Tag: roddy piper

They Live

by on Jan.15, 2017, under Movie Reviews

they liveThis week we review the John Carpenter directed They Live starring wrestler Roddy Piper. It’s always interesting to see what holds up in films from the 80s and what doesn’t. The story is the thing that holds up best in this film, some of the other elements, well…

The story revolves around the concept that us poor, dumb humans are constantly being manipulated through subliminal messages that are coming from advertising, TV and the media in general. All of this is being carried out by aliens who live among us and are using a secret broadcast signal that keeps the humans “asleep”. A group of rebels who have uncovered the plot are working to expose the aliens and bust the whole thing open. The script is pretty well written (with the exception of some really bad dialog here and there) and does offer a film that makes you want to sit and watch how everything plays out.

The film falls a bit shy in a few spots. The effects are looking pretty low-budget compared to how they looked back in ’88; the flying saucers and the effects make up look like something done on a college level now. Some of the action isn’t great either as it’s not as intensely and realistically choreographed as films are now. The one scene that still works here though is the fight scene between Piper and Keith David in the alley, that’s still a blast to watch and just when you think the fight is over, somebody throws another punch and it keeps escalating.

Then there’s the acting. Piper is the anchor here and has some decent moments. Like I said there, some decent moments which also means some not-so-decent moments as well. He’s often very wooden, forced and not so wide in terms of emotional range. He makes for a better wrestler than he does action movie hero. There are some moments that still ring true and are enjoyable such as when he walks into a bank ready to confront the alien scourge and declares: “I’ve come here to kick ass and chew bubble gum. I’m all out of bubble gum.” Classic.

While it’s not up there with The Thing or Escape from New York, They Live is worth a viewing if you can get past some of the cheesy acting and effects.

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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I Am Santa Claus

by on Nov.30, 2014, under Movie Reviews

I Am Santa Claus is a documentary that delves into the life and culture of what it means to live life (at least part of the time) as Santa Claus…

The doc examines the Santa lifestyle though the eyes of several different men who embody the persona. We jump from one city and state to another including locales such as Fort Worth, TX and Santa Claus, IN. The various angles are fun and interesting to explore; here you’ll find everything from your typical mall Santa living in his daughter’s basement to the gay Santa from TX that takes part in hottest bear gay men contests. Interestingly, there’s more than 1 Santa in the alternative sex community (kinky!). Mick Foley of wrestling fame is interviewed as well as he pursues a dream of filling St. Nick’s shoes. By the way, there are a number of Santas that legally had their name changed to Santa Claus on their driver’s licenses, that’s dedication.

Digging into the sub-culture is where the passion behind the Santa lifestyle is really brought to the surface. Many of them are very dedicated and somewhat intense about how they feel about being the man in red and what it means. Santa Dana Caplan even holds a BA in Santaclausology (gotta wonder where he studied that) and mentors upcoming Santas.

The interviews are fun, heartbreaking, touching, and compelling. Although, there are times it’s hard to keep track of them since they all look like the big guy. It’s kind of like watching an interview with someone who has the same body but has a bunch of different voices and personalities. The Santas from NY especially stick out with their thick Brooklyn accents.

Morgan Spurlock is one of the executive producers behind the project and Tommy Avallone directs. The lineup from the film (besides Santa of course) includes Sid Haig, Tommy Dreamer, Artie Lange, Jerry Lawler, Roddy Piper and Dee Snider.

All around, this is a fun doc that sheds light into a world that goes a lot deeper than you think it does. Not necessarily something to watch with your kids, but still something that’s enjoyable to watch as we go through the holiday season. It’s on Netflix!

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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