They Live (1988) - full transcript

Nada, a down-on-his-luck construction worker, discovers a pair of special sunglasses. Wearing them, he is able to see the world as it really is: people being bombarded by media and government with messages like "Stay Asleep", "No Imagination", "Submit to Authority". Even scarier is that he is able to see that some usually normal-looking people are in fact ugly aliens in charge of the massive campaign to keep humans subdued.

'Due to a computer error,

'the food stamp programme
has been suspended until further notice.

'Please do not apply at this time.

'All applicants for work wages
now report to window D.

'Thank you.'

Last place of employment?

Denver, Colorado.

Worked there for ten years.
Then things just seemed to dry up.

They lost 14 banks in one week.

So, er ?

There's nothing available for you
right now.

They use their tongues
to deceive.

The venom of snakes
is under their lips.

Their mouths are full of
bitterness and curses.

And in their paths,
nothing but ruin and misery.

And the fear of God
is not before their eyes.

They have taken
the hearts and minds of our leaders.

They have recruited
the rich and the powerful,

and they have blinded us
to the truth.

Our human spirit is corrupted.

Why do we worship greed?

Because outside
the limit of our sight,

feeding off us, perched on top of us
from birth to death,

are our owners!

Our owners!

They have us.
They control us.

They are our masters.

Wake up! They're all about you,
all around you.

'Sometimes when I watch TV,
I stop being myself,

'and I'm a star of a series
or I have my own talk show,

'or I'm on the news getting out of a limo,
going someplace important.

'All I ever have to do
is be famous.

'People watch me,
and they love me.

'And I'll never, never grow old,

'and I'll never die.'

Excuse me.
You need anybody?

- Maybe.
- I've got my own tools.

This is a union job.

So ?

Er, then may I please speak
with the shop steward?


Hey, there's no sleeping
on this site,

so you park your ass
someplace else tonight.

Excuse me.

Then when do I get paid?


You need a place to stay?

Chesterfield's over on 4th street.
They've got hot food and showers.

I'm going that way
if you want me to show you.

I don't like nobody following me
unless I know why.

Well, I don't turn up with anybody
till I see where he's going.

They'll be serving the food up soon.

Good, I'm starving.


Hey Frank, how's it going?

You may get a chance
to meet some of the folk.

This here is Gilbert. Anything you need,
he knows where to find it.

- Hi.
- Hi.

- What you got in that pack? Tools?
- Yes, sir.

If you can use them,
we can use you.

The shower's caving in over there.

Let's get something to eat.

There you go!


- Peas?
- Yeah, please.

- Some more?
- Yeah.

I've got a wife and two kids
back in Detroit.

I haven't seen them in six months.

The steel mills were laying people off
left and right.

They finally went under.

We gave the steel companies a break
when they needed it.

Know what they gave themselves?


The golden rule.

"He who has the gold
makes the rules."

If they close one more factory,

we should take a sledge
to one of their fancy fucking foreign cars.

You know, you ought to have
a little more patience.

Yeah, well, I'm all out.

The whole deal's like
some kind of crazy game.

They put you at the starting line,

the name of the game is,
"Make it through life."

Only everyone is out for themselves
and looking to do you in at the same time.

OK, man, here we are.

Here we are.
Now, you do what you can,

but remember, I'm going to do my best
to blow your ass away.

So, how are you going to make it?

I deliver a hard day's work for my money,
I just want a chance. It'll come.

I believe in America.
I follow the rules.

Everybody has got
their own hard times these days.

'And you've always thought
you couldn't wear press-on nails

'because of
all the active things you do?

'Well, if you're ready for beautiful,
natural-looking, easy-to-apply nails,

recoloured in seven luscious hues,

'just ?'

'Our impulses are being redirected.

'We are living in an artificially-induced
state of consciousness

'that resembles sleep.'

Goddamn hacker. That's the second
time tonight that asshole has cut in.

'The movement was begun
eight months ago

'by a small group of scientists
who discovered ? quite by accident ?

'these signals being sent through ?'

- That thing's giving me a headache.
- Yeah, tell me about it.

Must have took the hacker months
to figure out how to do this.

'The poor and the under-class
are growing.

'Racial justice and human rights
are non-existent.

