They Live was the 1988 cult hit from John Carpenter about a drifter who finds a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.
Starring “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, the flick quickly became a huge cult hit and still has a strong following today. Some even refer to it as “one of the forgotten masterpieces of the Hollywood”. Rotten Tomatoes ranked the fight scene between Roddy Piper’s character, John Nada, and Keith David’s character, Frank Armitage, seventh on their list of the “The 20 Greatest Fights Scenes Ever”. The interesting thing about the fight scene is that it was only supposed to be 20seconds in film length. However, Carpenter gave Piper a lot of creative freedom and Roddy decided to fight it out for real, only faking the hits to the face and groin. They rehearsed the fight for three weeks. Carpenter was so impressed he kept the 5 minute and 20 second scene intact.
The other interesting note was the famous line “I’ve come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass….and I’m all out of bubble gum”, was actually written by Piper. Before the film, the “Hot Rod” gave Carpenter a booklet of phrases from his wrestling career. Roddy would often write down cool sayings in case they ever came in handy for a wrestling interview. This line is particular caught Carpenter’s eye that he promptly wrote it into the film.