guess slashing his throat or cutting him with it or something? It was weird. It was ambiguous. It’s like he said that

Craig:  he put the razor blade up to his neck and and and, Nada begged him not to, but then it said he sawed back and forth like he was sawing down a tree. I don’t know if it was just threatening or if he was really cutting. I don’t know. It was unclear. But it culminates in

Clip:  Gon’ be how Todd pay because I ain’t daddy’s little boy no more.

Craig:  Okay.

Todd:  It’s a silly line, but and it’s kinda funny, but it almost seemed like he had that line first and he had to figure out a way

Craig:  to work it out. Yeah. Maybe.

Todd:  What I really liked was the line that came shortly before that when they were done with their fight, and, Frank sees for the first time. And, Nada Nada turns to him and says, life’s a bitch, and she’s back in heat.

Craig:  Yeah. That was a good one. I liked that one. That one made me laugh.

Todd:  Oh, gosh. That’s one that shoulda lasted through the ages, and I don’t really hear anybody

Craig:  say that. Well, they they don’t really have a plan. They decide they need to hook back up with these rebels. You know, they say that we’re you know, whoever made these glasses, we’ve gotta find them and, you know, if there are any left. You know, they don’t even know because the place got raided or whatever. And then very conveniently, the guy the rebels find them. Right. Gil Gilbert, the the leader of the rebels, just happens to stumble upon them and and brings them, in and says we’re having this meeting tonight, and he gives them the address and whatnot.

Todd:  Too much convenience. LA is a very large, very popular city. Right. This is all

Craig:  I I don’t know. You mean Yeah. It is, but you just roll.

Todd:  You gotta go whatever you have to.

Craig:  You gotta keep the plot moving somehow. You know? No. It it get awfully boring if they had to spend the next 20 minutes looking for these people. So we, they hook them back up, and they go to this meeting. It’s at night. It’s like a back alley. And there’s all these people, you know, we recognize from the shanty Todd, and they are gathering weapons. And they’ve also got now contact lenses so that, you don’t have to wear the sunglasses anymore.  And apparently, the contact lenses don’t cause that same kind of pain. You know, they’ve tweaked them or something so that, they can wear them all the time. Yeah. And, you know, not a lot goes down except for that, oh, Holly, The woman that Nada had gotten a ride with just, like, magically appears there out of nowhere, and it seems like she’s joining the resistance.

Todd:  I guess the implication is that because the glasses were left in her apartment, she she looked through them and

Craig:  Right.  Exactly. Yeah. We saw that. You know, after he fell out of the window, she looked down and saw his glasses in in the broken glass. And so we assume that and that’s what she said. She’s like, I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I feel really bad.  And then just, you know, they’ve been there maybe 5 minutes. And all of a sudden, one whole wall just blows out and in comes this huge group of, like, military police. It’s so dramatic. Oh my gosh. Yeah. And they just start tearing everybody down with, like, machine guns. And again, it’s funny because everybody else except for the people that we know can’t get killed, get killed. That’s right.  You know, all these nice resistance people, but meanwhile, Nada and Frank and, Holly, they’re right in the middle of it, but they’re they’re fine.

Todd:  You know, it’s funny because when they came to that place, there was a guard outside who let them in. Mhmm. I don’t Todd they have guards around the back? I don’t know. Did these people have ways to communicate and let folks know, hey, there are like 15 tanks coming and a whole you know, about 30 people with machine guns who are about ready to break the wall down. You might want to get out. Right. It’s a very poorly organized resistance movement. Right.  For as much technology as they have. Yeah.

Craig:  I don’t know I don’t know how they’re making these glasses and stuff, but

Todd:  But but that is the moment, and it’s this moment in all the movies where we learn a little bit more about the aliens, and that’s where we learn about the atmosphere, and we hear that, yeah, that they’re everywhere, and they’re using the television sets to transmit, and that they’re searching for that one spot where they’re transmitting from.

Craig:  Right, because that would make perfect sense, that they would transmit just from one location all around  the world. It’s all

Todd:  satellite that goes everywhere. Right. Right, and thankfully that location happens to be in LA. Right, right. And wouldn’t you know it, the same channel that, was her Right. Was Holly works at. The

Craig:  guys get separated from her. Oh, but they give them watches as well. Oh, right. Right. And they say they’re, you know, they’re they’re for communication. You can listen in on their communications, and they can do this disappearing trick. We haven’t figured it out yet, but we’re we’re working on it. Yeah.  So Nada and Frank take out a bunch of people, but then they kinda end up getting cornered in this back alley. And Frank’s messing around with the watch trying to figure out what it’ll do, and it kinda, like, shorts out or something, and he tosses it behind him. And the watch, like, there’s a big flash, and this big hole appears in the ground. And the some voice says, your watch has malfunctioned. This portal will close 10 seconds.