'They have created
a repressive society,

'and we are their
unwitting accomplices.

'Their intention to rule rests with
the annihilation of consciousness.

'We have been lulled into a trance.

'They have made us indifferent
to ourselves, to others.

'We are focused
only on our own gain.

'We ?

'Please understand,

'they are safe
as long as they are not discovered.

'That is their primary method
of survival.

'Keep us asleep, keep us selfish,
keep us sedated.'

Blow it out of your ass!

Choir practice went
a little late last night, didn't it?

The church lets us use their kitchen.

Till four in the morning?

we take care of a lot of people here.

'They are dismantling
the sleeping middle-class.

'More and more people
are becoming poor.

'We are their cattle.

'We are being bred for slavery.'

- Not again!
- 'We cannot break their signal.

'Our transmitter
is not powerful enough.

'The signal must be shut off
at the source. We have ?'

- Billy, I have a headache.
- Me too, honey.

Could somebody please explain to me
what the hell all that's about?

Just that idiot licking his nuts again.

And there's nothing wrong with it.

We have to face facts.
Only a few seconds got on the air.

It's time to forget about breaking in
on top of their signal.

They're only gonna jam us out
again and again.

Then we have to send
the shipment out on the street.

No, no, no ? it's not gonna work that way.
We've been all through this!

We have no other choice.

Robbing banks.

Manufacturing Hoffman lenses
till we're blue in the face.

We're just not gonna reach
enough people!

We gotta find new people,
strong people who'll work with us.

That's my baby.


Just leaving, you know ?
Your door was open.

Just wanted to close it.
Didn't want no one breaking in.

- Neighbourhood watch.
- Yeah ?

Now let me touch your face.

- That's fine.
- Mm-hmm, good. Now your hands.

- That's fine.
- Good.

- You're a working man.
- Yes, sir.

Here. It's the revolution.
Let me show you.

I gotta be going right now.
Maybe some other time, huh?


This world may have blinded me,

but the Lord has let me see!

You'll be back. You'll be back!

I've been hearing something
on the streets the last couple of weeks.

Weird stuff.

Some sort of epidemic of violence
is what they've been saying.

I was talking to one old boy
who's from San Anselmo.

He told me they got
some sort of cult up there.

End-of-the-world kind of stuff.

- Well, what are they doing?
- Shooting people, robbing banks.

Same old thing as always.

Whole lot of people gone crazy
over some nutty dream they just had.

You wanna know the truth?

This kind of shit happens
at the end of every century.

It does.

It's just people afraid to face the future,
that's all it is.


What's happening?

I was inside there a while.

All kinds of cardboard boxes,
some kind of lab setup.

What do you mean?

There's no singing.
It's a tape recorder.

Leave it alone, man.

It ain't none of my business,
ain't none of yours.

Yeah, but our boy Gilbert's in there
helping them.

I got a job now
and I plan on keeping it.

I'm walking a white line all the time.

I don't bother nobody.
Nobody bothers me.

You better start doing the same.

White line's in the middle of the road.

That's the worst place to drive.

I'll see you later.

I'll see you later.

Step down. Watch it.

Easy, easy. This way.

All right.
Now we cross the road.

It's dirt here.

Quickly! Quickly!

- Go, go, go!
- Come on, this way. This way.


We know who you are!

Leave us alone.

We know you.

We know you.

God help me!

Help me, Jesus!

"Though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.

"Thy rod and thy staff will ?"



Come on! Come on!

Come on in and join the party, man.

You go with him.

Somebody start World War III?

'Oman's collection
puts passion before fashion.

'Dash and trash are back.

'Out goes glitter
and in comes divine excess.

'The fall collection revels
in freedom of expression.

'Gay abandon rushes to meet
the roaring nineties.'

Thank you.

What's your problem?

I said, what's your problem?

How are you today, sir?

- OK. How's it going?
- Fine, thank you.

Thank you, sir.

Here you are, sir.
Thank you.

Hey, buddy.

You gonna pay for that or what?

Look buddy,
I don't want no hassle today.

Either pay for it or put it back.


'Sleep ?

'Sleep ?

'Sleep ?

'Sleep ?

'Sleep ?

'Sleep ?

'Sleep ?'

