Saturday, November 28, 2009

1988 - John Carpenter's THEY LIVE, Republican party taken over by space aliens

Made during the end of the Reagan Presidency and probably containing about as much criticism of the Republican brand of leadership that a Hollywood film was going to have.  They Live is a B-movie dressed up with some mild social criticism.


Carpenter wrote the screenplay under an alias.  The story is about space aliens in disguise exploiting the Earth to enrich themselves financially.  They have devices that allow them to go undetected and only a special pair of sunglasses reveals what they actually look like.   

They Live was also an experiment by John Carpenter to make a science fiction film on a really low budget.  Carpenter cast a professional wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper who actually wasn't too bad as the lead.  Wrestlers after all are performers.  "Rowdy" Roddy gets to run around and shoot aliens and he has a very long fight with another guy that must go on about 10 minutes.

They Live is in the great tradition of films as time killers. It runs about 90 minutes has a lot of shooting and fighting,  a couple of good lines and an amusing ending.  Carpenter didn't appear to be taking the film very seriously and if the viewer takes the same approach it can be enjoyed on that level.

93 minutes.

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