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They influence our decisions without us knowing it. They numb our senses without us feeling it. They control our lives without us realizing it. They live.Horror master John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing) directs this heart-pounding thriller. Aliens are systematically gaining control of the earth by masquerading as humans and lulling the public into submission. Humanity's last chance lies with a lone drifter who stumbles upon a harrowing discovery - a unique pair of sunglasses that reveal the terrifying and deadly truth.
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Top Customer Reviews
Carpenter was riding on the success of Halloween, which was in its day the highest grossing independent film ever made. Escape From New York was another hit movie and by this time he was getting major studio offerings. He then directed his first big studio picture The Thing. This film was expected to be a commercial hit but unfortunately, the film was a disaster and was even considered one of the most hated films by critics and audiences alike. Although The Thing has found a cult audience over the years, it was the film that launched a series of commercial failures from the director.
Carpenter was feeling frustrated with the way the studio system was heading so he decided to make a film that expressed this which is where They Live comes in. This film may be one of the bravest movies in its day. During the 1980s, we were being told to do nothing but consume. This film is a study of the world being corrupt by the media and how it tells us to simply not care and just make tons of money. The middle class are portrayed as villains in the film and that being rich and successful is the only way to be happy while poor working class people are being treated as useless. We all believe that fame and fortune is what makes us somebody but Carpenter wasn't about to become a sell out and instead he dealt with his frustration by making this film and when you look at it now you can't help but think what an honest direction that was to go in.
But this movie isn't just for deep thinkers, it is also a kick ass sci-fi action movie and it's a lot of fun too. Sure, the movie is goofy at times and very B movie material but to me that's a positive aspect, I think that was the perfect way to portray the story. I would put this movie up there with A Clockwork Orange (1971) even, as pretentious as that sounds.
Nevertheless, this creepy entry from John Carpenter still delivers 90 minutes of fun and excitement. Wrestler Roddy Piper is well-cast as a down-on-his-luck working man, who unwittingly stumbles across the alien conspiracy. When he puts those "sunglasses" on , and goes for a walk, we are in for an unforgettable scene--those subliminal message billboards--these weird skull-faced beings--what goes on ? ! Keith David provides a powerful presence, as our hero's very reluctant partner--their long fight in the alley is a classic. Carpenter fans will remember Keith David's important role in "The Thing".
Of course, interwoven in the story are less-than-subtle messages about rampant consumerism, greed, corruption and a healthy disdain for politics. Politicians that lie to us ? Politicians who do not serve the public's best interest and could care less ?
Rich people for whom more is never enough ? This is just fiction--right ? Er--right ?
No--this is not a sci/fi "landmark" film--but it has action, humour and some Orwellian ideas that sadly remain relevant.
The DVD has a fair, widescreen colour picture and decent sound. Don't expect extras--the packaging is rudimentary.
This may not be Carpenter's best film, but it should not be overlooked by fans either. At this reasonable price, give it a try.
This movie is great! I highly recommend it! How can you not love the scene with an Alien having sex with a woman, and in the middle, his disguise doesn't work! Let's not forget the Classic, (20-Minute, no joke!), Fight Scene in the back alley! Fighting for that long because Piper's buddy won't wear some Sunglasses! Classic!
Run, don't walk to a PC near you! Really, buy this movie, you'll love it!
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