Cinemark - Moosic, PA
The John Carpenter action/sci-fi flick They Live is one of my favorite movies of all time. It premiered in theaters on November 4th, 1988 when I was eight years old. I didn't even know it existed at the time, and my family didn't allow me to see R-rated movies back then. I also missed out on the opportunity to see it at the Mahoning when they last screened it in 2021, so this is a movie that I've never watched on the big screen before. Thankfully, Fathom Events included a 35th Anniversary screening of it as the first film in their Fright Fest 2023 lineup, and it was an opportunity that I absolutely could not miss.
|The Palm Beach Post - Palm Beach County, FL (May 12, 1994)|
I have a pretty vivid memory of the first time that I saw They Live. My dad and I were living in South Florida at the time and he read in the newspaper that a sci-fi movie that starred"Rowdy" Roddy Piper was going to air on television. We're both wrestling fans, and specifically fans of Roddy Piper's work, so we popped some popcorn and watched it in the living room, and it's been one of my favorite movies ever since.
The Regal Cinema in my hometown has never hosted a Fathom Event that I'm aware of and tonight's screening of They Live was no exception. The closest screening we could find was about 40 miles north at the Cinemark Theater on Montage Mountain. It's a very nice theater with big, cushy recliners, but it's also much more expensive than our local theater even when you don't factor in the gas and traveling time. This is why we don't get up here nearly as often as the Mahoning or the Regal. But there are a few screenings that are just too good to be missed, like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon in February, and The Big Lebowski in April. They Live falls into that same category for me.
Just as they did for The Big Lebowski earlier this year, Fathom Events had a slideshow of trivia questions on the screen in the minutes leading up to the start of the movie. I have no idea how I never noticed that the communicators that the alien military uses at the end of the film was the ghost detection prop from Ghostbusters. It's pretty obvious, but I guess it just never occurred to me.
John Carpenter gave a brief, but nice introduction to the movie, and then we watched the movie itself. Sci-fi flicks are often unrealistic or set in such a futuristic environment that you really can't picture too much of the events on screen taking place in your lifetime. They Live is different. Not only is it set in the world as it was in 1988 when the film was made, but it almost seems plausible. I'm not saying that I believe anything in this movie is really taking place in the world around us, but I don't think it would be a massive shock if evidence came to light about an alien species living among us and possessing most of the wealth and positions of power. To the contrary, it would probably answer a lot of questions about the way that the world works.
Whether you see a touch of realism here or not, this is a great movie. It's available to stream on Peacock, so if you like action and sci-fi movies and you've never heard of it before, I strongly recommend checking it out.