Every ten to twenty years They Live‘s blunt message about the failures of self-interested capitalism becomes widely fashionable, and there’s no denying that hating on greedy executives with golden parachutes is in vogue right now. That said, imagining your terrible boss as a ghoulish alien from the planet Rand is powerfully cathartic whether during a boom or a bust, and in this regard They Live delivers. It’s a populist manifesto full of action and shootouts and light on poignant messaging. We are talking about John Carpenter, after all.
Alternating between bizarre hobo utopia and violent sci-fi dystopia, with a major filling of conspiracy theory theater as well, They Live offers up epic one-liners [spoiler] and is a fantastically absurd adventure full of half-baked characters and plot holes by the bucketful, but also wit and sass and imagination. Also, the longest and most pointless fight [spoiler] ever presented on screen — all fought over a pair of sunglasses. So, just know what you’re getting into: in the end, we’re shooting less for the list of best movies than for the list of best bad movies with this one.
Definitely watch this meme-tastic adventure — it’s even on YouTube. Just do it.