Guest Review: They Live (1988)

A good movie that makes you think. Cheesy, with some boring and repetitive music.


Set in a postmodern US city (Los Angeles), where most people are going about their everyday lives without care or worry, something is not right. There is a secret ruling/governing class, aliens! Aliens are secretly recruiting beings from other planets to travel to Earth in order to establish a new world order. Watching the trailer beforehand, I laughed at the plot and thought it would be just another cheesy, uninspiring and forgettable 80s movie. How wrong was I? Having drunk several beers leading up to the movie, I quickly sobered up by what the movie was trying to portay, or at least what I was perceiving.


Starring in the lead role, is former wrestler and now deceased Rowdy Roddy Piper, a man looking for work in Los Angeles. He quickly lands a job as a construction worker, but after a while, he stumbles upon the subtle alien plan. He finds a box of sunglasses, which help to identify the aliens. Without them, he or nobody else can distinguish them from ordinary people. Genius, huh? That’s some down right magical sunglasses! The sunglasses unveil the aliens plan; to make people conform, spend money, breed and not question authority. Can we not draw parallels to our governments today? Up until this point, the movie wasn’t doing much for me. But after this point, I was analyzing and seeing metaphors. What a way to spend your Saturday night!


With its many metaphors and subliminal plot, I quickly sobered up and started drawing lines to the way the world is run by government. The aliens plot combined with the people’s ignorance of that had me thinking and overanalyzing all night. That’s not bad for a B-flick!


Best moment of the movie: Rowdy Piper storming into the bank wearing his glasses and holding his gun, shouting “I came here to kick ass and chew bubblegum. And I’m out of bubblegum”. I bet you can figure out what happens next.

-Jostein Ryan