They Live (1988) – delivers great action, horror, a very memorable and quotable line

Directed by: John Carpenter

Starring: Roddy PiperKeith David, and Meg Foster

Synopsis: Nada (Roddy Piper), a wanderer without meaning in his life, discovers a pair of sunglasses capable of showing the world the way it truly is. As he walks the streets of Los Angeles, Nada notices that both the media and the government are comprised of subliminal messages meant to keep the population subdued, and that most of the social elite are skull-faced aliens bent on world domination. With this shocking discovery, Nada fights to free humanity from the mind-controlling aliens.

John Carpenter sets his sights on the possibility of aliens among us in They Live! 

John Nada (Roddy Piper) is a quiet loner, he’s a drifter who gets work wherever he can find it. While working on a construction site in L.A. and sleeping in a vagrant community at night, John stumbles upon a secret society of alien beings who pose as wealthy and powerful people in human society. John joins a rebel group committed to exposing this conspiracy and becomes their reluctant leader and the only hope of the human race.

Set in an oppressive Reagan-era Los Angeles, a place in the midst of a financial depression.

Nada stumbles upon an underground group and a pair of magical sunglasses that allow him to see the truth – that aliens are among us and control us through radio waves and subliminal advertising. Looking through the sunglasses, we see a startling depiction of a drab grey world filled with creepy looking aliens and embossed with sloganeering. This will certainly have viewers looking at the world differently for a few days after viewing. 

Carpenter packs a punch

Director John Carpenter laces the film with his trademark blend of humor and horror, making aliens that are hideously arrogant, greedy, and easy to hate, while the humans are confused and desperate in their struggle against them. The world looks a little different at the end of THEY LIVE, and one will never look at billboards, money, or sunglasses the same way again. The film contains the longest, and perhaps most realistic, fist fight in film history.

Wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper is outstanding as the unassuming hero, playing the role with understated shock at what he uncovers and stubborn courage when he confronts it. 

John Carpenter delivers another cult classic that is a violent sci-fi/action movie with horror overtones. This territory is where Carpenter thrives and “They Live’’, delivers great action, horror, a very memorable and quotable line “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum”. along with a very famous long fistfight. This is a must watch! 

Rating: 4 out of 5.