This week I touch upon The Dark Crystal, a movie I love.
This is the DVD cover for the version I own.
A race of godlike beings is shattered into two separate, disparate species when a crystal is broken. As each of the creatures ages and dies, its counterpart in the other species also ages and dies, leaving a power vacuum. The gentler Mystics pass over power by singing their lamentations. The more malevolent Skeskis engage in ritual combat to establish control. In an effort to keep themselves from aging, the Skeksis also capture creatures and drain their life essences, including the clan of the main character, a male Gelfling named Jen. Jen is an orphan being raised by the Mystics, and as his Master dies, he is told he must find the broken piece of the crystal and reunite it before a cosmic congregation or else the two races will continue to degrade, leaving the Skeksis in control of the world.
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Today I talk about one of my favorite cheesy 80s movies: They Live
A pair of mysterious sunglasses, secret messages hiding in advertising, a weird religious cult preaching about the overthrow of a government, and aliens? That’s John Carpenter’s They Live at its core.
The film, starring former WWE superstar “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and character actor par excellence Keith David, is apparently loosely based on a 1960s short story called “Eight O’Clock in the Morning,” though I confess I wasn’t aware of this until doing research for this article. If you read the story, you can see where Carpenter cribbed the basic concept of aliens masquerading as humans in power, but the details in the film veer quite far from the source material.
Subliminal advertising had been discussed for decades by the time They Live came to theaters in 1988, but the idea of widespread messages hiding in mass media touched upon significant fears of 1980s America. Carpenter is no fan…
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