The film follows a man with no name who is down on his luck and looking for work. Things seem pretty normal, until he stumbles into a church across from the homeless tenement he’s staying at. Inside the church he finds the phrase THEY LIVE, WE SLEEP painted on the wall, and also a curious set of sunglasses.
Surprise, surprise, the sunglasses are not all they seem as they allow him to see what the world really looks like. (In the most awesomely surreal sense of reality.)
The movie is a very obvious cautionary tale about authority and being a part of the mindless masses. It doesn’t so much nudge at this concept as it does take said concept and proceed to beat you over the head with it. Fortunately, the movie is so delightfully entertaining that it’s difficult to get bored with its hard-lined message.
Even if you’ve never seen the film, you’ve no doubt heard or seen things that came from it, such as the infamous OBEY slogan and the line about kicking ass and chewing bubblegum, but being woefully out of bubblegum.
This flick also includes one of the most entertaining fight scenes captured on film. There’s nothing like two men beating the ever-loving hell out of each other because one of them insists his friend put on his sunglasses and the other guy doesn’t want to. (This fight is so classic it was even spoofed shot-for-shot in an episode of South Park.)
This film is a bit cheesy, and has some awkward character interactions, but that seems to be half of the fun. So grab your sunglasses, finish your chewing gum, and queue it up.