Nada, a wanderer without meaning in his life, discovers a pair of sunglasses capable of showing the world the way it truly is. As he walks the streets of Los Angeles, Nada notices that both the media and the government are comprised of subliminal messages meant to keep the population subdued, and that most of the social elite are skull-faced aliens bent on world domination. With this shocking discovery, Nada fights to free humanity from the mind-controlling aliens.
I have to admit up front to liking every single, John Carpenter movie. They are works of art in there unique style and quality. This is actually my favorite of all of them. There could be a criticism that this movie is didactic and sends some sort of clumsy political or philosophical message but I'd have to reply that you simply don't get it. Unlike the modern propensity for movies to try to hammer home some political point or perspective, the message here is only window dressing. The message may (or may not) be important but instead of getting caught up in some sort of self-important moralizing, let's remember this is a movie - and a SciFi action movie at that. (that is the approach in my opinion) If I would compare movies to literature or movie makers to authors I'd compare Carpenter to Hemingway - although Carpenter specializes in anti-heroes and sometimes over-the-top characters, while Hemingway is understated. They are analogous for their own medium. This is action, sci-fi but like Hemingway's stories, this is a man's movie. Straight forward. Fun at times, brutal at times and even funny at times. Keep a watch out for one of the great one-liners in movie history when the star is in the bank - only peripherally related to "bazooka." A+ to Roddy Piper as well. When I first saw this movie I had zero expectation from him. Now I wish he'd have made a lot more movies...
Universal Pictures, Alive Films, Larry Franco Productions by John Carpenter, Ray Nelson.
Stars: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, George 'Buck' Flower.
Genres: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Keywords: dystopia social commentary los angeles, california alien invasion sunglasses cult film brawl subliminal message
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