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YMMV / The Killers

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The Short Story and The Film:

  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The 1946 version has some.
    • Lieutenant Lubinsky, Swedes affable and recourseful former friend who is determined to help solve his murder despite being the Second Love for Swede's ex girlfriend. Being played by such an iconic period act as Sam Levene helps.
    • Charleston, The Old Convict whose fond of astrology.
    • Affably Evil Blinky Franklin, partially for Being the only participant in the big heist who seems to avert No Honor Among Thieves.
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    • Nick, Swede's Heroic Bystander coworker might be Demoted to Extra compared to the short story but he's still quite memorable.
  • 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 Gulager 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.
  • 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.

The Band:

  • Anvilicious: "Land of the Free" and the accompanying video takes aim at the illegal immigration argument with all the subtlety and nuance of putting a loaded shotgun to the Border Patrol's crotch and blowing their balls off. Considering that the music video is a Spike Lee joint, it probably comes with the territory.
  • Alternative 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.
    • In "Mr. Brightside," it's unclear the girlfriend/wife is cheating on him and he's unwilling to confront it ("It was only a kiss..."), or if she isn't cheating on him but he allows his jealousy and insecurities to get the best of him anyway ("Jealousy, turning saints into the seas..."). Fans debate to this day.
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  • 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. "Run for Cover", "The Man" and the title track off of Wonderful Wonderful also qualify.
  • Epic Riff: "Mr. Brightside" accomplishes this almost instantaneously.
    • "Run For Cover".
    • "My Own Soul's Warning"'s riff manages to be both awesome and heartbreaking at once.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: They're much more widely known and respected in the UK than their native America. "Mr. Brightside" is a club staple there and holds numerous chart records. It's reappeared on the list in every year since its 2004 release, and has spent over three years total on it. Moreover, all six of their studio albums have reached the top spot on the UK album chart while only their fifth album (Wonderful, Wonderful) managed the same accomplishment on the American chart... before plummeting to 59 the next week.
  • 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..."
    • The trend of "Mr. Brightside But..." and putting an awkward setting to fit the song's ironic lyrical themes to it's peppy beat. The best known one is "She left you last minute at prom so you're crying in a school bathroom while Mr. Brightside plays".
  • Misaimed Fandom: "The Man" is actually a lambasting of empty headed, egotistical machismo. You'd be surprised how many people miss that point, and unironically find it a song glorifying all things manly and badass.
  • 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 Funny Moment.
    • The message of "Mr. Brightside," combined with Tear Jerker; the singer is apparently getting cheated on by his girlfriend/wife, and he knows it, but he doesn't want to do anything about it because he seems to think he deserves it or isn't even worth her time to begin with. Very existentially troubling, that. Alternatively, the girlfriend/wife isn't cheating on him (the kiss was platonic or imagined), and he knows it, but he lets his jealousy and insecurities get the best of him anyway, and mentally clocks out or walks away from a loving relationship based on something he knows probably didn't happen. Either way, very existentially troubling.
  • Signature Song: "Mr. Brightside", with "Somebody Told Me" a close second.
    • "When You Were Young" and "Human" are widely recognized tunes as well.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "Runaways" uses a lot of the same chord progressions as "Heat Of The Moment" by Asia, especially the power chords at the end of the first chorus. Fitting, as both are more or less about the same subject.
  • 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".


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