I think it’s safe to say I’m a fan of John Carpenter and his films.
If you’re someone who has seen all of his movies already and you crave something new, “The Ward” just arrived on VOD and is available for rental from Netflix as of yesterday. I reviewed the film when I saw it at last year’s Toronto Film Festival, which is the same place where I recorded a special podcast with Scott Weinberg where we talked about all of Carpenter’s films.
Tonight, though, I wish I was in Austin for Mondo’s “They Live” screening. I love that film. I think it’s one of John’s more underrated movies overall, and it’s one of the best satires of the ’80s. And from the ’80s. Both. The film works just as the surface story about a guy who discovers a conspiracy that involves the whole world, but what really makes it a better-than-average film by John is the way the subtext also works so well. If there’s anything I’m not crazy about, it’s the hyper-abrupt ending of the film. Even so, it’s a movie that actually seems better in hindsight, smarter and more prescient with each passing year.
Shepard Fairey got mega-famous when he was sued over his Obama poster, but he’s been gradually building his name as a street artist over the last decade, and he’s a great choice for a Mondo screening. Remember, these are designed to feature not just a movie, but a poster artist, like the Tyler Stout “Akira” screening last month. Fairey’s been using “They Live” as a motif in his art for a while anyway, so having him contribute a new poster for the film just seems like a natural fit.
John Carpenter even shot a new introduction for the film tonight, and you can check that out right here:
And you should definitely check out the poster for the event, which they’ll be making available to the audience at the screening with a very limited supply available online later:
Want to see it even bigger? You can get a larger version right here.
As always, I am jealous of those of you in Austin who have year-round access to all the great programming at the Alamo Drafthouse, and I hope they’re enjoying this one. It sounds like a hell of an evening.