THEY LIVE (1988)
Oh what a flick. While the premise sounds like it was something that was composed from a random wheel that happened to choose 3 random things (Roddy Piper, aliens, sunglasses) the result is a John Carpenter film worthy of kick-ass action, great subtext, and a ballsy conclusion. Roddy Piper plays a drifter who finds a pair of sunglasses that enables him to see an ‘alien’s true form, as well as subliminal messages in magazines, signs, billboards, etc. The world looks black/white/gray when putting the glasses on and apparently there are aliens among us…only seen with these special spectacles (almost a tongue-twister). He has to recruit his only buddy he’s made in this new town and convince him to join his crusade to see what these strange beings are up to. Because this is a Carpenter flick, we know what to expect. Great dialogue and an entertaining cast flesh out the story. One wonders if the go-to Carpenter guy Kurt Russell was supposed to be in this instead, but Roddy shows his acting chops and makes you realize how much he’s missed. For some great action and some subtext that could apply to almost any decade, watch how ‘They Live.’ After all, what are you supposed to do when you run out of bubblegum?
SLASH SCENE: The long street fight
SLASH SCORE: 4.5/5