Tuesday, May 12, 2009

They Live (1988)

4.5 / 5

Tagline: Who are they? And what do they want?
Directed By: John Carpenter
Written By: Ray Nelson, John Carpenter
Actors Include: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster
Genre: Horror, Cult, Sci-Fi, Action
Length: 93 minutes
Banned: nope
Country: USA

This is a really wonderful surprise of a film. I'd passed it up many times in the video store as a kid because the cover looks cheesy but boy am I kicking myself now. This has something for everyone including tons of violence, a really interesting story and it's all wrapped up in a neat little package for us to enjoy. This has to be one of the most underrated little horror gems that I've come across in some time. We start out at a construction site with the homeless Nada and his friend Frank working. Then they shack up where all sorts of poor folks do out in front of this strange church. Nada is wandering around when he hears singing coming from the church so he goes in to investigate. He finds a tape recorder making that sound and notices it looks more like a science lab than a church inside. Also they have an outdoor television for the poor folks and the reception keeps getting interrupted with strange messages about "they". Then there seems to be a bunch of cops who come in to clear out the church area taking out everything they can, but not before Nada grabs a box from the church and runs free. He opens it and finds...sunglasses, no biggie right? Well he puts on a pair and realizes that it entirely changes his surroundings. About half of the people he comes across appear as skeleton creatures, and all the text everywhere now says things like "Obey", "Listen" and things like that. He spazzes out and begins shooting skeleton people (which is fantastic) and then tries to get his friend Frank in on this mess to help him. That leads to one of the greatest scenes in the film where Frank and Nada beat the hell out of each other because Frank won't try on the sunglasses. Anyhow I don't want to ruin more of the movie but it's captivating from beginning to end and instantly it's become one of my new favorites. Highly recommended for a party, alone or just about anywhere, just give it a chance!

Availability:  On DVD

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