Hello readers, and welcome to a new monthly post in which I will be reviewing a Scream Factory release. Each month I will pick either a new or previous release from the line of collectible horror releases which are released each month under the Scream Factory name!
Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, George ‘Buck’ Flower, Peter Jason, Raymond St. Jacques
What’s It About?:
“A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.” – IMDB
In 1988 John Carpenter released a new feature, this time a Sci-fi/Action film. Carpenter has said that he actually prefers science fiction over horror personally, not that you’d be able to tell by his roster of features. Carpenter first got the idea for the feature from Ray Nelson’s Nada, which was a comic book adaptation of Nelson’s Eight O’ Clock in the Morning short story. Carpenter re-worked a few things and added more backbone to the story, eventually leading to the creation of They Live.
The film follows a loner that strolls into town named Nada (Roddy Piper). For a lot of the feature Nada is usually on his own, whether it be finding a job, living with the homeless or investigating weird situations. After finding sunglasses that reveal a completely different reality, Nada recruits his only friend Frank (Keith David) to help him take down and reveal the imposing forces.
The film is quite impressive for what was accomplished and for only a $4 million budget. Carpenter made some interesting decisions with this feature including the casting of professional wrestler Roddy Piper after seeing him perform at Wrestlemania. Carpenter also hired actual homeless individuals to play the homeless for the film, adding authenticity to the roles and a paycheck for those in need. The film has an entire slew of interesting facts about it, but let’s not reveal everything.
This release includes interviews with John Carpenter, Meg Foster and Keith David. Also included is a commentary track featuring Carpenter and Piper worth a watch. A “making of” featurette is also included on the release which gives some really neat behind the scenes footage.
My personal favorite feature is the commentary from Carpenter and Piper. It’s always very interesting to hear how one of the films you love was made, and all the stories, troubles and interesting tidbits that were a part of the making of the feature. I really enjoyed hearing about the fight sequence and how the actors rehearsed the fight for weeks before shooting in Carpenter’s backyard. Also, the fact that the film’s most famous line was actually an ad-lib from Roddy Piper is mind-boggling, especially when it’s still relevant and referenced today.
This is yet another fantastic release from Scream Factory and I highly recommend picking it up, whether you’re a fan already or just haven’t seen it in the first place. All the bonus material is absolutely amazing and make it well worth purchasing a copy for that reason alone.