Wednesday, May 31, 2017

They Live (on DVD)

They Live
[DVD They] 

Director John Carpenter is the master of horror and suspense films. They Live is one of his most memorable entries. Starring pro-wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster and a cast full of lesser-known character actors, this is a story of an alien invasion in slow motion. Piper plays an anonymous drifter, looking for odd jobs on the fringes of a somewhat dystopian big city. He befriends Frank (played by David), another short-term laborer, and they both encounter members of a mysterious underground organization fronted by a crazy street preacher. This organization gives Piper’s character a set of black sunglasses that reveals the alien invasion all around him. While wearing the glasses, Piper can see the real, monstrous appearance of aliens posing as real humans, and the subliminal messages the aliens have slipped into billboards, magazines, television, and even our money — messages stating “OBEY”, “REPRODUCE” “CONFORM”, etc.

From that point on it’s a race as Piper’s character tries to convince Frank of this new reality, and the alien-controlled authorities crack down on “the resistance”. Piper takes a tv journalist (Foster) hostage, in hopes of using her to reveal the truth to the population — which goes badly.

This is a tense, suspenseful film — and a fight sequence between Piper and David part-way in is one of the most brutal I’ve seen in a movie. Highly recommended!

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try any of the other films of John Carpenter, particularly Escape From New York, The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, Prince of Darkness or Ghosts of Mars]

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this film ] | [ official John Carpenter web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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