DVD review: 'They Live' has legs
A scene from "They Live." (Courtesy of the Shout Factory / October 26, 2012)
“They Live” is proudly a B movie. It stars “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, a professional wrestler who had minimal acting experience. Probably the best known person in the cast was Meg Foster; and the whole thing has a deliberately grungy feel. Piper plays Nada, an honest, out-of-work, homeless guy who lands in L.A.'s skid row, where he joins an underground resistance movement that has discovered that humans are all being duped; the world is being run by hideous aliens who send out a radio beam that makes us see them as normal people.
It was intended as a satire of the Reagan years; amazingly it seems even more applicable now. One of the extras on the disc is the original “making of” film: Carpenter's remarks about the film's social point of view could be lifted verbatim today and you'd assume they were just recorded.
Scream Factory has assembled a nice group of extras, all of which are new, except the old “making of” film and the Carpenter/Piper commentary. We get 35 minutes of interviews with Carpenter, Foster, costar Keith David (currently in “Cloud Atlas”) and some of the other key creative personnel, as well as a reconstruction of the fake commercials that are seen in bits and pieces throughout the feature. The Blu-ray looks and sounds good; and Scream Factory's menus are genuinely witty.
"They Live: Collector's Edition" (Scream Factory, Blu-ray, $29.93; DVD, $19.93)
ANDY KLEIN is the film critic for Marquee. He can also be heard on “FilmWeek” on KPCC-FM (89.3).