They Live is a favorite movie of mine from my younger days. I grew up on comic books, horror and sci-fi films and wrestling, so this movie was most appropriate for me. It stars Rowdy Roddy Piper who is a favorite wrestler of mine, as Nada a drifter who ends up in Los Angeles looking for work and to make a new life for himself, but instead bumbles his nose into a world of trouble which includes sunglasses that when worn show the wearer what’s really going on in the world around him or her by somehow deciphering an alien cloaking device that is projected via satellite dishes around the globe.
What Nada(Rowdy Roddy Piper) has figured out is the big take over, and apparently it’s been happening for centuries. Looking through the glasses Nada figures out the reality of the world. All media and advertisements contain totalitarian commands of obedience and conformity in consumerism, to control the human populous. Enlisting the help of his newly found friend Frank Armitage(Keith David) Nada and Frank join an underground resistance and learn more of what’s actually going on.
Most of the wealthy and those who are in positions of authority are actually aliens with bluish, bug eyed, skull-like faces. At first Nada seems to think he is going crazy, but after he puts the reality of whats going on together, he arms himself and goes into action.
They Live is sociopolitical satire mixed with classic 1950s alien invasion paranoia, and Rowdy Roddy Piper cracking some top notch one liners such as “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum”, “Mama don’t like tattletales” and “You, you’re okay. This one: real fuckin’ ugly” and being a bad ass! A brutal beat-em-up, with a legendary alleyway fight scene between Nada and Frank which has been mocked in many other films and television over and over again.
Once Nada gets a hold of some artillery things get even better as he goes on a rampage killing what aliens he can as he discovers that they can be killed just as simple as a human being, but happen to have tricks up their sleeves such as watches that also double as a teleportation device and two way radios.
In the end, the humans have the ultimate choice, join the alien race and be their lapdogs in taking over the Earth, live your life in silence about what you know or be killed like the rest of the humans who didn’t make the “right” decision. It’s all up to Nada and Frank to do what he can to save the day.
Rumor has it that They Live is up to be one of the next big remakes in Hollywood, but supposedly it won’t have anything to do with the glasses and it may be titled under it’s original short story name “Eight O’Clock In The Morning” and apparently the director/producer will either be Eric Newman who brought us the remake of John Carpenter’s The Thing or Matt reeves, the guy who brought us “Let Me In” which is the American remake of “Let The Right One In”. I guess we’ll find out if and when it actually happens..