Movie Twenty Five
They Live has three pop culture legacies that are worth mentioning. The first, the ‘cripple fight‘ from TVs South Park is choreographed identically to a fight in this movie. Somehow it is even more ridiculous with live actors. Second, Shepard Fairey’s very famous Obey art/clothing is from a billboard. Thirdly, the line commonly attributed to video game star Duke Nukem about chewing gum and kicking ass was actually in They Live first.
With all of that out of the way, They Live is a pretty entertaining but ludicrous movie. Its star is professional “Rowdy Roddy” Piper, so that should give you an idea at the quality of the actors. Even in spite of the odd casting, the plot is actually kind of neat. In short, Rowdy Roddy finds a pair of sunglasses that allows him to see some things as they really are. Aliens and subliminal advertising. He then goes on a mission to stop them and that’s pretty much it. I didn’t say it was a good plot, just a neat one.
I never watched this movie as a kid, but I was aware of it. In 1988 I was 6 and fully enveloped in the WWF and all the wrestling superstars. Rowdy Roddy Piper was never a favorite of mine, but him starring a movie!? Rad. When I watched the movie years later I liked it and when I watched it in February I was able to laugh at some it but I still get into it.
They Live is definitely not a great movie, but it is fun and some of the underlying messages is still relevant today. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hollywood machine decided to remake it sometime soon. John Carpenter has a long, storied film career and They Live holds up better than some of his other movies.
I give it 3 this is your gods out of 5.