Todd:  And, It’s like an emergency portal. It keeps your watch malfunctions. Right. It’s weird. But this whole scene is so goofball where they’re running down the alley and these people are shooting at them, and you’ve got people on the roof shooting down. I mean, they’re in the position of weakness here. Right. Where they are sitting ducks in this trench, in this alley running down.  There are people up above them. There are people on the fire escapes. There are people running down. And they’re shooting at them and nothing hits them. But, but but Nada’s got like an m 16 or something, and he just just sprays.

Craig:  He doesn’t even aim.

Todd:  He just kinda, like, holds it down and just shoots it around. And it happens to to hit everybody. Yeah. It’s so Rambo. I know. It’s funny.

Craig:  So they go down in the portal, and I again, I don’t really understand. Like, I didn’t understand if it, like, just opened a hole, and then they ended up down right underneath where they were, or  if it was I

Todd:  don’t think so. I I think it was definitely, like, a dimensional thing where they were going somewhere else on earth, obviously, but I felt like maybe always the portals of or when people use the watch, it gets them to that underground area. Right. That’s how I felt anyway. Cause there were those tubes. It looks like big concrete tunnels that just go on as far and intersect each other, but there also seem to be these tubes that came down. You you know what I mean?

Craig:  Yeah. Yeah. Like, do what they call, like, pneumatic tubes or whatever. You know? Yeah. I don’t know.

Todd:  And signs and an alien language kind of pointing them to from areas.

Craig:  But I don’t know.

Todd:  You’d think these aliens would get something a little more high class than,

Craig:  yeah. It was the late eighties. We were behind the times. So they get down there, and they’re walking around. And, of course, you know, there’s guards and stuff. I thought it was funny. The guards have, like, these communicators, and it would they were totally the, how like, the things The e meter.

Todd:  Yeah. For Ghostbusters. I mean,

Craig:  I I thought I was, like, those look awfully familiar. And then I looked it up after him, like, yep. That’s that’s exactly what it was.

Todd:  You know, those p k e meters show up in a lot of movies. And it is so funny because the Ghostbusters, what was that? 80 5, 86. Maybe. I mean, that is such an iconic movie, and it was such a huge hit when it came up. And that PKE meter was so featured in that movie that I cannot believe that that got used in so many films thereafter as something else.

Craig:  Yeah. Oh, it’s it’s funny.

Todd:  It’s transparently Yeah. The same thing.

Craig:  It takes you

Todd:  out of it a little bit, actually.

Craig:  A little bit, but it’s also silly. It is silly, but it’s also kind of fun. You know, like, ah, it’s that. You know? It’s like a little Easter egg.

Todd:  But you know what’s funny is is that they have these watches they can communicate on. Why are they using this PKE meter to communicate? You know? Like the guards aren’t good enough for watches.

Craig:  I guess. So we don’t really know where they are, but it seems like this compound, and and they hear, like, something. And so they go walking, and they get into, like, this big banquet hall or, like, a ballroom or something where there’s all these rich people sitting at tables, and there’s a guy up talking up front.

Clip:  Our projections show that by the year 2025, not only America, but the entire planet will be under the protection and the dominion of this power alliance. The gains have been substantial, both for ourselves and for you, the human power elite. You have given us entree to the resources we need in our ongoing quest for multidimensional expansion. And in return, the per capita income of each of you here tonight has grown, and this year alone, by an average 39%.

Todd:  They’re the upper 1% right here.

Craig:  Right. Exactly. And again, just, you know, silliness. These 2 guys who they’ve been chasing after the whole movie Just wander in. Yeah. And and they’re just you know, everybody else is dressed to the nines, like, in tuxes and gowns, and they walk in in their jeans and flannel shirts, and nobody bats an eye. Yeah. Nobody’s gonna be

Todd:  paying attention.

Craig:  Yeah. And from behind them, somebody taps him on the shoulder, and it’s this guy, this, drifter guy who we didn’t mention before. He was somebody who was featured kind of prominently in the, the shantytown.  Yep.  And this again, I don’t know. This actor’s name, I wrote it down because I didn’t know it. George Buck Flower.

Todd:  Yes.

Craig:  I recognized him right away, and knew that I had seen him in a bunch of movies. Oh, yeah. He it seems like he kinda always plays the same character.

Todd:  He does. He’s always a bum, or he’s a country folk person, or or hillbilly, or, something like that.

Craig:  Yeah. I I looked him up, and he was in Back to the Future, and I remembered that. Like, he’s like the bum on the street, like, when the car disappears, I think. Right? And then, I he was also in Wish Master, which is a pretty terrible movie, but I I kind of a guilty pleasure  Oh, yeah.  For me. He was a bum in that movie too. Really recognizable.

