Films are often viewed as a reflection of the society that creates them, and well as the era when they were produced. Films like The Purge, for an example, are a direct response to the current anxieties surrounding the state of America’s increasing totalitarianism. But then there are those films that are so ahead of their time they seem almost prophetic. Often, such films underperform at the Box Office, failing to connect with an audience that can’t see the relevance; many of these films develop cult following comprised of receptive fans. Eventually, these films reemerge as spot-on satire of a brand new era.
They Live, written and directed by John Carpenter, is one of those films.
The movie proposes a ruling class that lulls society into submission with subliminal messages that encourages the masses to eat, breed, and consume. It could easily be a reflection of the current eco-political climate; many of the issues explored in They Live are extremely relevant to the here-and-now: The deceptiveness of advertising, the unspoken agendas of politicians, the consumerism promoted as a distraction from more important, sometimes even urgent issues.
They Live is definitely a time-capsule of the 1980s, but it was so ahead of its time, it can feels like prophecy come true. It’s a testament to the genius of John Carpenter, as well as the serious issues of mass media manipulation that has turned huge factions of society into steeple. Missleading media is even been seen as a factor in the recent Presidential election. And, of course, The Live is an awesome memorial to “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, a pro-wrestler-turned-actor who was lovingly reviled; Piper passed away in 2015.
If you haven’t seen They Live recently, revisit it and marvel at the film’s perceptiveness. And if you’ve never seen it, have a look at a film that proves John Carpenter is a true visionary.
Official Synopsis: A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.
And if you won’t take my word for it, check out the video below from the good folks at CineFix for 8 more reasons you need to watch They Live right now! This guy really wants you to see this movie!
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