i hate to play this kind of cop-out card when it comes to actually writing one post a week, but in fairness to myself, i had this post planned out in which i was going to make fun of a hospital and some graffiti therein and the events overtook me and i don’t really have the materials with which i was going to work. granted, it might be hard to imagine that i put THAT kind of effort into this nonsense, but i swear it’s true. i don’t know that i can get anyone to testify to this… but it is. so, instead, let’s talk about my all-time favorite Keith David movies! in chronological order!
not only do we get excited to speak of Keith David, but Keith David is excited that we could be made so happy to talk about him!
the Thing (1982)
it’s weird how early in his career Keith David got to work in both the Thing and Platoon, but i guess it be that way sometimes. anyway, the remake of the Thing was a pretty sweet deal and it has a wild and wonderful alien, lots of tense scenes and plot twists, and a nice, defeat-within-victory ending that i won’t spoil for anyone here that hasn’t seen the film – which, when you consider that the Thing contains both Wilford Brimley AND Aliens, is a group that should include NO ONE – which features Keith David. it’s good stuff; hell, it’s one of the reasons why you can’t say a remake is ALWAYS a bad idea.
as a great consumer of war films, i have heard all the arguments over Platoon, and still, i have to say, Oliver Stone might be a fucking drug-abusing, conspiracy-loving weirdo, but he can still make a damn film movie, all in all (though you might want to get other perspectives on his positions later). Keith David’s in here as one of the few untainted, “good” characters, living up to the “grunt” ideal that Sheen talks about before he starts smoking pot and ends his non-sexual love affair with Tom Berenger. he gets called dumb, but he takes it with a smile; he might have gotten shipped involuntarily, but he makes it out, and with a smile.
They Live (1988)
i was explaining to someone a week or so ago about why they should watch this film, and it forced me to talk about how it starred Keith David and Roddy Piper and was about their fight against a secret alien takeover that involved glasses that allowed camouflaged aliens to be seen and, as i just noticed on re-watching said film, a Desert Eagle. so i can see how this is not without its negative aspects, but it’s also worth noting that this film features what i BELIEVE to be the longest on-screen fight (it clocks in at 5 minutes and 20 seconds) … and it’s all over Piper trying to make Keith David wear the aforementioned sunglasses and Keith David refusing to (though he eventually does). yes, that’s right, they fight for five minutes over wearing a pair of alien-revealing sunglasses. i don’t care what it sounds like, you should watch this film!
okay, granted, Keith David is not pictured above, but see what i’m saying about how awesome a film They Live must be?
Road House (1989)
Road House is so awesome that even though Keith David is barely in it – i think he’s maybe in one scene – it has to make the list. it’s also worth nothing that he somehow got a full name for his character (Ernie Bass), despite the fact that it can’t possibly matter because he does so little in this film. still, when the magic of Road House and Keith David collide, well, i don’t want to be left out, do you?
Marked For Death (1990)
i have made fun of this terrible, terrible film many times, so i probably don’t need to repeat myself (even though Steven Seagal researched the voodoo ALL BY HIMSELF, because he’s a big boy now), but it’s worth saying that when i talk about how i’ll watch any film with Keith David in it when it comes on simply because, you know, Keith David’s in it, this is the primary example: Marked For Death is AWFUL, but Keith David is not.
a great book made into a cool film by Spike Lee (who has his moments with me, this being one of them), said film also stars Keith David as a housing cop who pretty much spends all of his scenes berating and physically beating Mekhi Phifer (which is sad for Mekhi, but great for us). did you not want to see a film where Keith David beats young men when they’re not supplying him with mattresses for youth gymnastic purposes? i didn’t think so!
i don’t know why Keith David would associate with such riff-raff, but Keith David does have a soft spot for the common man.
Dead Presidents (1995)
playing an older hustler to Larenz Tate’s impetuous youth, Keith David has his best moment in a scene where he mixes it up with a man who owes him money and who tries to trip him, only to grab the wrong leg (Keith David’s character has a wooden one). we don’t get to see a lot of him when Tate decides to go to Vietnam and watch Bokeem Woodbine go out of his mind – i mean, when people are keeping severed heads for luck, it’s generally a little bit out there – but when we get back to the US we go back to a lot more of Keith David and assorted crimes.
There’s Something About Mary (1998)
okay, brief appearance again, but you can’t tell me it’s not priceless when he’s flipping out as to how Ben Stiller could have gotten his franks and beans arranged the way he did.
Requiem For A Dream (2000)
as much as i like this film (and the book), i’m always resistant to praise it for fear some musclebound nut jobs will start yelling “ASS TO ASS IS AWESOME” and ruin the whole conversation. and we can’t really talk about Keith David’s role as Big Tim without it maybe coming up, because, let’s face it, he’s been known to use someone’s heroin addiction to make them look at ass to ass in a whole new way. still, the scene where he cracks this huge, Keith David smile might just be my favorite Keith David moment ever. that’s all i am saying.
GET EVERYONE ON THE PHONE AND TELL THEM THAT KEITH DAVID WANTS TO TELL THEM THANK YOU FOR LOVING HIM
in closing, Keith David is awesome and i apologize for my lack of production.