They Live (1988)
If you're looking for a classic horror film then this isn't for you. More an action sci fi thriller it does have some horror story elements; Aliens, controlled population and some very entertaining fight scenes.
A great thought provoking movie that is incredibly watchable.
It also has some of the best dialogue in an 80's film.
Set in America during a recession, you follow Nada, a blue collar worker/drifter who accidentally discovers, through special sunglasses, that aliens have come and taken over most of the world and that the majority of the human race are 'asleep' and being controlled via cleverly placed subliminal messages on bill boards, in magazines, on tv and even on money.
It's a classic case of money is your overlord and thus making everything based on economy evil, if you're not into films making a political status then this film does something unique in that just watching for watching sake is rewarded. The film has fantastic dialogue especially for the 80's where it seems catchphrases are ten a penny and it also has some of the best action/fight scenes in a film.
After discovering the alien species, Nada does everything he can to convince other people, however as thinking makes your head hurt, most people don't want to know. It takes a very large and very painful looking fight scene for Nada to convince his best friend Frank of the danger.
The fight scene is incredibly realistic and does have you cringing as some of the hits connect.
Now the plot comes together, Nada and Frank team up with a resistance group only to be betrayed from inside, causing everyone to panic, flea or die fighting. It is during this battle that Nada and Frank find themselves inside the alien base along with several human members who have sold out and now work for the aliens.
The movie ends when Nada blows up a communications beacon that hides all the messages and the aliens true forms, so that the whole world can see for themselves what has been happening.
The film is done with 80's style action and dialogue all the way through and although it isn't a classic horror it is enjoyable and the messages the film tries to show can be classed as horrifying.
The aliens true faces are well done and they, along with the subliminal messages, do seamlessly appear and disappear when the sunglasses get taken on and off quick.
Even with it's 80's acting and catch phrasing the film does have a slightly grim atmosphere that runs all the way through.
It's a great film even if it isn't strictly horror.
'I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass.. and I am all out of bubblegum!'
Scenes to watch for:
The fight scene between Nada and Frank.
The end scene when Nada blows up the communications tower.