Following my TV endorsment with a post about a movie. Clever, huh?
But what the hell, there's always time for a little Carpenter love. And They Live
is one of his best efforts in my book (which not many people are going to sign, unfortunately). Spoilers follow, of course.
Our nameless hero (pro wrestler Roddie Piper who hopefully wrestles better than he acts) walks into Los Angeles in time of deepest recession. The yuppies have taken over America and their grip is tightening, so work is short and money is even shorter. He finds work at a construction site and stays at a homeless shelter over night.
A group of freedom fighters have set up a pirate broadcasting station in a nearby church. They have found out that society has been subverted by evil yuppies from outer space, out to mine earth for what it's worth. But nobody listens to them, the space yuppies are keeping the people docile by permanently bombarding them with subconcious messages on billboards, tv and magazines. The freedom fighters have managed to create sunglasses which expose the alien messages and the aliens themselves, who are walking among us.
While the church and the homless shelter are raided, our hero gets his hands on a pair of these sunglasses. He soon realizes what's going on and starts to kick some serious ass. Some plot twists later he gets shot on top of the alien's headquarters but manages to destroy the broadcasting station that hides the alien's true appearance as a last act of defiance. As our hero dies with a "Fuck you!" on his lips, the people of earth finally see the truth.
I absolutely adore this movie. The acting is bad and over the top, Piper's lines are cheesy ("It's time to chew bubble gum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubble gum
", even hommaged by computer-game hero Duke Nukem). The story isn't all that logical (I mean, one unprotected satellite dish is everything he has to destroy to unmask the aliens? Come on...) but has some nice moments to it, especially when our hero first sees the fnords.
The effects are ok at best, the criticism of capitalism is a little too overt, but somehow the whole thing just totally clicks for me.