They Live (1988) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: John Carpenter
Starring: Roddy Piper, Meg Foster
Rated: R/Region: A/1×85/Number of dics: 1
Available from Scream Factory
Horror master John Carpenter directs this heart-pounding thriller. Aliens are systematically gaining control of the Earth by masquerading as humans and lulling the public into submission. Humanity’s last chance lies with a lone drifter who stumbles upon a harrowing discovery : a unique pair of sunglasses that reveals the terrifying and deadly truth.
While when you think of John Carpenter you may first think of Halloween or even The Thing, I think they live could be or easily match his best work. We have a film here that just flows with a great lead character and a very classic feeling of great science fiction stories from years before even this film’s time. Still we have Carpenter mixing horror elements with that vibe that inserts a very strong dose of eerie into this tale of a man who stumbles upon the truth and then tries to do the right thing after. The movie keeps a style that not only looks awesome on screen (especially in this blu-ray release), but it never once bores you with its pace and just keeps the story flowing and keeping you sucked in every step along the way.
A lot of people over the years seem to be rather down on the ending of this one. That is probably because the world doesn’t overall like bleak ending, even with a genre that thrives on those types of endings. I think this one goes a step above just that as there is still a humorous shot at society fired and glimpses of hope do still seem to be mixed in overall with this tale. I somewhat feel like Carpenter mixed elements of Big Trouble in Little China AND his other horror classics in the mix of this one and the end results are nearly flawless. Everyone from Roddy Piper to Meg Foster fit into their parts and make even the smallest characters in this film seem memorable. I don’t think They Live is a perfect film, but if you love horror, action, 80s horror, wrestling, and science fiction, it comes pretty darn close.
– Audio Commentary By Director John Carpenter And Actor Roddy Piper
– New Interview With Director John Carpenter And Roddy Piper
– Vintage Featurette: The Making Of They Live
– Original Theatrical Trailer
– TV Spots