“They Live is one of the most important films ever made. There’s Schindler’s List then there’s They Live. I think it should be shown in schools.” Robert Florence
These were Robert Florence’s words as he introduced the GFT’s showing of John Carpenter’s 1988 masterpiece They Live. Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much in a cinema. The film starts slowly with Rowdy Roddy Piper wandering around looking for work. Then he bumps into some freedom fighters, acquires a pair of sunglasses that allow him to see the aliens in our midst and all hell breaks loose.
Within seconds of him discovering that a chunk of the population are aliens in disguise, Piper has clothes-lined a couple of policemen, stolen their shotgun and stormed into a bank with the words, “I came here to chew bubble gum and kick ass and I’m all out of bubble gum.”
What follows is the single funniest Marxist allegory that I’ve ever seen. Even funnier than Sex in the City.
It’s also got one of the longest fight scenes in movie history: