Eps 103 – They Live (1988) – Decades of Horror 1980s

Posted in Articles, Featured Items, Monster Movie, Podcasts by - March 14, 2017
Eps 103 – They Live (1988) – Decades of Horror 1980s

“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.” Nada (Rowdy Roddy Piper) comes out of his consumer coma and is ready to blow some aliens away. The satirical sci-fi actioner from horror master John Carpenter is a schlocky example of 80s cheese… with an actual brain behind it?

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 103 – They Live (1988)

They Live is a bit of a departure for Decades of Horror, given the bigger emphasis on sci-fi and action. Yet, what’s more horrifying than realizing you live in a dystopian world ruled by cruel uncaring overlords that trick you in a commercialized sense of ignorance? Well… actually living in that world on a daily basis. Yes, Carpenter’s jab at Reagan-era politics still permeates our culture. After all, how many celebrities have been turned into a They Live-style alien to indicate the media obsessed world we live in is all consuming? Unfortunately, we don’t have a Rowdy Roddy Piper to suplex the corporate overlords into submission. But hopefully this and many generations to come can be inspired by Piper’s lack of hesitation in taking out those that stand in the way of American progress. Or at the very least admire the stamina it takes for him to kick the crap out of Fred Armitage (Keith David) in order to see the truth via his sunglasses.

Luckily, three people here are in awe of Roddy’s prowess. Thomas and Christopher G. Moore return to gush about this 1988 John Carpenter film, but are unfortunately short a Doc Rotten to help them out. Luckily, a nomadic drifter has decided to take his place around the fiery trashcan. That is Gruesome Magazine’s own Adam Thomas, a man who knows his wrestling as much as he knows his horror and genre filmmaking. Together, these three gush about the infamous fight scene between David & Piper, spotlight the vulnerability under Piper’s performance and marvel with disturbed regret at They Live‘s lasting political relevance. It’s a damn good time that’s pretty contemplative when you look past the brute force and one liners.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com. We also want to be sure to thank Neon Devils for their killer track “Bone Chillin’” which we use for the intro and outro of this show.

This post was written by Doc Rotten
Doc Rotten is a film critic for Gruesome Magazine and podcast host for Horror News Radio, Monster Movie Podcast, Decades of Horror: 1970s, Decades of Horror 1980s, The American Horror Story Fan Podcast, Hannibal Fan Podcast and The Future of Horror. He was also co-host Dracula on TV TALK and was a contributing reviewer for HorrorNews.Net and Widescreen Warrior. He is also a lifelong fan of horror films, sci-fi flicks and monster movies first discovering Universal Monsters and Planet of the Apes as a young child in the 1970's searching out every issue of Famous Monster of Filmland (and, later, Fangoria). Favorite films include Jaws, The Car, The Birds, The Tingler, Vampire Circus and The Exorcist.