"They Live (1988/Blu-ray/Scream! Factory)" Review

 Horror master John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing) directs this heart-pounding thriller. Aliens are systematically gaining control of the Earth by masquerading as humans and lulling the public into submission. Humanity’s last chance lies with a lone drifter who stumbles upon a harrowing discovery : a unique pair of sunglasses that reveals the terrifying and deadly truth.

 Review: John Carpenter has done so many good films over the years and the one I have had the strongest love for next to "In The Mouth Of Madness" has been They Live. I have probably seen this film atleast a hundred times since I was a kid and really it was the first film to make me think about the world around me beyond what the paid authorities of this world tell me is happening. Needless to say They Live is a film that goes beyond being a great action/sci-fi film and touches on political and social issues. To some that may be a thing that will turn them off, but to those who are like myself  it will be intriguing.
Aside from the political and social issues that are shown in They Live there are many other elements that together make this film as good as it is. The first being the cast, you get two great main characters played by Roddy Piper (Hell Comes To Frogtown) and Keith David ("The Thing" 1982 Version) who work so perfectly together and off of each other. You can see great chemistry between the two actors even when they are beating the snot out of one another in one of the best fight scenes. Also along the side of those two you also have Meg Foster (Masters of the Universe), Peter Jason (The Long Riders), and Sy Richardson (Repo Man). There is so much great talent in this film I could list all them in this review, but I think that would be a little too much.
The second thing I would say is the one liners used and the look of the aliens as well. One of the most well known lines from this film I think almost everyone has heard even if you have not seen this film and that is "I'm here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and I'm all out of gum". I absolutely love that line each time I hear Roddy Piper say it. Now for the alien makeup effects they have this creepy skinned face look with metallic chrome eyes, I remember when I first saw it as a kid it was kinda frightening because I had never seen anything like it before. If you haven't seen it yet then you will see it in this review! To those who are more mainstream film fans they will look at the makeup as being cheesy and dumb, but to fans like myself you will love it. It reminds me of something from a 50's or 60's creature feature.
Now getting back to the thing I mentioned about social and political issues this film brings up well from what I see it as is the film talking about how the people who own a majority of the wealth will always screw over the middle and lower class as much as they can and do it in such a cold manner. One scene that stood out to me is when an army of police descend down onto a shanty town where the homeless live and they start killing and destroying everything in their path and with a cold and emotionless attitude. I see the message of this film to be something you can look at and see going on today. Watch the film then watch a reliable news source (not bullshit Fox News) and you will see what I mean.
 The presentation of this release is excellent! I never seen it in theaters so I can't compare it to that, but I can say it is the best I have ever seen it in any home video format. The picture is very clean and the detail is great as well. They did not kill the film with bothersome edge enhancement or dreaded DNR. I found the audio to be great as well and was quite stable and clear all the way through. Finally we get a release with some pretty good special features that include interviews with John Carpenter, Meg Foster, and Keith David as well as others. Also there is a great commentary that includes John Carpenter and Roddy Piper! Overall this is a very solid release and is truly worth every penny you put out for it! Also it has a reversible cover that has the original artwork!

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

 Director: John Carpenter
Genre: Action/Science Fiction
Blu-ray Release Year: 2012
Theatrical Release Year:1988
Time Length: 93 mins.
Company: Scream Factory (Shout! Factory)
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