While you sleep, They Live. Social commentary action film that was due a upscale release. Studio Canal felt at least and so a 4K releases has arrived in store…just in time for Christmas. Drifter (Rowdy Roddy Piper) floats across the economically stricken USA. Moving from shack to shack, eating food from charity and sleeping in the open. When he finds a pair of glasses left over from a police raid on a church, it seemingly seems innocuous. However when he puts them on and sees for the first time, it will change his life for ever.
Well trickle me pink. THEY LIVE has finally come my way to review and it is less arduous journey more bus mans holiday. If you have seen it, then you know its a social commentary that slugs it out with Reagan era economics, politics and feels contemporary. Piper (sadly deceased) gives us an every man performance, while Carpenter directs with an eye to pastiche and one to the serials of his youth. It might not be his best film but it is both his easiest to enjoy and so witty that I am surprised a major label took it on.
To the discs
Well the 4K literally adds little to the film but has stamped on the DVD from a couple of years back. It is crisp. The black and white scenes however do show up a little grain but its pos from the master they used. The first disc has the well trodden commentary that has Roddy funny and thoughtful and Carpenter as always great. The best extra is Subversion: Exposing John Carpenter’s THEY LIVE . It is worth the price of admission alone. Outside of that film of course!
(1 UHD, 1 Blu-ray feature, 1 Blu-ray extras, 1 CD Soundtrack)
48 page book
Subversion: Exposing John Carpenter’s THEY LIVE – A brand retrospective documentary produced by Ballyhoo Motion Pictures and featuring interviews with Associate producer Sandy King, cinematographer Gary Kibbe, actor Peter Jason, actor Robert Grasmere, composer Alan Howarth, stunt coordinator/Ghoul Jeff Imada, author Jonathan Letham, music historian Daniel Schweiger, Blumhouse editor Rebekah McKendry, and visual effects historian Justin Humphreys.
Original EPK: The Making of They Live (1988) John Carpenter profile – vintage profile of the director
Meg Foster profile – vintage profile of the actress
Roddy Piper profile – vintage profile of the actor
Audio Commentary with John Carpenter & Roddy Piper Independent Thoughts with John Carpenter – a 2012 interview with director John Carpenter
Woman of Mystery: Interview with Meg Foster – a 2012 interview with actress Meg Foster
Man vs Aliens: Interview with Keith David – a 2012 interview with actor Keith David
Fake commercials in the film 2.34 mins TV spots Photo gallery