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Even the famous Marxist intellectual Slavoj Zizek, the so-called Elvis of cultural theory, hailed it in a New York Public Library lecture as “the neglected masterpiece, maybe, of the Hollywood Left.”A legendarily awesome five-minute, 20-second fight scene, according to Zizek, captures the struggle to escape bourgeois capitalist ideology. To step outside of it is painful.” As painful as an elbow pile-driven into your solar plexus or a repeated knee blow to the groin, WWE-style, apparently.
This flourish was aimed at Ted Turner, who at the time was being vilified for colorizing classic black-and-white films for profit.
“That means, of course, that Ted Turner is really a monster from outer space,” Carpenter joked (or did he? The aliens are depicted as ghoulish, skinless skulls because Carpenter believed the real-world Ted Turners were sapping our humanity, forcing us to “sell out” to the system.
When Carpenter, a wrestling fan, saw Piper’s bravura performance in This is not the observation of a cranky right-winger seeing Commies under every bed.
This is the considered opinion of numerous Marxist, neo-Marxist, and coffee-house-Marxist commentators.
While sleeping in a shantytown called “Justiceville” — basically a Great Depression–style Hooverville — he’s woken up by a brutal police raid.
He barely escapes, and in the process he discovers some sunglasses.
Piper plays a decent everyman, a Joe Sixpack named “Nada,” struggling during hard economic times.
A bit of a drifter, he finds construction work in Los Angeles.
The true nature of society isn’t complicated, but stark.
When Piper puts on the glasses, that truth “is seen in black and white.” “It’s as if the aliens have colorized us,” Carpenter explained.