They Live (1988) Script

Due to a computer error, the food stamp program has been suspended until further notice.

Please do not apply at this time.

All applicants' report wages will now report to window P.

Thank you.

Last place of employment?

Denver, Colorado.

Worked there for ten years.

Then things just seemed to dry up.

They lost fourteen banks in one week.

So, well...

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.

I'm a star of a series or a-- or I have my own talk show or I'm on the news getting out of a limo going some place important.

All I ever have to do is be famous.

People watch me and they love me.

And I never, never grow old.

And I never die.

Excuse me.

You need anybody?


I got my own tools.

Well, this is a union job.

So, 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?

Justiceville's over on Fourth Street.

They got hot food and showers.

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

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

Well, I don't join up with anybody until I see where he's going.

They're serving the food up soon.

Good, I'm starving.


Hey, throw the ball.

Hey, Frank, how's it going?

Now you get a chance to meet some of the folk.

This here's Gilbert.

Anything you need, he knows where to find it.



What do you got in that pack, tools?

Yes, sir.

Well, if you can use them we can use you.

Shower's caving in over there.

Let's get something to eat.

There you go.

Howdy. Howdy.

Want some peas? Yeah, please.

Thanks. Some more?



I got a wife and two kids back in Detroit.

Haven't seen them in six months.

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.

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 with life.

Yeah, well I'm all out.

The whole deal is 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's out for themselves and looking to do you in at the same time.

Okay, 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 you going to make it?

I deliver a hard day's work for my money.

I just want the chance, it'll come.

I believe in America.

I follow the rules.

Everybody's got their own hard times these days.

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, three colors 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's 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--

Thing's giving me a headache.

Yeah, tell me about it.

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

The poor and the underclass 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 ha--

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.

...they're pulling the water out of the sand like sponges.

Blow it out your ass.

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

Oh, the church lets us use their kitchen.

Until four in the morning?

Hey, we're taking 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.

The revo--

Not again.

We cannot break their signal.

Our transmitter is not powerful enough.

The signal must be shut off at the source.

We have--

Danny, I have a headache.

Me too, honey.

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

Just that idiot licking his nuts again.

I just checked the connection 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 going to jam us out again and again.

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

No, no, no, that's not going to work that way.

We've been all through this.

We have no other choice.

Robbing banks, manufacturing Hoffman lenses until we're blue in the face.

We're just not going to reach enough people!

We've got to find new people, strong people-- people to 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.

Neighborhood watch.

Yeah, well, let me touch your face.

Mmm, it's good. That's fine.

Now your hands.

That's fine. Good.

Eh, you're a working man. Yes, sir.

Here, it's the revolution.

Let me show you.

I got to 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 what they've been saying.

I was talking to one old boy, he'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?

You know, shooting people, robbing banks.

Same old thing as always.

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

You want to know the truth?

This kind of shit happens the end of every century.

It does-- it's just people afraid to face the future.

It's all it is.

Hey, what's happening?

I was inside there a while.

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

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.

Look, 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.

It's the worst place to drive.

I'll see you later.

Step down.

Watch it.

Easy, easy, this way.

All right, now we're going to cross the road.

It's dirt here.

Quickly, quickly!

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


We know who you are.

Leave us alone!

We know you!

Don't hurt him either.

God help me!

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

Thy rod and Thy staff will--

Jesus! Jesus!

Come on!

Come on in and join the party, man.

You go with them.

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 '90s.

What's your problem?

I said, what's your problem?

How are you today, sir?

Okay, how's it going? Fine, thank you.

Thank you, sir.

Here you are, sir. Thank you.

Hey, buddy, you going to 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...

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.

It's so dated.

So depressed, I don't know what to do.

Hey, go for it, man.

It'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 okay.

This one, real fucking ugly.


You see, I take these glasses off, she looks like a regular person, doesn't she, huh?

Put them back on, formaldehyde face-- That's what we got.

That's enough out of you.

Get out or I call the cops.

Call the cops, you know what you need?

You need a Brazilian plastic surgeon, that--

I've got one that can see.

He's a tall Caucasian male, doesn't appear armed, wearing sunglasses.

I don't like this one bit.

Not one bit.

That's like pouring perfume on a pig.

All right, suppose we settle down?

That's far enough.

Where'd you get those glasses?

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.

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, 30s, 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.

Take it easy.

Just want a little ride out of here.

Close the door.


Not too fast.

They're gone.

Just keep driving.

Where am I going?

You married?


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.


It's like a drug.

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

Now 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.

No, you have two guns.

You're not sorry.

You're in charge.

Look lady, we're in trouble.

The whole world's in trouble.

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

You can only see them with these special glasses.

I swear to you we're being controlled by these things!

I don't know what they are or where they came from, but we got to stop them! All right.

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.

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

So, your name's Holly, right?

Holly Thompson.

It's a pretty name.

So what do you do?

Assistant program director, Cable 54.

A TV station?


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

No, no.

I'm all right.

Holly Thompson, 8634 Circleview Drive.

Yes, I'll hold.

Frank, we're 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 got to show you something. No, you ain't showing me nothing!

I got a wife and kids.

So, leave me alone.

Get out of here.

Watch this.

Oh, no.


