They Live (Cultographies)
In the film They Live, a pair of sunglasses allows a man to see the subliminal messages that control humanity and the alien monsters that actually run the planet. This book of the same name serves as its own set of transformative sunglasses, allowing the reader to delve beyond the surface of this cult classic and explore the film’s deeper message, however brilliant or poorly executed you may consider the film itself. Is it a masterpiece of realpolitik or a shameless, incompetent attempt at political satire that devolves into action-movie violence and formulaic sci-fi silliness?
They Live is a scholarly examination of a cult classic still debated today, breaking down not only the themes and undertones that form the foundation of the story, but the roles of the main characters, the film’s iconic and polarizing fight sequence, and the message of perception itself. Wilson cagily weaves philosophy and sociology into his analysis of the film, couching possible interpretations of the film in genuine science and educational paradigms, while still appreciating the film for what it is, be it cult lunacy or eye-opening wake-up call.