They Live is a bonafide cult classic. And it works not only as a critique on rampant consumerism and Reagan-era economics, but also as a guilty pleasure action movie.
The premise is simple: Nada—played by "Rowdy" Roddy Piper—is awakened to the horrific reality the world is actually living in through the lenses of special sunglasses. That world is one run by an unknown alien race, who are bleeding humans dry and lulling them into complacency through the content they absorb.
Television, billboards, magazines, and even money all instruct people to do as they are told—to not think or have imagination. Carpenter's intentions are about as subtle as a Roddy Piper clothesline, but that doesn't make them any less resonant.
Even if you have never seen They Live, you have no doubt seen its messaging. OBEY, one of the subliminal missives the aliens feed to humans to keep them compliant, is just part of the pop culture zeitgeist.
Thus, despite earning just over $13 million during its theatrical run, They Live has lived on. And its conceit is just as relevant today as it was in 1988.
Now sit back, BUY some Bubble Farm IPA from Clown Shoes, and CONFORM to our collective sense of humor! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Chumpzilla, Capt. Cash, and Mayor McCheese are here to chew bubblegum and kick ass ... and we are all out of bubble gum!
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