Todd:  Oh, man. He used to be, honestly, also in a bunch of weird exploitation drive in type fare back from the fifties and the sixties.

Craig:  Oh, yeah. He’s got tons of credits.

Todd:  Up everywhere. He’d he’d be the actor I’d wanna be. Yeah. Oh, how fun. Yeah. Right? Just, you need a bum? I’m I’m your bum.

Craig:  Well, he he shows up, but he’s not a bum anymore. He’s in a suit, and he’s got, you know, he’s got his hair all coiffed and whatnot. And he says, hey, boys. And he’s got that kind of, you know, that gravelly voice too. He’s like, I didn’t know they recruited you too. And He just assumes. Right. And they’re like, yeah.  Wanna show us around? Sure. And so he takes them all around this compound and shows them all this stuff.

Todd:  They don’t recruit the brightest humans for this apparently. No. No. You know, I thought this was an interesting moment because he got recruited. A lot of the other people got killed. He was the one earlier on in the film who was turn the damn TV off to the next channel. He was the one who really didn’t want to hear anything about the resistance, didn’t want to believe that there was some conspiracy. So I suppose they were setting us up for he would be a natural recruit.  Right. But that’s a little problematic because if he’s the one who doesn’t wanna believe there’s a conspiracy, how do you convince him there is one and how do you then recruit him into it so willingly? Right. But I felt like in this manner, again with that social commentary, maybe in the same sense that there are people who are wrapped up in this conspiracy who don’t even know, who are just trying to get ahead, this is your rags to riches story. Exactly. This explains them all. Right? Right. This explains why somebody can come from nothing and suddenly be really rich. It’s because of the alien.

Craig:  Well, and it makes, oh god, it just makes perfect sense. You know, you you appeal to and politicians are doing it right now. You know, you appeal to the poor, or the downtrodden and say, I can promise you a better life. All you have to do is go along with whatever I say.  Mhmm.  And it makes sense. You know, if you’ve gotten nowhere if you’ve got no further down to go, why not? Why not take a shot at at moving up? Yep. And he kinda says that, you know, when they because he shows them all around. He shows them there’s, like, this teleportation thing, and you can, like, you can see you know, they, like, stand in, like, this, like, light tube thing, and then they get shot out through space to another planet. Andromeda was in there. Yeah. Yeah. Then he takes them back to the to, like, the TV station.

Todd:  You know, I I just love the fact that they’re able to just casually walk. Oh, yeah. Wherever they got teleported to seems to be a huge maze of underground tunnels.

Craig:  Mhmm.

Todd:  But within about 5 minutes, they’ve walked to this banquet hall center. And this guy they find this guy that they knew, and then he just walks them down the hall to where the main airport is.

Craig:  Yeah. Where there are guards posted all over the place, and nobody says anything.

Todd:  And then he just walks him. It’s like the next door down Uh-huh. Is, where the cable Todd station is. And maybe it’s not as big a complex as

Craig:  we thought. Maybe not. But, you know, they the the 2 main guys take out a couple of guards and, what’s his name? The the drifter guy uses his watch and disappears. He’s like, bye bye, boys. And he’s gone. They wanna find where this is being transmitted, and and the Drifter guy told them, oh, yeah. There’s a big satellite on the ceiling and on the roof. Yeah.  But they’re at this cable station 54, and, Nada knows that that’s where Holly works, and he wants to find her. So they’re running through again. They’re killing all the aliens, not killing the people. And, eventually, they find Holly, which I you know? She just doubled. Well, the last, right, the last time that we had seen her is, like, she was escaping from the police or whatever from this resistance thing. And he even says something like, well, if she came here, I would’ve found find her. Like, oh, of course. You know, if I’m running away from the military, well, I’ll just go to work.  I’ll just go back to work. Yeah.

Todd:  Like nothing happened. Right. Well, maybe the implication here is that she got caught up by the police and recruited instead, and they placed her back at work.

Craig:  Well, because because we find out and, again, you know, I think it’s plot holes.

Todd:  Yeah. Oh, big time.

Craig:  They they hook back up with her, and they start running up to the roof. And then just, you know, right as they get to the roof, out of nowhere, she shoots Frank in the head. And then so then not as up, he sees the satellite thing. He’s getting ready to shoot it or whatever, and he says, are you guys clear? And she says, I’m clear. And he turns around, and she has her gun pulled on him. And then the helicopters come up, tell him to drop his gun, and he does. And she says, don’t do this or whatever. Now I kinda suspected that she was in on it, and I really think that she was in on it the whole time.  You think so? I think so. Mhmm. I think she worked for them. I think working there at that TV station, she worked you know, she knew what was going on. She worked for them.

Todd:  So well, that make sense because then she infiltrated the resistance. That’s how they knew where she was. Right.