Can you believe it?
She didn't even go to Lamaze class.

I told her, "For yourself
and for the baby, go!"

Did Bob make you go
to John and Mary Ellen's last night?

I was shocked!
She served blue corn tortillas!

So dated!

I'm so depressed.
I don't know what to do.

Hey, go for it, man.

That's easy for you to say,
you got the promotion.

Look, it'll come, all right?
Just don't worry about it.

'The feeling is definitely there.

'It's a new morning in America.

'Fresh. Vital.

'The old cynicism is gone.

'We have faith in our leaders.

'We're optimistic
as to what becomes of it all.

'It really boils down
to our ability to accept.

'We don't need pessimism.

'There are no limits.'

It figures it would be
something like this.


Excuse me.

You know, you look like your head
fell in the cheese dip back in 1957.

You? You're OK.

This one?
Real fucking ugly!

You see,
I take these glasses off,

she looks like a regular person,
doesn't she, huh?

- Put them on ? formaldehyde face!
- That's enough out of you!

You get out, or I call the cops.

Call the cops? You know what you need?
You need a Brazilian plastic surgeon.

I've got one that can see.

He's a tall, Caucasian male

that doesn't appear armed,
wearing sunglasses.

I don't like this one bit.

Not one bit.

That's like pouring perfume on a pig.

Huh ?

All right, suppose we settle down.

That's far enough.
Where'd you get those glasses?

The tooth fairy.

I'll bet.

- We got him.
- Nick yourself shaving this morning?

You look as shitty to us
as we do to you.


It would be easier
if we don't have to splatter your brains.

Just take it easy.

Now, you stumbled
onto something here.

Maybe we can all benefit
from this slight misunderstanding.

Now, let's go someplace quiet,
so we can talk this over.

So, you bastards die just like we do.

My goodness!

I have come here
to chew bubble gum and kick ass.

And I'm all out of bubble gum.

Near the entrance.
Has a shotgun.

White male, thirties.
Long hair.

Mama don't like tattletales.

Wearing sunglasses.

'And who are you, little fella?

'Come to show them where I am.

'Not nice!'

Drop it!

I said, drop it!

Beat your feet, man.

Take it easy.

I just want a little ride out of here.

Close the door.


Not too fast.

They're gone.

- Just keep driving.
- Where am I going?

- Are you married?
- Yes.

Please, don't lie to me.


Live alone?

- Your place.
- I'd rather not do that.

I'm afraid I must insist.

Hi, Holly!


Look, I don't know what you want.

Oh, just quiet.

Whoo! It's like a drug.

Wearing these glasses makes you high,
but you come down hard.

Look, things turned out
a little sour for me today.

You're not the only one.

Yeah, well, I'm sorry,
but I needed you to get away.


You have two guns,
you're not sorry.

You're in charge.

Look, lady, we're in trouble.

They're all around us,
and we never knew it.

You can only see them
with these special glasses.

We're being controlled
by these things.

I don't know what they are or where
they came from, but we gotta stop them.

I'll do whatever you want,
whenever you want,

just don't hurt me, please.

Listen to what I'm saying to you!


You're fighting the forces of evil ?

that none of us can see
without sunglasses.

Take a look!

If you want me to look
through your sunglasses,

I'll look through your sunglasses.

If I don't see what you see,
I'm going to see it anyway.

You have it your way, huh?

It's not my way.

It's your way.

Don't fuck with me.

I'm thirsty.

Go ahead.

Look ?

I'm sorry I have to be here, huh?

So, your name's Holly?

Holly Thompson.

That's a pretty name.

So, what do you do?

Assistant programme director.

Cable 54.

- A TV station?
- Yes.

They're sending some kind of signals
out of TV sets.

No, no ?

I'm all right.

Holly Thompson.

8634 Circle View Drive.

Yes, I'll hold.

Ugh ?

I'm ready when you are!


Don't let nobody see you.

I've had a rough couple of days.

I don't want
nothing to do with you.

- How many people did you kill?
- Not people.

You crazy son-of-a-bitch.

- I gotta show you something.
- No, you ain't showing me nothing!

I've got a wife and kids,
so leave me alone!

Get out of here!

Oh, come on, Frank ?

Hey, move your ass!

