You Are Being Watched: How John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’ Warned Us About Subliminal Messages

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in the grand tradition of the Twilight ZoneJohn Carpenter made science-fiction and horror films to investigate the human condition. they live Explored the effects of economic inequality and manipulation of the mass media by the elite. Using a sci-fi environment, Carpenter investigates how people can be vulnerable to subliminal messages and consumerism. they live One of those great cult films that has grown in appreciation.

John Carpenter and Kurt Russell | Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for TCM

John Carpenter’s ‘Way Live’ exposes the use of media to control the public

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Based on Ray Nelson’s short story “Eight O’Clock in the Morning”, they live The late professional wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper is depicted as a drifter named Nada (Spanish for Nothing). He finds a special pair of sunglasses that reveal that some humans are aliens trying to take over the planet. When he sees them, they look like rotten corpses. Carpenter wanted the aliens to look human, but not be human.

ina 2015 interview yahoo news, said the carpenter they live “It’s a documentary. It’s not science-fiction.” Conceived during Reaganomics, the story examines a society plagued by consumerism and greed. The villains are aliens from another planet and Reagan represents the Republican government and greedy bankers of the 80s.


According to Carpenter, it only got worse. “It has turned into something really bizarre. The same problem – unregulated capitalism – still exists. Everything is designed to make a profit.”

Bombarded with subliminal messages in ‘They Live’

When Nada puts on special sunglasses, he is showered with subliminal messages hidden in magazine pages, billboards and other forms of advertising. There is nothing left for the imagination when humans have the right to consume, obey, buy, conform, sleep, no question, no free thought, and money is your god!

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carpenter made they live As a warning against greed and propaganda. During filming, Carpenter was shocked by people not heeding or not paying attention to props with subliminal messages. As if it was normal.

John Carpenter | Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

Are we in control of our environment? Or just a puppet?

they live To be more accurate than when it was released in the late 80s. The film enthralls the audience with its mix of gripping messages and over-the-top action sequences. It makes you question what exactly you are watching while watching a long fight sequence. The 80s produced many great science-fiction and horror films that were ahead of their time.

underneath it all, they live The questions are still relevant today. We receive subliminal messages on our smartphones and other electronic devices. Who controls what we see? Do the leaders of giant corporations gather for coffee or a round of golf and decide what we eat? How can we deal with corporate greed, mindless consumerism and mass media manipulation?

Have indifference and ignorance taken over our lives and allowed the state to control what we see and think? Are we influenced by politics and kept in the dark by some “programming”? Can we think with so much noise around us, inside and outside our homes? In Nada’s words, “I came here to chew bubble gum and kick ass… and I’m out of bubble gum.” Are we all out of awareness?

Horror Movie Master John Carpenter, His Movies Ranked

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