THEY LIVE
1988, Universal, 87 min, USA, Dir: John Carpenter

Construction worker Roddy Piper learns that the world has been taken over by grinning skull-headed aliens who are permeating society with subliminal messages to mindlessly consume (sound like some corporations you know?). Glimpsing the truth with the aid of special sunglasses that strip away the phony layers of manufactured reality, he and fellow drifter Keith David join the underground to rebel against the mind control in this searingly satirical sci-fi jaunt, one of Carpenter’s best and wildest films. Co-starring Meg Foster.


ESCAPE FROM L.A.
1996, Paramount, 101 min, USA, Dir: John Carpenter

Kurt Russell returns as Snake Plissken, the U.S. government’s go-to guy for dangerous missions in the dystopian future – a time when Los Angeles has been turned into an island prison camp for people whom tyrannical Cliff Robertson has declared undesirable. Hiding among them is a revolutionary who’s stolen the president’s super weapon, and Plissken has 10 hours to retrieve the device before a virus claims his life. Carpenter’s sequel to cult favorite ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK is packed with wicked satire, lots of action and a colorful supporting cast including Steve Buscemi, Peter Fonda and Pam Grier.


ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 (1976)
1976, CKK Corp., 90 min, USA, Dir: John Carpenter

John Carpenter's stark homage to Howard Hawks’ RIO BRAVO stars Austin Stoker as a policeman defending a defunct police station against criminals in blighted South Central L.A. Banter flies fast and furious between charismatic convict Darwin Joston and policewoman Laurie Zimmer as faceless, virtually supernatural marauders lay siege to the precinct. This remains one of Carpenter’s most effective pictures, an edge-of-your-seat thriller that put him on the map as an imaginative, creative force to be reckoned with.


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