The Film: In These Credit Crunch times, They Live's central idea that capitalism is seriously dangerous for us seems more pertinent than ever.
Wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper makes for a burly leading man who discovers that aliens have slowly, invisibly taken over the world and are treating humans like cattle, all thanks to the power of commercialism. It's pungent stuff, and still shocking/funny today. Carpenter Chats: "I've become so disgusted by how far to the right this country has gone that I wanted to make a statement about it," he said when the film was released.
"I felt that They Live could be an Invasion Of The Body Snatchers for today; rather than Communists-under-the-beds, the monsters would be unrestrained capitalists.
"The Other, meaning the creatures, are yuppies, and I don't think they've been portrayed that way before; they've been shown as a kind of goofball part of us, but never as inhuman.
"In the US, the middle class is slowly disappearing: there are more poor people and more rich. I think They Live will be looked back on as one of the few voices of outrage at a time when everyone wanted two things: to win, and to make money; all other considerations were secondary." Remade? A new take is on the cards for 2011, but we fear a big corporate studio retread would die from irony poisoning.