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It took me forever to pull up a movie I'd seen so that I could say They Live is better. And then I get Videodrome. Flickchart is a harsh mistress.
One half lives up to its premise, the other... doesn't at all. Which I guess is its entire appeal. So yeah, sometimes budget matters. It usually doesn't (or shouldn't), but sometimes a low budget means you'll have to end a screenplay with "then [main character] finds the evil guy at a random place and shoots him and stuff."
Well, They Live certainly has the much more cohesive plot. David Cronenberg either thought about the story of Videodrome too much or not enough. Either way, the end result was one messy film. They Live is just plain better.
Both are awesome, but I'm a Carpenterian.
on Dec 7
Videodrome was completely fine, but I must agree with Caesar here. They Live seems to be more straightforward and well-done. I also like the feel of They Live a little bit better. It's some great 80's cheesy sci-fi action, including some smart satire and clever gags.