Directed and with a screenplay by John Carpenter (shown below), from a short story by Ray Nelson, the movie burst upon us just a couple of months prior to the end of the administration of Ronald Reagan, as a kind of angry and ironic thank you for the horrific damage Reagan and his cronies had wrought on the U.S. populace (many of us had only begun to understand the extent of the damage at this time).
Kyle Smith (if he saw the film first time 'round) shitting a brick. Set in a Los Angeles where jobs are scarce and the pay is woeful, the film shows us the working poor (after the de-taxation of the rich, an increase in the national debt, the union busting and other Reagan "achievements") reduced to eviction and living in shantytowns -- which are from time to time destroyed by the police.
Slavoj Zizek, in his new film The Pervert's Guide to Ideology uses They Live as one of the better examples of an under-sung Hollywood classic that also possesses intelligence, wit and a philosophy. It surely is. The film also reminded me not a little of Nat Christian's 2011 Monday Morning, but with a much heavier use of the fantasy/sci-fi element.
Roddy Piper (two photos above), a young Keith David (just above), and Meg Foster (below, whose gorgeous, odd, see-through eyes make her look like an alien already) the opportunity to shine, appearing in a movie that is destined to outlast them -- and us -- all.
Universal Pictures, which opens this Friday, December 6, in New York City at the IFC Center, before eventually, I hope, coming to VOD, DVD and maybe Blu-ray in its crisp new high-definition DCP image.