The Phoenix Film Festival

Hello everyone,

I have been awfully busy as of late. Between my podcasts, prepping for the premiere of Death By VHS, and trying to get my next short moving forward after some speed bumps slowed me down I have not had much time to blog. Sorry for that. But, if it’s any consolation, I do miss you.

Here’s what’s going on with me right now. Starting today I am going to be spending some time at the Phoenix Film Festival. We were able to score some press passes to the event thanks in part to the wonderful Andrea Beesly. This festival also includes the annual International Horror and SciFi Festival. This year they have Meg Foster coming by to screen They Live, the John Carpenter classic starring Roddy Piper. I’m hoping I get a chance to interview her for you all. If I do it will be up on the Abnormal Entertainment page soon.

Among other guests I am hoping to chat with are DB Sweeney, Teller, Natalie Imbruglia and one of the producers of the Saw franchise. I will try and update you as soon as I can on what we were able to score from our time at the fest.

Also, we are going to be at Phoenix Comicon next month, C4 (a first year comic convention in Ventura, California) in September and the Rapture Horror Expo in October in Tempe. If you are planning to come to any of those shows make sure you come by and say hello. We always love to meet people who listen to either The Gorram Nerd Hour or From The Underground.


I Have Come Here To Chew Bubble Gum And Review “They Live”…And I’m All Out Of Bubble Gum

Throughout the 1980’s John Carpenter made his best movies. The Thing, Escape From New York, Big Trouble In Little China and Starman being among them. But none of them are quite like They Live.

I remember the first time I saw this movie. It was on a local television station in the 80’s. They would show cheesy movies every Saturday afternoon. I found myself engrossed in its stupidity. I thought the acting was terrible, the story was weak, and the dialogue was laughable. Bit something happened after it was over. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

John Carpenter did something absolutely brilliant with this movie. He crafted a very smart film in a very stupid package. It almost seems like even that was a commentary on our society, like he believed that Americans didn’t want smart movies anymore so he made look as dumb as possible.

The story is a simple one. The world’s class system is becoming more and more divided. More people are out of work and the rich get richer. Former pro wrestler Roddy Piper discovers that aliens are behind everything when he puts on a pair of sunglasses that show him the world for what it really is. Then it is up to him to stop it.

Upon its initial release They Live was a disappointment at the box office. It was met with poor reviews and nearly forgotten…until television and home video made it into a cult classic. In fact, I would put in my all time top 5 John Carpenter movies. The list would probably go as follows – 1) The Thing 2) Halloween 3) Escape From New York 4) They Live and 5) In The Mouth Of Madness.

What makes this movie great is Carpenter’s disdain for authority and his inabilty to take things at face value. It was there in most of his work in the 80’s. He took a bad premise and turned it into a movie that is a social commentary about commercialism, ignorance, politics, and racism. It really was a very smart film.

If you have never seen this movie you need to. If you have and didn’t look past its cheesy exterior you owe it to yourself to watch it again. This is a great movie with a message that is just as important today as it was nearly 30 years ago.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.