I just watched this for the first time in a very long time. It made a strong impression because of the things I failed to see when I saw it before.
This movie is the best portrayal of the world that I grew up in that I can think of. And because of this, I had seen the characters in this movie as being completely normal, because they were normal for that time. I didn't really see their strengths and weaknesses because I had nothing to compare to.
That world is gone now, so now I can see them from the outside. Now I recognize that they are evil slime who caused Western culture to disintegrate. But at the same time, they are still intelligent and have a soul. They are evil, but I still view them as human, as belonging to the same species as mine. This is in contrast to modern people who I basically view as high-functioning cockroaches with whom I have absolutely nothing in common. Modern people show no signs of intelligence and no sign of having a soul. They are just insects. Because of this, no matter how evil they were, I would not be able to kill the characters in this movie, but I could kill members of modern culture with pleasure.
This movie captures a moment in history, the moment when the West was about to collapse. Younger people may find it hard to believe that people with such depth were normal, but this was in fact the case. This world is gone now, just part of history, but we can still see it in this movie.