They Live 1988
I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum.
When I was young this was one of the greatest movies I was shown. It combined an 80's wrestler who I was quite familiar with (my mother is wrestling mad) aliens & a basis for a film that would follow me well into my adulthood.
From the director and composer who brought us movie greats like Assault on Precinct 13, antarctic shape-shifting aliens in The Thing, a one eyed Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) in Escape from NY & a loud mouthed trucker riding the Pork Chop Express in Big Trouble in Little China, it brings me great pleasure to review John Carpenter's cult classic They Live.
Anyone familiar with Carpenter's previous & past works will appreciate the imaginative & original style that only he brings to the screen. The scores done by Carpenter are eerily fitting to the soundtrack and make each of his film truly unique.
Although the budgets are low and the acting can be described as adequate, coming into this with an open mind you may find an intelligent sci-fi sparking areas within your mind that question what you see and challenge the positions of authority. It may prompt you to venture down the conspiratorial rabbit hole.
The film begins seeing a construction working drifter named Nada
who you might recall from back when WWE referred to themselves as the WWF who had lost to a name dispute, buff 80's muscle men lost to cute harmless pandas? Anyway, professional wrestler Roddy Piper stumbles upon a pair of glasses that enable him to view the everyday world around as it really appears.
The acting is above the usual fabricated violence and taunts from earlier WWF exploits.
Nada's eyes are open to global manipulation by political & media advertising. Society is under constant bombardment from magazines, TV ads, billboards, a seemingly inescapable torrent of subliminal choker holds & power slams, all now have their true messages revealed.
The elite and the ones in power are actually aliens controlling society through a TV signal that brainwashes that population into their agendas.
Colour is removed, unveiling everything in plain black and white.
OBEY - SLEEP - CONFORM - BUY -SUBMIT..
Money that now reads THIS IS YOUR GOD conjures up interesting conspiracy theories. I believe there is a lot of truth behind the way political leaders, media influencers & law enforcement programme us and this film presents that beautifully.
To sceptics or realists it's a cool sci-fi with aliens & guns. Enjoy!
Nada soon after teams up with work colleague Frank (Keith David, you may recall earlier projects along side with Kurt Russell in The Thing & in Platoon) who takes some serious convincing to try on the glasses and to see the world Nada sees it.
A comically drawn out fight scene between the two break out & every time you think it has finished it simply keeps on going. This opened the gate to numerous parodies with Family Guy & South Park to name a few.
"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum."
One of my favourite quotes from this movie once Nada comes to grips with what he's seeing does what any sane man would do. Take to the streets with a shotgun.
This is a remarkable piece 80's history and definitely deserves a re-watch enhanced on Blu Ray.
I give this eye opener -
9 glasses cases out of 10.