Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


They Live Blu-ray review

Posted on

THE ONE PERCENT The anti-greed cult classic gets an extra-enriched Blu-ray facelift
Everett Collection

They Live

Current Status:
In Season
Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster
John Carpenter

We gave it a B+

The rich really are different in director John Carpenter’s sci-fi action movie They Live (1988, 1 hr., 33 mins., R). They are aliens who have succeeded in disguising both their gruesome appearance and the mankind-enslaving messages they have hidden throughout the mass media: OBEY! CONSUME! Who can save the world from these ghoulish Gordon Gekkos? That would be wrestling legend Roddy Piper, whose homeless Everyman, Nada, becomes a gun-toting alien slayer after he dons special sunglasses that allow him to see through the ET conspiracy — literally. Carpenter’s anti-Reaganomics polemic is about as subtle as the blows Piper and costar Keith David exchange during their notoriously long fight scene. But in the era of Occupy Wall Street, the film’s sense of righteous indignation against the One Percenters is timely once again. And while Piper is more comfortable delivering punches than dialogue, a commentary by him and Carpenter (which has appeared on previous DVD editions) reveals that it was the wrestler who came up with the film’s most memorable line: ”I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubble gum.” Meanwhile, Carpenter fans should be content with the clutch of new EXTRAS, which include interviews with David, lead actress Meg Foster, and the entertainingly cantankerous filmmaker, who responds to a question about whether he ever considered shortening the movie’s fight scene with an abrupt ”F—, no.” Consume! B+