For the Nov 7 Mole, Joe Clement and I will be discussing They Live, the 1988 cult classic directed by John Carpenter. The movie has been the subject of a full monograph by Jonathan Lethem, commentary by Slavoj Zizek, and a source of inspiration for Shepherd Fairey and other artists.
As one blogger notes, it no longer looks like science fiction.
The film's main character is an economic migrant played by wrestler Roddy Piper, listed in the credits as Nada. He discovers, and later compels his itinerant coworker Frank, played by Keith David, to also see, that many of the wealthy and powerful people around them are actually ghoulish extraterrestrials, who can only be recognized through special sunglasses, which also reveal that advertisements, magazines, and store signs actually say things like "Obey" and "Consume" and "Marry and Reproduce"; dollar bills bear the message "This is your God."
Most of the population is either blinded by TV signals or else consciously collaborating with the alien free-enterprisers who view the earth as "just another developing planet. The small opposition movement have produced the demystifying sunglasses, and have been trying to hack into the television signal that blinds people to the black-and-white reality of their world . They operate initially out of a church across from the shantytown where Nada and Frank stay. In a scene reminiscent of recent events, police in riot gear use bulldozers to clear the shantytown. When the ghouls realize the protagonist can see them as they are, they send police and alien technology in pursuit, and he flees, shooting aliens and sparing humans, blasts his way through a bank, carjacks the affluent Holly, played by Meg Foster, and makes his way to the source of the brainwashing TV transmitter to destroy it.