Craig:  But I wish that we had been given something that we got more of her backstory. You know? What is the deal? You know? Has she been working with them all along? Did they promise but we don’t. We don’t get anything. All we get is he slips another little handgun that he had up his sleeve out, and he shoots her, and she’s dead. Yeah.

Todd:  And that’s it. She’s the only human he kills, I think.

Craig:  Yep. Yep. In the whole movie. And, so then he turns around and shoots the satellite dish or whatever. It blows up. He gets blown away by the people in the helicopters. We presume he’s dead.

Todd:  What’s great though is that there’s that last shot of him getting, you know, laying down on the ground, and he slowly extends a middle finger out. Oh, gosh, yeah. Classic. I love it. So funny. It’s so in character with him. He goes through this whole movie almost like he doesn’t really care about himself. He just wants to solve the problem.  Right. And, you big F you to the aliens. Right. ‘Merica.

Craig:  Yep. And then we get this and this is the scene. I know I’ve seen it on TV recently. It’s it stands out in my head. We get this scene where all of a sudden their masking frequency or whatever disappears, and all the people are seeing them for who they really are. It’s funny, and I think that it’s played for the comedy. You see the people on TV, you know, change, and every you you hear the people in the Craig, like, ah, running away, and the people behind the desk who are the aliens are like, what?

Todd:  What’s wrong?

Craig:  It cuts to a bar where they’re watching the TV, and, people are kinda, like, looking uncomfortably at the aliens around them, like, what is going on? There’s a really funny scene where it shows the TV, and it’s Siskel and Ebert. Yes. And they’re both aliens, and they’re talking about all this violence in film. And, you know, these directors, like John Carpenter and George Romero. They just need to be put a stop Todd. And That was a nice

Todd:  little dig he got in there. Yeah.

Craig:  And the last one. And it was funny because we had gotten all the way through this movie, and I was like, oh, man. This is a late eighties guy’s movie. I can’t believe we haven’t seen any boobs. Oh, yeah. Right. In the last 10 seconds or the last 20 seconds, we get some boobs, and it’s this this girl, you know, writing this guy. And she’s seeing this stuff happened on the news.  And she looks down, and the it’s the alien, and he’s like, what’s wrong, baby?

Todd:  And that’s what it cuts out on, isn’t it? Yep.

Craig:  That’s it. That’s it.  It’s the

Todd:  end. It’s funny. It is funny. You know?

Craig:  I don’t know. As we were watching it, I was thinking I remembered enjoying it more when I was a kid. Now sitting here and talking about it, I I guess I do still like it. You know? It’s it’s got its charm. I really like the issues that it’s tackling, as scary as they may be. It’s interesting how even though maybe the cinematography, the acting haven’t really held up that well, how the issue is still really relevant. And, yeah. I I’m glad we I’m glad we watched it.

Todd:  I am Todd, and I’m glad we revisited it because just like you, I had Todd memories of this film, but then watching it, I thought, man, this is really slow here. Man, this a lot of this makes absolutely no sense. Although I I’m in love with the idea. You know, there people always talk about how a movie turns out when you’re trying to give a message as opposed to trying to tell a story. And I feel like this movie is very illustrative of the perils of trying to make a message movie. Right. You end up writing so much to the theme and to the message and trying to get all these different points in that the story suffers. And as a result, I think the story makes very little sense.  Yeah. You know? And so you end up with plot holes. You end up with characters who are kinda one note. Characters who are kind of silly. It’s a fun, silly movie. Right. But in so it’s enjoyable, but in the same sense, it’s not really effective as a story well told. Right.  I I totally agree. Feel about it.

Craig:  But, you know, it’s almost as though you can tell that the filmmakers found that secondary, so you can almost kinda forgive it a little bit. You know? You you can tell what the purpose was, and I think that they did a pretty good job in fulfilling that purpose. So I’m willing to forgive some of those other flaws. The plot holes and stuff, I don’t care. You know? I’m not coming into this for, like, Dickensian. Right.

Todd:  You know? But to go from the angle you’re you’re talking about, it does really evoke those 19 fifties cheesy sci fi films where they all made a lot of sense. Yeah. And they were all paranoia movies. It was all Todd age cold war stuff and this is in a way kind of a remake of some of those films. Oh, invaders from Mars Yeah. Is really what it is.

Craig:  Yeah.

Todd:  Absolutely. In that sense, it’s poking fun at itself in the same way. Yeah. If you enjoyed this podcast, please share it with a friend. We’re on iTunes or Stitcher. And, we are also on Facebook and your social media. So please leave us a message, give us some kind of comment, let us know on what you thought of the film. Until next week, I’m Todd and I’m Craig with 2 Guys and a Chainsaw.

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