I ain't gonna be
picking up nothing!

Yeah, you wait
until I tell the manager!

Yeah well,
then I'm gonna show him.

Watch it!

Oh, no!


One week's pay.

It's the best I could do.


Hey! You'd better find yourself
someplace to hide

and keep praying
nobody ever finds you.

Try these on.

Look, you crazy mother!

- Put these on.
- Hey! Stay away from me!

I'm telling you,
you dumb son-of-a ?

I'm trying to save you
and your family's life.

You can't even save your own!

I'm giving you a choice.

Either put these on these glasses
or start eating that trash can.

- Not this year.
- OK.

All right.

- OK.
- Come on.

Come on.

- I don't want to fight you.
- Come on!

- I don't want to fight you. Stop it.
- No!

Oh, fuck!

- Shit!
- Put on the glasses.

Man, I told you
I didn't want to be involved.

You dirty motherfucker!

Take a look.

Put them on.


Fuck it!

Man, I'm sorry.


Put the glasses on!

Put them on!

Fuck you!


Look at them.
They're everywhere.

Maybe they can see.
They're at 5th and Spring.

Now hold on.

You ain't the first son-of-a-bitch
to wake up out of their dream.

What's that?

Brother, life's a bitch ?

and she's back in heat.

I want a room.

Ain't love grand?

Don't wear them glasses too long.

It starts to feel like a knife
turning in your skull.

How long have they been there?

Who knows?

What are they?
Where do they come from?

- Well, they ain't from Cleveland.
- Look man, I don't need that kind of shit!

What are we gonna do?

- We're gonna wait.
- Wait? Wait for what?

You know, that really answers
my fucking question!

Well, when you get
some kind of master plan,

you let me know, huh?

We can't be the only ones
who can see.

We gotta find the people
who made these.

Yeah, if any of them are still alive.

A long time ago,
things were different, man.

My old Daddy
took me down to the river,

kicked my ass,
told me about the power and the glory.

I was saved.

He changed when I was little.

He turned mean
and started tearing at me.

That's why I ran away
when I was 13.

He tried to cut me once.

Big old razor blade.

He held it up against my throat.

I said, "Daddy, please ?"

He just kept moving back and forth ?

like he was sawing down a little tree.

Maybe they've always been with us,
those things out there.

Maybe they love it,
seeing us hate each other.

Watching us kill each other off.

Feeding on our own cold
fucking hearts.

I got news for them.

There's going to be hell to pay.

'Cause I ain't
Daddy's little boy no more.


There's a meeting tonight.
Be at this address at 11 o'clock.

Watch out no one follows you.

The world needs a wake-up call.

We're going to phone it in.

Hey, brothers ?

There's something new going down.

They're using candyfloss packaging.

It's like building a park
over a toxic waste dump.

Do you see that?
My dad had one like that.

Here's a list of safe houses.

You've gotta memorise them
and then destroy the paper.

What's a 'safe house'?

- Hey, Frank!
- Hey.

Hey! Glad you made it.

Oh, you can take your sunglasses off.
We're all human in here.

Memorise these safe houses.

Memorise these safe houses.

Got the first shipment today.

They won't hurt.

There's less interference.

Go ahead.

'There is a signal broadcast
every second of every day

'through our television sets,

'even when the set is turned off.'


- Any trouble getting here?
- No, we made it fine.

Good. The city is crawling with cops
looking for us.

Most of the cops are human.

They've been told that we're commies
trying to bring down the government.

And some of them are being recruited.
The creatures are trading wealth, power.

- People are joining up with them?
- Most of us just sell out right away.

Then all of a sudden we get promoted.

Our bank accounts get bigger,
we start buying new houses, cars.

Perfect, isn't it?

We'll do anything to be rich.

'Look around
at the environment we live in.

'Carbon dioxide, fluorocarbons and
methane have increased since 1958.

'Earth is being acclimatised.

'They are turning our atmosphere
into their atmosphere.'

What do these things want,
and why are they here?

It's in their best interests.
They're free-enterprisers.

The earth is just
another developing planet ?

their Third World.

'We are like
a natural resource to them.

'Deplete the planet,
move on to another.

'They want benign indifference.
They want us drugged.

'We could be pets.
We could be food.

