Obey Your Consumer Urges

John Carpenter's They Live has a couple plot holes, some dodgy acting and some weedy special effects, and it's still a terrifically entertaining film. Part 50s sci-fi throwback, part ideological call to war on consumer culture, They Live is the story of Nada (Rowdy Roddy Piper), a drifter in 1980s LA who uncovers an alien plot to control humanity through subliminal messages. Piper's ponderously macho bravado -- honed in 10,000 wrestling promos, each of them gold -- is amazing to behold. He swaggers through the film, only stopping to drop a pitch perfect one-liner, or to fight Keith David in a no-holds-barred wrasslin' match that chews up five minutes of screen time. Brilliant. They Live is a masterpiece, flawed and wonderful and worth repeat viewing. The film screens at 8 p.m. tonight at Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue, Maplewood; 314-241-2337 or www.schlafly.com) as part of the Strange Brew series. Admission is $5.
Wed., March 5, 8 p.m., 2014

 
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