One week's pay.

It's the best I could do.


Hey, you 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 bitch--

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

You couldn't even save your own.

I'm giving you a choice.

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

Not this year.


All right.

Okay. Come on.

Come on.

I don't want to fight you.

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

Stop it! No!



Put on the glasses.

Man, I told you, I didn't want to be in--

You dirty motherfucker.

Take a look.

Put 'em on.



Oh, man, I'm sorry, man.

You f--


Put the glasses on!

Put 'em on!

Fuck you.


Look at them, they're everywhere.

Maybe they can see. Alley Fifth 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.

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 going to do?

We're going to 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 got to find the people who made these.

Yeah, if any of them are still alive.

A long time ago things were different, man.

My own 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.

Turned mean.

Started tearing at me.

So I ran away when I was 13.

Tried to cut me, once.

Big old razor blade.

Held it up against my throat.

I said, "Daddy, please."

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 'em.

Going to be hell to pay.

Because 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.

World needs a wake-up call.

We're going to phone it in.

Hey, brothers.

There's something new going down.

They're using candy floss packages.

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

They colorized it.

Here's a list of safe houses.

You're going to memorize it and then destroy the paper.

What's a safe house?

What kind of gun is that?

Hey, Frank.

Hey. Hey, glad you made it.

Oh, you can take your sunglasses off.

We're all human in here.

Memorize these safe houses.

Brand new.

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.

The brain receives the input... Hey.

Hi. You have any trouble getting here?

No, we made it fine.

Good, the city's crawling with cops looking for us.

And 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.

Creatures are trading wealth, power.

You mean 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 the environment we live in.

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

Earth is being acclimatized.

They are turning our atmosphere into their atmosphere.

What do these things want and why are they here?

It's in our 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.

Now, we need an assault unit.

Someone to hit them hard when the time comes.

You've got it.

Ever see 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 broadcast.

There's something else.

Some kind of secret code or hidden control.

They push a button and then all of a sudden-- bang!

They're gone.

I've been 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's suffering for it.

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

Now we start spilling some blood!

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.

He claims that the signal may be coming from one place.

KRDA is clear.

The transmission is going out clean.

The signal is coming from somewhere else.

How does she know?

All right, this is the point.

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

And the only way we can do--

I got to go talk to someone.

If you're approached by anyone to work for these creatures, by all means accept.

Gain their trust.

Make them believe they can buy you off.

Are you okay?

Yeah, I'm okay.

I thought I'd killed you.

I thought so too.

I didn't know.

I'm so sorry.

Look, I just want to--

Can we just--

Get out!

They're killing everybody. I got to find her.

Wait a minute, man, are you crazy? I got to see if she's all right.

Just stay back!

There's nothing you can do out there.

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

Frank, What?

Frank, What!

Get set to shoot. Oh, shit!

What was that? I don't know.

Attention, your wristwatch has malfunctioned.

This entryway is temporary and will disappear in ten seconds.

Get in there. What?

Move. I don't know what's down there.

Now! Oh, shit.

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 got to be a way out.

I just hope that nobody saw us dropping in.

Operation Steel Fist has been a complete success.

All security stations stand down to operational--


We have eliminated the terrorists. Okay.

We got 'em, we wiped them out!

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 entrée to the resources we need in our ongoing quest for multidimensional expansion.

And in return, the per capita income of each of you here tonight has grown, in this year alone, by an average 39o/o.

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 you can afford it.

I got to 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 first time we met.

Money isn't the nicest thing in life, Hey, waiter, the only thing.

Thank you, buddy.

Excuse me, where the hell are we?

Back stage at the show, boys.

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

How did you get here, use one of these little portable jobs?

I know we ain't supposed to use 'em 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 in 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 works like one big airport.

Boys, let me tell you, they got their act together.

Believe you me.

Evening, boys.

Looking sharp.

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

And here we got the brains of the whole operation.

That's where the signal goes out from here to the satellite.

We bump it out all over the world.

Pretty fancy, huh?

Not too familiar with it myself.

Well, boys, as far as we go.

A technique called multispectral analysis.

This would allow space sensors to penetrate natural barriers and camouflage--

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 problem.

You see them boys over there?

Friends of mine.

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

Thought I'd give them the grand tour.

Think we can go inside?

Be serious.

You have your authorization 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, man.

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

You made the mistake.

No, no, you got to 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 going to let us have it good if we just help 'em.

They're going to 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 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 thirty second break?

I think it's the thirty second break.

They dropped 12, I guess we must be running long.

I think so.

We are experiencing a technical difficulty.

What the hell's going on?

Come on.

Get down!

Now what?

Find out where the hell we are.

Excuse me.

Come on, man. Wait a second.

Do you know Holly Thompson?

Come on, man, I mean it.

Holly Thompson, assistant program something-or-other.

Where is she? I, I...

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 guide me how to get to the roof.


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 9-5-0.

Lock the elevators down.

They're on the move.

I hear them on the 19th floor above me.

We got you.

We're on the 21st we'll be waiting for 'em.

Go, up.


Come on, come on!

Security alert.

Intruders are here-- head 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 gave a press conference and "How to Buy a Sailboat" as--

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.

Filmmakers 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?