'But all we really are is livestock.'

We need an assault unit.

Someone to hit them hard
when the time comes.

You've got it.

Ever seen their disappearing act?


What's that?

They all wear
these expensive watches.

Turns out they're really two-way radios.
You can listen to their broadcasts.

There's something else.

Some kind of secret code
or hidden control.

They push a button,
and all of a sudden ? bang!

They're gone.

- I'm trying to figure it out.
- All right now, everybody listen up.

Now, we're obviously
not getting to enough people

because look at our numbers tonight.

There should be
twice as many of us here.

We're getting too sloppy.
That's all there is to it.

Now, their detection
is becoming more effective.

So, we have to be more careful.

Stay aware
of keeping up appearances.

Go to work. Punch your time clocks.
Do what's expected of you.

We've gotten reckless,
and the movement is suffering for it.

Time to stop talking about it,
trying to figure out how it happened.

- Now we start spilling some blood.
- Yeah!

- No!
- Wait a minute, wait a minute!

It's not working!

We don't stand a chance
with a few guns and grenades.

So, what are we supposed to do?

We bide our time.

We seek out and locate their signal
and shut it off. Wake people up!

Now, Dave here works at KRDA.

Now, he claims the signal
may be coming from one place.

KRDA is clear.

The transmission
is going out clean.

The signal's coming
from somewhere else.

All right, this is the point.

It's important to find out exactly
where this signal's coming from.

I gotta go talk to someone.

Are you OK?

Yeah, I'm OK.

I thought I'd killed you.

I thought so, too.

I didn't know.

I'm so sorry.

Look, I just wanted to ?

Can we just ??

Get out!

Get out of here!

Round the back!

Oh, no!

- Come on, just get out!
- Go, go, go ?

Keep moving, people.

They're killing everybody.

- I gotta to find her.
- Wait a minute. Are you crazy?

- I gotta see if she's all right.
- Just stay back!

There's nothing you can do out there.

If I can get this working,
I can listen in.

- Frank ?
- What?

- Frank ?
- What?

- Frank ?
- What?

- Get set to sweat.
- Oh, shit!

- What was that?
- I don't know.

Your wristwatch has malfunctioned.

'This entry way is temporary
and will disappear ?'

- Get in there! Move!
- What?

- We don't know what's down there.
- Now!

'Eight seconds.

'Seven seconds.

'Six seconds.

'Five seconds.

'Four seconds.

'Three seconds.

'Two seconds.

'One second.

'If you need assistance
in finding your destination,

'bilingual instructions are posted
at the end of each corridor.'

- What language is that?
- I don't know.

Where the hell are we?

I think we're under the city.

Maybe some kind of underground base
or something.

- There's got to be a way out.
- I just hope nobody saw us drop in.

'Operation Steel Fist
has been a complete success.

'All security stations
stand down to operational status.

- 'We have eliminated the terrorists.'
- OK!

- We got them! We wiped them out!
- All right!

It's a win, man.
They got to meet the A-Team.

I'm hearing something.

Our projections show
that by the year 2025,

not only America,
but the entire planet

will be under the protection
and the dominion of this power alliance.

The gains have been substantial ?

both for ourselves and for you,
the human power-elite.

You have given us entree
to the resources we need

in our on-going quest
for multi-dimensional expansion.

And in return, the per-capita income
of each of you here tonight has grown.

And this year alone
by an average of 39 %.

Isn't it lovely?

And I've just received word
that our forces have won a major victory.

The underground terrorist network
has been destroyed

here on the West Coast.

We are off crisis alert.

The situation is normal again.

How you doing, boys?
I didn't know you'd been recruited.

Welcome aboard.

You know, you boys really
should have dressed for the party

now that you can afford it.

I gotta tell you,
I sure am proud to be here.

You seen the whole place?

I haven't had a chance to yet.

Come on, I'll show you around.

You know, I knew
me and you had a lot in common

the first time we met.

Hey, waiter!

Thank you, buddy.

Excuse me ?

- Where the hell are we?
- Backstage at the show, boys.

I'll admit it is a little funky,
but it serves its purpose.

How'd you get here?
Use one of these little portable jobs?

I know we ain't supposed to use them
except in cases of emergency,

but they're so much fun.

