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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

SCREAM FACTORY APPRECIATION MONTH: They Live (1988)

I think we all know what a great flick They Live is. If you're a fan of John Carpenter's work you love They Live. If you don't love They Live it simply means you haven't put the black sunglasses on yet to see the secret messages displayed behind common, everyday advertising. It means you aren't the least bit curious as to why your boss is so fucking stiff (and you may think he's two faced but he really has two faces... you just haven't seen his skull scraped one yet). It means you haven't questioned why you can't turn of goddamn Honey Boo Boo (it's the secret messages sent to you via your television brought to you by Mars or Venus or whatever planet sent THEM here). What lurks behind the everyday? Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you.

They Live follows a blue collar drifter (Rowdy Roddy Piper) as he finds work, makes friends, assaults and batters his friends and tries on chic sunglasses. Of course we all know that it's what he sees when he puts on those sunglasses that makes the movie. Aliens. Aliens who have slyly placed secret, subliminal messages everywhere. Aliens who have infiltrated our reality and who live among us, smoking and fucking and telling us what to think. It's the battle for survival of the human race on a "To Serve Man" level that humanity doesn't even realize its fighting.

So that's the movie you love. It's the movie I fell in love with in the late 80's and one that graced cable television throughout my formative years. Now let's talk about what Scream Factory has given us because, after all, this is Scream Factory Appreciation Month. Would it be redundant if I said that the transfer is beautiful? Well it is. I'm pretty sure all of them are. The audio sounds great. The presentation with Scream Factory level menus is truly a pleasure, easy to use and perfect for horror fans and video-philes. These releases are the kind we dream of; painted with some original artwork from The Dude Designs. Well thought out special features and menus that make sense with familiar images that are bright and arranged well. Not all of the Scream Factory's are bulging with special features, but a movie like They Live has a smorgasbord.

Bonus features:

Audio Commentary with Writer/Director John Carpenter and Actor Roddy Piper
Independent Thoughts – An interview with Writer/Director John Carpenter
Man vs. Aliens – An interview with Actor Keith David
Woman of Mystery – An interview with Actress Meg Foster
Watch, Look, Listen: The Sights & Sounds of They Live – A look at the visual style, stunts and music from the film with Director of Photography Gary B. Kibbe, Stunt Coordinator Jeff Imada, and Co-Composer Alan Howarth
Original EPK: The Making of They Live
Never-Before-Seen Footage from the Commercials created for the film.
Original Theatrical Trailer
TV Spots
Still Gallery

Some of this is just extraneous; features for the die hard fan who lives on IMDB and must watch the entire credit sequence to fully appreciate a film. What you'll love as an everyday horror fan is the Carpenter/Piper commentary. You'll love the interview with Carpenter no matter how short it is (we always want more... so demanding). Musical score nuts (and what John Carpenter fan isn't also a movie score fan) will rejoice in the feature with Alan Howarth, co-composer.



This is a month to celebrate Scream Factory's catalog, the movies that have been released and a preview of what is to come. They Live is a shining example of a movie that demands a proper release. Hell, most Carpenter movies deserve proper, full featured releases. They Live isn't the iconic, legendary, Halloween. It isn't The Thing that gets all the attention for being a special effects tour du force. They Live paints a picture of an Orwellian reality for the modern age. You have more to worry about than camera's behind your video screens. The cameras follow you everywhere. Big Brother isn't just a concept in a fancy building or an image painted on a wall or poster. There is a world of Big Brothers and they're all watching you and you have no idea that they're even there. We're gonna need a bigger Emmanuel Goldstein.  They surround you and control you and unless you put on some eye accessories, you'll love your subliminal prison. Sound familiar? Have you been introduced to the internet yet? There are lessons in these here gorgeous frames. 


You can pick it up at DiabolkDVD HERE (supporting the little guy is important). Also make sure to "like" Scream Factory over on FaceBook and follow their releases. You can also stop by their website HERE to peruse more titles and get acquainted with their product line and upcoming releases of which there are many. Save your pennies. Start a swear jar. Start a masturbation jar. 

-Dr. TERROR

Hey! If you want to watch Scream Factory Blu-ray in style, throw your own Scream Factory happening/horror-thon or need a quick Halloween costume pick up a pair of these replicas from 8 Bit Zombie. Be careful. Once you're on their site you'll spend your entire pay or welfare check.

8 BIT ZOMBIE

*Flannel Shirt and Tight Muscle Blue Jeans Sold Separately

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