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…
Le cose stanno esattamente così
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
So there's this movie, called They Live. John Carpenter wrote and directed it, but it's not scary. It's science fiction, but it's also a fairly complex Marxist metaphor. Oh--it's also a comedy, yet not in any sense a "normal" comedy; its humor is largely based on a totally ahead-of-its-time ironic re-purposing of generic "action" film tropes. Oh yeah, there's also a nearly ten-minute fight scene, and the fight scene isn't just a fight scene, it's a metaphorical fight scene. And the main character is played by Rowdy Roddy Piper. And somebody says: "Life's a bitch, and she's back in heat." And it's also a frighteningly accurate depiction of slow apocalypse. And it's also, in its own way, a kind of miracle.
Admittedly, this certainly has some charm. But oh my god those pacing issues.
glad i watched it, thought it was cool. really slow tho. also wouldve loved a slightly shorter fight scene omfg it lasted literally 10 years
I saw a review describe the social satire in They Live as "biting". I'm not sure that's particularly accurate, the phrase I'd personally use would be "hilariously stupid and heavy-handed" - between references to the aliens who have colonized earth as "free-enterprisers" and references to the exploited Earth as "the third world", there were points in the film in which I almost expected an alien leader to arrive with a name like "Schmonald Schmeagan". That certainly doesn't retract from the powerful simplicity of Carpenter's "sunglasses shots", nor the absolute, high-camp badassery of the film's later half - They Live is easily one of Carpenter's strongest and funnest efforts.
It's a John Carpenter anti-establishment movie starring wrestler Roddy Piper as a drifter who finds special glasses that allow him to read subliminal messages and tell which humans are actually aliens.
I don't think a movie like that should exist, but it does so now you must watch it. It's also the source of the infamous quote, "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass ... and I'm all out of bubblegum."
Plus there's a fight bloody brawl in an alley that lasts like 15 minutes where two big guys just beat on each other because one guy wants the other guy to put on sunglasses but the guy refuses. That's why they're fighting. That's it.
A conspiracy-themed homoerotic action drama, starring MacGyver in way too tight jeans.
"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass . . . and I'm all out of bubblegum."- Nada
John Carpenter's They Live is a very odd film. The first half hour really did nothing for me. I was convinced I wasn't going to like the film, but then the film finally got going and the next hour was awesome! It actually works brilliantly as a social commentary. Roddy Piper was really good in the lead role, but the whole time I couldn't help but think of Kurt Russell playing the part. Also as always with Carpenter, the music was awesome. It's a shame to think how much more I would have liked the film if not for the awkward and disjointed first act. Oh and one more thing: that fight scene in the alley was one of the most ridiculous, but hilariously entertaining things I've ever seen! 7.5/10
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I started with a top 10 list and decided what the hell lets see how far I can go. Top…