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They Live (Alive Films, 1988)

They Live is a 1988 American science-fiction action thriller film written and directed by John Carpenter, based on the 1963 short story Eight O’Clock in the Morning by Ray Nelson, and starring Roddy Piper, Keith David, and Meg Foster. It follows an unnamed drifter (Piper) who discovers through special sunglasses that the ruling class are aliens concealing their appearance and manipulating people to spend money, breed, and accept the status quo with subliminal messages in mass media. They Live was a minor success at the time of its release, debuting #1 at the North American box office. It originally received negative reviews criticizing its social commentary, writing and acting. However, like other films of Carpenter, it later enjoyed a cult following and eventually became recognized as a largely underrated work.