Sunday, August 18, 2013

They Live (1988)

"They Live" is cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, Brie Cheese, topped by a great terrible performance by pro wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper as the unnamed shotgun-toting   protagonist. "I'm here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." Yes you are, Rowdy, and never has such a line, so daringly uttered, struck such fear into the hearts into cadaver-faced extra-terrestrials as this.

   Rowdy plays a wandering laborer, who finds himself living in a little shanty-town in LA. When police storm the place, Roddy finds a box of sunglasses. One look through a pair of these sunglasses, and Roddy can see that everything's a lie... aliens have taken over the world right under our noses and are systematically brainwashing us with subliminal messages such as 'Obey,' Watch TV,' and my personal favorite, 'Marry and Reproduce.' And Rowdy Roddy's problems are just beginning.

   "They Live" is a grade-B satire of Corporate America and the gap between the rich and poor in the U.S. It has a clever and funny premise, and the acting is predictably sub-par. There's a fight scene between friends that lasts forever. "Put on the sunglasses!" "No!" "Ugh!" Many may complain about Rowdy's questionable acting prowess, but I see him less as slumming than having fun with the role.

   My mom hated this movie. She takes film too seriously. She thinks a motion picture needs devices such as a plot, acting, and character development. Silly woman. Anyway, this isn't as good as "Dead Alive," (A movie by Peter Jackson back when he was fun before he ruined himself with the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy,) but it's still some cheesy fun with some the most unscary aliens since the ewoks.

    I really liked the dig director John Carpenter had at his critics at the end of the film Just wait for the alien on the news with the moral sensitivities. Maybe you have to be the the right mood to appreciate "They Live," but I sure as Hell did and I  recommend this movie to people who like 'bad' movies.

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