Now, you think that's something,
take a look at this.

Go on, take a closer look.

'Attention, commuters.

'Flight Alpha 7 to Andromeda
is now ready for boarding.

'Please step to
the transmission platform.'

That's where they come from.

'All carry-on luggage
must be held securely.'

'Thank you for waiting,
and we hope you have a pleasant trip.'

I don't know how it works exactly,

but it has to do with some sort of
gravitational lens deal,

bending the light or some damn thing,

but you can move from place to place.
World to world if you want to.

You see, the whole thing here
works like one big airport.

Boys, let me tell you,

they got their act together,
believe you me.

Evening, boys.
Looking sharp.

Wait till you see
what I'm going to show you now.

And here we got
the brains of the whole operation.

Master signal goes out from here
to the satellite.

We pump it out all over the world.

Pretty fancy, huh?

I'm not too familiar with it myself.

Well, boys,
that's as far as we go.

'? Multi-spectral analysis.

'This will allow space sensors
to penetrate natural barriers ?'

Can you get us inside?

I've never seen
the inside of a TV studio before.

You look like the gentleman to ask.

Well, I guess it wouldn't be
that much of a problem.

You see them boys over there?
Friends of mine.

Hey, fellas,
I got a couple of my buddies here.

I thought I'd give them the grand tour.
Think we can go inside?

Be serious.

You have your authorisation cards?

Right here.

Watch the door.

Where's that signal?

It's up on the roof, I think.

Holly works in there.
If she made it, maybe we can find her.

Then we can go to the roof
and break that signal.

Wait boys, wait,
you're making a big mistake.

- You made the mistake.
- No, you gotta listen to me.

I thought you boys understood.
It's business, that's all it is.

You still don't get it,
do you, boys?

There ain't no countries anymore,
no more good guys.

They're running the whole show.

They own everything,
the whole goddamn planet.

They can do whatever they want.

What's wrong with having it good
for a change?

And they're gonna let us have it good
if we help just them.

They're gonna leave us alone,
let us make some money.

You can have a little taste
of that good life, too.

Now, I know you want it.
Hell, everybody does.

You'd do it to your own kind?

What's the threat?

We all sell out every day.
Might as well be on the winning team.

See you, boys.

Let's go.

Is this the two-minute break
or the 30-second break?

I think it's the 30-second break,
but I don't know.

- I guess we must be running long.
- I think so.

'We are experiencing
technical difficulties.'

What the hell is going on?
Come on.

Oh, my God! No!

Get down!

- Now what?
- Find out where the hell we are.

- Excuse me!
- Come on, man!

Wait a sec!
Do you know Holly Thompson?

Come on, man, I mean it!

Holly Thompson. Assistant programme
something or other. Where is she?

'Security alert.

'Sections Delta and X-Ray
report to the fourth floor immediately.'

Who's Holly?

Oh, shit!

Well, I hate to interrupt you, folks,

but could someone please
tell me how to get to the roof?

- Security!
- Uh-uh-uh!

How do I get to the roof?

There's an elevator through there.
Turn to your left, it's at the end of the hall.

Thank you very much.

- Well?
- There's got to be more than one way

to get up there.

Security 950. Lock the elevators down.
They're on the move.

I hear them
on the 19th floor above me.

Got you. We're on the 21st.
We'll be waiting for them.



- Come on! Come on!
- Hey!

'Security alert.
Intruders in here are heading for the roof.

'Repeat. Intruders ?'

Let's go!

Frank! You and Holly clear?

I'm clear. Are you?

Don't do it.

Don't interfere. You can't win.

'Drop your weapon.

'Stand away from the dish
or we will open fire.'

Come inside with me.

'You have ten seconds.





Fuck it!

'The Oscar winners
give a press conference,

'and how to buy a sail boat ?'

Gloria, you look like shit.
I'm out of here!

- What happened?
- What's wrong?

'All the sex and violence on the screen
has gone too far for me

'I'm fed up with it.

'Film makers like George Romero
and John Carpenter

'have to show some restraint.
They're simply ?'

'You're filled with lightning.

'When you hit the road, you're feeling
that V6 power as you take control.

'Nothing can stop you now.

'You're moving on.'

Hey, what's wrong, baby?