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They Live (1988) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Regarded with hindsight as a one of Carpenter’s more interesting films, They Live wasn’t exactly loved by critics at its time of release.  I get it – it stars a pro wrestler with limited screen acting experience, it has a disjointed plot that turns out was WAY ahead of its time and the movie stops half way through for an extended and frankly ridiculous fight scene.  But for me those are all the things that I love about it… and more.  Piper is brilliant as drifter John Nada, an everyman who gets wrapped up in the film crazy events, and his stoic delivery of one of cinemas best lines still rates as a personal highlight.  Yup it doesn’t have the budget to always pull of its lofty goals but Carpenter keeps the pace up right the way through to its conclusion and THAT fight still stands as one of the greatest action moments in film history.  They Live is a gem of 80’s cinema that derives it place in the Hall of Fame.

Best Bit: THAT fight

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, Escape from New York

9 out of 10 stars




Phil Hobden

Phil Hobden is the former Film Editor & Writer for renowned martial arts focused COMBAT MAGAZINE in the UK. He is also a filmmaker in his own right, having produced two cult Independent action films in LEFT FOR DEAD and TEN DEAD MEN. He was the host for the award nominated Filmsploitation podcast for 4 years, currently co-hosts Ross And Phil Talk Movies and is a writer/editor for his own blog Phil's Quick Capsule Review...