“I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass – and I’m all out of bubble gum!”
One of the most famous lines from the John Carpenter classic They Live, released on Blu ray in the USA by Shout Factory as a special collectors edition. Wrestling superstar Roddy Piper stars as Nada, a drifter on hard times looking for work. He lands a job on a construction site and makes friends with fellow worker Frank (Keith David) who shows him the ropes and invites him to stay at a tent city for the underprivileged and poor.
When he spots some odd happenings in a local church he sets out to investigate and finds out that with the help of special sunglasses he can see aliens masquerading as human beings and that they are subliminally controlling the humans to slowly take control of the planet. With the help of Frank, he sets out to expose the aliens once and for all.
John Carpenter’s film is a fantastic fun ride, with a slow build up but fabulous pay-off when he first sees what is going on. Roddy Piper is very good in his first lead role and has great support from Keith David and the makeup effects for the aliens is very well done.
The only problem is that after the revelation Carpenter does not really know where to take it. The social comment about the rich always feeding off the poor is still relevant today as its always been and this is the directors best films of his later works.
The Blu ray released by Shout Factory has a clean a very robust 1080p transfer. Colours are rich, detail is good and it’s a very pleasing image. Some DNR has been applied but it’s not distracting and this is the best I have ever seen the film. Audio is given a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix and its terrific. Good surround activity and a spacial sound stage with a thumping bass, especially at the beginning of the film.
Extras are great also. First, you have an audio commentary with the director and star Roddy Piper. Its lively and fun and they go into great detail about the production, the problems and how pleased they are with how the film turned out. (It went to number 1 in the USA box office when first released).
You also get a short but excellent interview with John Carpenter and actress Meg Foster. Watch, Look, Listen: The Sights and Sounds of They Live which is a look at the visual style, stunts, and music from the film. The Original EPK: The Making of They Live and finally TV spots and trailer.
Overall a great release for a classic Sci-Fi movie. (The disc is locked to REGION A)
Update – Now Available on Region B UK (and all the extras are the same)
FILM: 8 PICTURE: 8 AUDIO: 7.5 EXTRAS: 7