The monstrous politics of horror

Since, as happens every two years at least, Halloween coincides with a crucial U.S. national election, a selection of scenes from a few politically themed horror/monster films feels right. We’ll start with the obvious.

In some ways I think a little overrated, John Carpenter’s science-fiction/action/creepy alien monster flick from 1988 ,”They Live,” seems to me a thorough-going and obvious from-the-left savaging of the Reagan years and the consumerist, bland cultural mentality that went with it. Yet, oddly enough, it’s imagery has been picked up online by some Reagan-worshipping teapartiers. Well, history probably isn’t their favorite subject.

More clips and  commentary after the flip

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Speaking of remakes and originals….

I’m not sure if this is often done, but as a fan of Brandon “The Reenactment Kid” Hardesty and in light of Steven Spielberg’s planned remake of “Harvey,” I thought it would be fun to place one of his recreations back to back with an original scene.

Here we see young Hardesty beating Spielberg to the punch and doing his own version of a key scene from the first movie version of Mary Chase’s sweet-natured comedy. (Especially if you’ve never seen the original, you may want to reverse the order of these clips for yourself. I keep changing my mind about which I should place first.)

And now the original. (Note: This clip is on the long side. The part that young Mr. Hardesty recreates starts at about 2:29, but you may want to watch all of it, because Stewart is kind of great.)

  

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