They Live (1988)

US Shout! Factory DVD (outer sleeve-left with a sticker on it; inner sleeve-right)

(turnable inner sleeve)

 

Text below written 2017-01-05


Hey, What's Wrong Baby?

Ha! Ha! Ha! Is it only me that loved the funny ending of this wonderful sci-fi and political allegory over the Ronnie
Reagan era. 80 % sci-fi fun and 20 % political satire. It's just a bit trashy and with that i mean the "right" bit and which
gives They Live a delightful B-ish charm and a feeling of the old 1950's sci-fi movies, like Don "Dirty Harry" Siegel's
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and with a smart use of the subliminal messages theme.

Apparently They Live was a HIT when shown in the US in autumn 1988 but it has since been forgotten among the
many cultfilm favourites of John Carpenter and it (note: my views, don't take offence!) deserves it's place in the Golden
Glorious Era of John Carpenter films and which it ends - 1974 Dark Star - 1988 They Live.

Then non-actor, wrestler Roddy Piper with a mullet hairstyle is a unemployed and homeless construction worker drifting
around in a depression-like USA. He arrives to a big city (Los Angeles) in search for a job, which he gets at a building site.
He, John Nada (John Doe?), follows the workmate Frank (Keith David, great actor) to a big camp with homeless people
and he observes some strange things going on at the nearby church where he finds a lot of sunglasses.
After putting them on he sees the world in a new light .... the earth is invaded by aliens and everywhere he looks there are
huge signs telling the earthlings to "Obey", to "Consume", to "Watch TV", to "Stay Asleep" etc. Will wrestler Roddy Piper's
Nada join the revolutionary movement and go killing the ugly looking alien fuckers?

OK, the last part of this film turns into a somewhat lame action film with lots of shooting, it seems like the ideas dried up a
bit maybe, but before that They Live ROCKS in a delightful B-ish way and with some great ideas. Some think the aliens
masks look cheap but i like their look, they look stupid and foolish in a funny way, like annoying yuppie aliens. Funny.
Roddy Piper were no actor when doing this, he was a famous wrestler, but he's likeable in the role and his role figure is a
simple guy, a no-nonsense worker that don't want any annoying aliens around him telling him what to do.

Anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1, english audio 5.1 DD or 2.0 DD with english subtitles and lots of nice extras
Extras: a commentary track with writer/director John Carpenter and actor Roddy Piper, Independent Thoughts: An interview
with John Carpenter (10 minutes), Woman of Mystery: An interview with Meg Foster (5 minutes), Watch, Look and Listen:
The sights and sound of They Live (11 minutes), Man vs. Aliens: An interview with actor Keith David (11 minutes),
Original making of They Live (8 minutes, 1988), Never before seen footage from the commercials in the film (2 minutes),
TV Spots/trailers, still gallery and original screenplay (most extras material from Shout! Factory in 2012)

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