Genre Guesstimation – They Live (1988) – Encore Review

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s genre has been chosen by Aaron Neuwirth of the Code is Zeek and we will be reviewing our favorite Horror-Comedy Films.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Feb by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Aaron!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Horror-Comedy Films……

“Mama don’t like tattletales. ” – Nada

Number of Times Seen – Between 5-10 times (cable in the late 80’s, 3 Aug 2014 and 4 Feb 2021)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – A loner wanders into a town where suspicious things are happening, but a discarded pair of sunglasses changes his outlook on everything.

My Take on it –This is a film that I recall seeing numerous times on cable as a kid and despite not being a fan of horror films, really liked the way that John Carpenter presented this tale.

It’s such a great film that works so well on numerous levels largely due to its amazing concept that resonates so well even after 3 decades.

Roddy Piper shows that he can act here even if his character is a bit cartoonish.

The story plays out really well and the premise of having sunglasses show the truth works so well in allowing us to see how subliminal messages can be so effective in trying to add to consumerism.

The dialogue is quite corny, yet still lets us enjoy the way that the story plays out.

Keith David is great in an integral supporting role and helps keep things a bit grounded.

The way that this film deals with an alien infiltration into the world is done in a seemingly realistic way and is ale to toe the fine line between comedy and horror in the way it’s all depicted here.

The choice to use black and white vs color to help differentiate between realities is quite clever.


MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Piper credits Carpenter and “They Live” with jump-starting the wrestler-turned-actor migration. “I was the first wrestler ever in the history of wrestling to star in a major motion studio picture that became #1 box office of the weekend, and that gave the itch to I don’t know how many wrestlers. And not one of them to this day has put out a quality picture like this, and not one of them has had a #1 hit like this. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Not quite despite coming really close because it has such a mind blowing concept.

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10) (no change from original review)


Check out my *updated* movie stats here

To see my reviews of Oscar Winning Performances check out this link

To see my reviews of all Oscar Best Picture Winners click here (now complete)

Here is a link to my movie index A-Z


One thought on “Genre Guesstimation – They Live (1988) – Encore Review

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur February Finale – The Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020) – The Code is Zeek | MovieRob

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