John Carpenter’s “They Live”.


5/5 A full ladle indeed. A well deserved perfect rating for an underrated masterpiece. Carpenter really outdid himself in this cult classic and it is the opinion of this author that it is the best film of his career.


I wrote ‘A Viewers Guide to: “A Pervert’s Guide to Ideology”and “They Live”‘  (which you can find at this: a few months back so I though it was appropriate to kick start my review category of Luke’s Ladle by rating something I have already covered.


The story begins with protagonist John Nada who, whilst looking for work as a homeless US citizen, stumbles across an underground cell group who are wanted by the, almost Orwellian, authorities. The resistance group get raided by the police and George is caught right in the middle of the chaos. The end result being that he discovers a crate of sunglasses that were produced by these enemies of the state only to find that they reveal the truths behind the symbols of society. When the glasses are put on, the wearer sees the true messages behind advertisements (such as “obey” in black and white), money is no longer green but says “this is your god”, and, most importantly, the glasses reveal that alien body snatchers are ruling society.

A few plot twists and character developments later, George ends up in the HQ of the aliens, in an attempt to foil the nasty alien’s campaign to colonise earth. This harsh reality leads to a lot of shooting and, ultimately, a lot of dead aliens.


This is one to watch if you fancy revisiting timeless cinema from the late 80s. It contains strong themes of sex and violence so it’s maybe not one to watch with the folks. Though, if you are a film buff and haven’t seen this then put it to the top of your watch list because it will blow your hypothetical mind. If it’s good enough for Slavoj Žižek, then, hell, it’s good enough for us.


If I still haven’t convinced you then note that Rotten Tomatoes rate ‘They Live’ at  79%-83%! To read my ‘Viewer’s Guide’ to this film, check out this link:


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