The Horror Honeys: Stock up on Bubblegum, Bitches.

Stock up on Bubblegum, Bitches.

A Sci-Fi Honey Review

They Live (1988)

Another week, another 25 year old movie that I somehow managed not to see at any point in a quarter of a century.  My procrastination has obviously reached epic levels.

I admit, my reluctance to watch They Live was primarily because Roddy Piper is in it. His wrestling persona was highly annoying to me back in the day, and I couldn’t see any way that his non-wrestling acting would be much better.  I was more of an Ultimate Warrior/Andre the Giant fan. But I digress.

By way of a synopsis, ROWDY Roddy Piper plays a drifter/unemployed guy who goes by the handle ‘Nada’, who ends up in L.A. looking for work and living in some kind of shantytown where homeless people gather. Homeless people who had surprisingly clean clothes and shoes all the time, might I add.  He starts to notice some weirdness going on, when a TV has a ‘hacker’ break into the signal and talk about how the people in power are bad and hiding things.  After the church next door gets invaded by like a million cops and a helicopter and the whole shantytown gets bulldozed to the ground, in the rubble ‘Nada’ finds a box of sunglasses that enable him to see the truth about everything happening around him, and who/what the people in power really are and what they are doing to the populace. Hilarity and ‘splosions and excessive ammunition expenditure ensue.
Beware, this man is all out of bubblegum.
He does, however, have some sexy Blue Blockers.

This is actually kind of an interesting movie - it explores commercialism and the way that people are manipulated by advertising, and how most people ‘sell out’ on a daily basis. It’s pretty heavy handed, but it does try. I think back to 1988 and remember the huge consumerism going on, and the whole Gordon Gecko ‘Greed is Good’ thing in the movie Wall Street. I also notice that those movies and others like them really had very little impact, because their message is just as valid today as it was then.  
The last company "Town Hall" at my work.

Given the subject matter, Roddy Piper is actually relatively ok for a non-actor. Keith David (who plays his sidekick, Frank Armitage) is always good. The fight scene between them is a B-movie/cult classic, and was just as protracted and hilarious as I had heard it was.  The dialogue from Piper was terrible yet funny (like the ubiquitous ‘I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass’ line).  Piper’s mullet was also terrible yet funny. The effects I think (hope?) were intentionally bad, and looked very 1950’s Creature Feature styles, which I can appreciate.

Sci-Fi Honey Lowdown: It was a funny movie, kept me interested, tried to address a serious issue with humour.  I liked it in a B-Movie way.  If you don’t go in expecting a masterpiece, it’s an entertaining movie to watch. 


Sci-Fi Honey Verdict:  3.5 Weird Alien Skull Heads out of 5.