For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
Who are they? And what do they want?
Nada, a down-on-his-luck construction worker, discovers a pair of special sunglasses. Wearing them, he is able to see the world as it really is: people being bombarded by media and government with messages like "Stay Asleep", "No Imagination", "Submit to Authority". Even scarier is that he is able to see that some usually normal-looking people are in fact ugly aliens in charge of the massive campaign to keep humans subdued.
Highly underrated film by John Carpenter just oozing with politically subversive biting satire that is even more relevant today then it was back in the 80's!
Roddy Piper's fight with Keith David's was quite a delicious little spectacle!
The film and score were so hip it had a swagger!
Last Word: I'm giving you a choice.. either put on "They Live" or start eatin' that trash can! ;-)
Recommended by Mick Culleton via my list "Movie Request Hotline"
Great Flick Mick! Thank You very much for recommending it!
What strikes me most about Carpenter is his coolness, the calm deliberation with which he lets his plots unfurl. This premise, in the hands of any other filmmaker, would be a lightning quick action comedy, Men in Black or Big Trouble in Little China style. But instead it's almost an hour into a 90 minute film before the hero convinces someone else to try on the glasses. And the film's signature showpiece, the big action number, is a good old-fashioned slugging match between two friends, all over the one's stubborn refusal to do something as simple as try on a pair of glasses (hilariously allegorical, of course). Even the film's most famous line, one I've known for years (as I…
I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum.
John Carpenter's commercial appeal peaked in 1984 when he made Starman, a film that earned Jeff Bridges an Oscar nomination. A mere two years later Carpenter's brilliant Big Trouble in Little China would bomb at the box office and his career would never really recover. It only took one box office disappointment and suddenly the director could no longer find financing for his films. The quality of his next films are arguable, but there is no question that his best work was now behind him although he did have one last success in him.
They Live is Carpenter's last box office success, even…
Overall as a complete package, this isn't Carpenter's best film. However the great moments are better than most filmmakers will get close to in their career.
Roddy Piper, having had his eyes opened, tries to wake his friend Keith David from his slumber but he's stubborn. So he literally has to beat him into submission in a bout that seems like it will never end. David is unwilling to accept that the world he lives in is more totalitarian (right word?) than he could imagine. Not until he has to.
I do this to friends who watch X-Factor.
They Live! Regarded now as a cult movie, and directed by the legendary John Carpenter, this movie is one that has somehow evaded my attention for the last couple of decades.
The film has a very interesting idea and premise, and one that appeals to my way of thinking. Considered a satire and inspired by the ever-increasing commercialization of 80's pop culture and politics, the idea for the film came from a short story called 'Eight O'Clock in the morning', written in the 60's.
With regards to the political slant on the film - this is best explained in the Wikipedia article:
The more political elements of the film are derived from Carpenter's growing distaste with the ever-increasing commercialization of…
Watched on the big screen in an old theatre as part of Grimmfest's John Carpenter season and with an audience of around 150 fans, They Live may have just been made with this environment in mind. The humour of hindsight and Carpenter's bubblegum pop film-making has never seemed so right.
The opening Carpenter stomp sees the introduction to Roddy Piper's drifter and the city he's drifted into. It's a ballsy soundtrack, part lazy western - part synth heaven but it sets up the macho grandeur that's inevitably to follow.
The real fun starts with the shades. Allowing Piper to 'see' the world the way it really is and the people how they really are. Not only are they real fucking…
Lazy and Boring.
Who but John Carpenter would be able to craft a film that is so ridiculous, so scary and so spot-on in its criticisms? Roddy Piper is not a great actor but he brings a working-class charm to his role. He is ably supported by Keith David and the pair have some great homo-erotic chemistry consummated in a ridiculous fight scene. The film is best, however, in Carpenter's ability to generate so much dread from shots that seem so matter-of-fact. Like Michael Myers hanging out in the background of shots in Halloween, 'they' are made to look so terrifying here even though their design is almost silly. When Pipper's protagonist puts his glasses on, the audience is able to feel like they see something that nobody else can, in frame but out of reach and that is truly scary.
Great film for anyone with an interest in the current world state of affairs where the few elite wealthy have complete rule over the world and everyone in it! Down with the extraterrestrial reptilian overlords! :)
After seeing Roddy Piper on the WWE Network I was reminded that it had been a long time since I watched this movie. Yes, it has low production values and the characters could have been developed better, but in my opinion They Live holds up remarkably well even today and director John Carpenter adapts Ray Nelson's short story "Eight O'Clock in the Morning" with the utmost competence and attention to detail. The direction and editing are tight, the pacing is near perfect, and it has at least two unforgettable moments that will help it to age. The fight scene between Piper and Keith David is justifiably iconic and Piper's superb one-liner ("I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick…
Roddy Piper is a true American hero. Who else when faced with an alien invasion would just start blowing these assholes away with a shot gun, all the while spouting one liners? Not you. Definitely not me.
They Live We Sleep
A sci-fi classic that will be relevant for a very long time. A must-see.
Contains one of the most hilarious and unnecessary fight scenes ever
An interesting film about consumer culture being controlled by aliens that could have been great if it had fully embraced its desire to become Cobra or Rambo. The moments/scenes in which Roddy Piper can do his wrestling persona are much better than the dramatic scenes and they film should have gone "full Roddy" more often.
- Donnie Darko
- Morvern Callar
- Irma Vep
- Miami Blues
- Babe: Pig in the City
- A Page of Madness
- Un Chien Andalou
- L'âge d'or
- Meshes of the Afternoon
A big collection of films that might be considered as strange, mindfucking, surreal and weird. Sorted by year. Suggestions are…
- Once Upon a Time in the West
- Assault on Precinct 13
- The Good, The Bad, The Weird
- Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
- Hard Boiled
I started with a top 10 list and decided what the hell lets see how far I can go. Top…