They Live

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Another cult classic horror film, fans of the movie and of pinball would love to see what this pinball machine could look like.

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They Live Pinball Theme

"They Live" is a 1988 science fiction film written and directed by John Carpenter, known for his work on horror classics like "Halloween" and "The Thing." "They Live" presents a high-concept premise that serves as a biting critique of consumer culture and media manipulation. The film follows a drifter played by professional wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper who discovers a pair of sunglasses that reveal the world as it truly is: controlled by skeletal-faced aliens who keep humanity subdued through subliminal messages in advertising and media, telling people to "Obey," "Consume," and "Conform."

Although not a blockbuster hit upon release, "They Live" has since gained a significant cult following and is recognized as a classic within the sci-fi genre. Its satirical take on Reagan-era capitalism and consumerism feels prescient, with its themes resonating strongly in our contemporary world of pervasive advertising and media influence. The film's iconic line, "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum," has become a catchphrase in popular culture, often quoted or parodied in various forms of media.

Moreover, "They Live" has had a broader cultural impact through its influence on street art and guerilla marketing, particularly via artist Shepard Fairey. Fairey has cited "They Live" as a major influence and his "OBEY" campaign, which became a global movement in the street art scene, was directly inspired by the film. In academic circles, the movie has been analyzed and discussed as a critique of mass media, consumer culture, and political complacency. Despite its B-movie trappings, "They Live" has proven to be a film with enduring cultural significance and relevance, providing biting social commentary that continues to resonate decades after its release.