Rated R, 93 Minutes
Staring: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, George ‘Buck’ Flower, Peter Jason
I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum. – Nada
My respect for John Carpenter as a filmmaker has been growing as of late. I have been making it a point to watch some of the movies that he has directed like Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) and The Thing (1982). I have seen most of the other films he has directed. It is a wonderful concoction of Action/Sci-Fi/Horror and is a shame that it does not make more top movie lists. If you have not seen this movie you should definitely take the time to watch it. They Live is the perfect movie for any night where you want mindless entertainment. While this film will not win any awards for its script or acting it will thoroughly entertain you with the swagger of the Roddy Piper and David Keith.
After an economic crisis Nada, played by Roddy Piper goes to L.A. in search of work. What he finds while there is much more than he could ever have dreamed of after finding a pair of glasses that unlock the truth…aliens have taken over the world! He teams up with fellow drifter Frank, played by Keith David, who has also come in search of work. The duo create a kick-ass demolition team where they shoot first and ask questions later in their quest to wake the world up from their sleep and bring the aliens out into the open.
The plot of the film is very simple. It has to be because the film is only 93 minutes long, so there is not a lot of time for character development. I think that this is a major reason I am only giving it 3 1/2 stars! The majority of the limited plot development is done at the beginning of the film. The plus side of this is that the action flows nicely and you are not left with too many dead spots once the action finally gets rolling. The special effects is decent for a film from the 80′s with that budget. I did think the aliens were quite comical and not really eerie at all. The subliminal messages on just about everything is pretty cool. My favorite is the message on the money that says “This Is Your God”. As is par for the course with all of the John Carpenter films I have seen there is no shortage of blood when someone gets shot and believe me there are plenty of bullets. Of course they never seem to run out but that is always the case, you have to throw reality out the window when watching films like this. I also think that I could have definitely seen Kurt Russell playing Nada. Not that Roddy Piper did a bad job by any means. I also have heard that Carpenter is planning a remake.
Don’t let this be an overlooked John Carpenter film any longer. If you have seen this film then tell your friends about it and help spread the word for those that have not seen it. If you have not seen it I highly recommend you consider renting it from NetFlix!