They Live

John Carpenter
USA 1988
93 min

A streetwise drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses which allow him to see subliminal messages hidden behind every billboard, newspaper, and TV commercial in America, as well as the true faces of the masked aliens walking among us, intent to dominate our world in secret.
Its anti-consumerist message is so apparent in the action on screen that it doesn’t even qualify as subtextual. But this sort of obvious explication functions, cleverly, as a deliberate ideological misdirect, as the ultimate goal of THEY LIVE as a work of satire isn’t for us to acknowledge that our world is being taken over by nefarious aliens from outer space, but rather that such a fantastic idea of hypnosis and control is credible only because commercial culture is designed to function in exactly that way. (Calum Marsh)
“You have to understand something: It’s a documentary. It’s not science fiction.” (John Carpenter).

From the collection of the Austrian Filmmuseum.

In presence of John Carpenter.

  • Roddy Piper - John Nada
  • Keith David - Frank
  • Meg Foster - Holly
  • Peter Jason - Gilbert
  • John Carpenter (als Frank Armitage)
  • Gary B. Kibbe
  • Gib Jaffe
  • Frank E. Jimenez
  • John Carpenter
  • Alan Howarth
  • Marvin March
Alive Films, Larry Franco Productions


Studiocanal GmbH
35 mm
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