YMMV / The Killers

The Short Story and The Film:

  • Evil is Cool: The titular killers in Hemingway's story were seen as archetypal bad guys with cool and witty slang. Lee Marvin and Clu Gallagher in the remake take this and run with it. This is averted however in Siodmak's original film, where the killers aren't charismatic but Ava Gardner's Femme Fatale most definitely is.
  • Fountain of Expies: The two killers introduced led to a slew of imitators of two-team bad guys with their own slang and dividual behaviour. In addition to the direct adaptations, there is The Lineup (also directed by Don Siegel), The Big Combo (where the hitmen are a barely disguised gay couple) and revived most fittingly in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction with Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega taking on the roles, with Jules hanging a Lampshade when he tells Vince to "get into character". Bruce Willis' boxer character was also inspired by the Swede.
  • He Really Can Act: Reagan is surprisingly effective as an Affably Evil gangster in The Killers, and he gives a performance of subtle menace, holding his own with John Cassavetes and Lee Marvin. It's quite a contrast to his likability as a president.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In the 1964 version, Charlie and Lee cross it in their Establishing Character Moment: they terrorize and hit a blind lady.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Critics who generally dislike Ronald Reagan are rather fond of the 1964 film where Reagan is a corporate gangster, who also slaps around his moll. Even in 1964, Reagan as the vocally anti-communist head of the Screen Actor's Guild Union had a considerable number of critics.

The Band:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation / Fridge Horror: "Bones" is not officially part of the murder trilogy, but consider this: it's about a guy trying to convince his girlfriend to go down to the beach with him at night, while "Midnight Show" is about a guy who takes his girlfriend to the beach at night and strangles her.
    • Oh, and the video was directed by Tim Burton.
    • There's a different take on "Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine" in live performances. Sometimes the line "she couldn't scream while I held her close" is replaced with "she couldn't scream while I held her throat". Not always, but it's enough to imply the protagonist might not be the innocent man he claims.
  • Awesome Music: So much to list. "Mr. Brightside", "Read My Mind" and "Human" come to many minds, although the other songs are all good in their own right.
  • Epic Riff: "Mr. Brightside" accomplishes this almost instantaneously.
  • Ho Yay:
    • A few of their songs, most obviously "Somebody Told Me", "Andy, You're A Star", and "Where The White Boys Dance".
    • The band themselves. Especially Brandon and Ronnie. Just watch the video for "Read My Mind" and pay close attention while they're biking through Tokyo.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Are We Human Or Are We Dancer?" "Dancer? don't you mean "Denser"?" "It's DANCER!"
    • "It started out as a kiss, how did it end up like this? It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss!"
    • "Jealousy, turning saints into the sea. Swimming through sick lullabies, choking on your alibis. But it's just the price I pay, destiny is calling me, open up my eager eyes, 'cause I'm Mr. Brightside"
    • "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier... I've got soul but I'm not a soldier..."
  • Nightmare Fuel: "Midnight Show" is about a Crazy Jealous Guy who murders his girlfriend and then goes driving around town with her corpse in the backseat, looking for a place to dump her body.
    • The video for "Bones", unsurprisingly directed by Tim Burton.
    • The closing rendition of "Silent Night". Also could double as a Crowning Moment of Funny.
    • The message of "Mr. Brightside" is this combined with a Tear Jerker; the singer is apparently getting cheated on by his girlfriend/wife, and he knows it, but he doesn't really want to do anything about it because he seems to think that he either deserves it or isn't even worth the woman's time to begin with. Very existentially troubling, that.
  • Signature Song: "Mr. Brightside", with "Somebody Told Me" a close second.
  • Uncanny Valley: That... thing at the beginning of the Spaceman video. You know the one.
    • Oh, you mean the backwards-legged human-bodied horse-deer-thingy?
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: In "Tranquilize" the last lyrics are "with the Bushes and the bombs are tranquilized."
    • Even before that, I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier...that album came out in 2004...
    • Flowers now uses the lyric "the vampires and the bombs" in live performances.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The Music Video for "Spaceman".