‘They Live’ is a science-fiction movie from the Eighties that features aliens, a WWF wrestler and a whole lot of sunglasses. What’s not to like? While, at first glance, the movie appears to be a bunch of nonsense, ‘They Live’ actually communicates a powerful message about the elite and its use of mass media to control the masses. Is the movie describing what we call the Illuminati?
Watching They Live is a conflicting experience. It is an odd combination of eye-opening messages with lackluster acting, powerful social commentary with 1950’s B-movie special effects and gripping satire with odd punchlines. Constantly making viewers oscillate between “Wow, that was genius!” to “Wow, that was corny!”, it is difficult to properly evaluate the movie from a cinematographic point of view. However, from a “message” point of the view, They Live is gold. Based on Ray Nelson’s short story Eight O’Clock in the Morning, the movie is one of those rare subversive stories that forces viewers to question their world and their surroundings. Because, despite the fact that the movie is about ghoulish aliens, it communicates truths to the viewers that are only alluded to in mainstream movies. In fact, looking deeper into the storyline, one might realize that there’s probably more “science” than “fiction” in the story of They Live … especially when one has “truth-seeing sunglasses”.
The hero of the movie, played by WWF wrestler Rowdy Roddy Pipper, is a drifter that is apparently nameless. In the short story and the movie’s credits, he is referred to as Nada, which means ‘nothing’ in Spanish. While this nameless nothing is broke and homeless, he still manages to expose the alien’s hidden rule of the world. How did he accomplish that? With the only thing he’d ever need: The Truth. Oh, and also guns. He used a lot of guns. Most importantly, despite the fact that Nada was tempted several times to shut up in exchange for “generous compensation”, he kept his integrity and never agreed to sell out to the aliens. Now, that’s a role model. To top it off, he says the best things ever.