They Live Blu-Ray Cover (Art Credit: Shout Factory)
Film,  Podcast

Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘THEY LIVE’

All Out of Bubblegum

They Live Blu-Ray Cover (Art Credit: Shout Factory)

They Live is a bonafide cult classic. And it works not only as a critique on rampant consumerism and Reagan-era economics, but also as a guilty pleasure action movie.

The premise is simple: Nada—played by “Rowdy” Roddy Piper—is awakened to the horrific reality the world is actually living in through the lenses of special sunglasses. That world is one run by an unknown alien race, who are bleeding humans dry and lulling them into complacency through the content they absorb.

Television, billboards, magazines, and even money all instruct people to do as they are told—to not think or have imagination. Carpenter’s intentions are about as subtle as a Roddy Piper clothesline, but that doesn’t make them any less resonant.

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper as Nada in They Live

Even if you have never seen They Live, you have no doubt seen its messaging. OBEY, one of the subliminal missives the aliens feed to humans to keep them compliant, is just part of the pop culture zeitgeist.

Thus, despite earning just over $13 million during its theatrical run, They Live has endured. And its conceit is just as relevant today as it was in 1988.

Now sit back, BUY some Bubble Farm IPA from Clown Shoes, and CONFORM to our collective sense of humor! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), ChumpzillaCapt. Cash, and Mayor McCheese are here to chew bubblegum and kick ass … and we are all out of bubble gum!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – They Live is a potent social commentary wrapped up in glorious 80s action. (00:00) 
  • Lingering Questions – Our brothers in beer at Hop Nation USA ask you to DRINK 8 Hours, and then we rank the Carpenter classics to appear on the pod. (48:50)
  • The “OBEY” Trivia Challenge – The Double Turn Podcast orders you to CONSUME more pro wrestling, and then I challenge the field to trivia about the movie. (1:05:21)
  • Recommendations – We offer our picks for the week and next up: We sip on some pina coladas with “Coconut” Pete. That’s right, “Hops and Floptober” heads to Pina Coladaburg with Club Dread. (1:14:52)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—Carpenter’s reflections on the movie and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherPodbeanSpotifyAcastTuneIniHeartRadioVurbl, and Amazon Music!

Thomas Kelly

Writer, Superman aficionado, lover of odd and underperforming sports teams, and co-host of the film adoring podcast, Hops and Box Office Flops

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