-Roddy Piper in "They Live" 1988
Ray Nelson (short story "Eight O'Clock in the Morning"),John Carpenter (screenplay) (as Frank Armitage)
The line "I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubble gum" was ad-libbed by Roddy Piper. According to director John Carpenter, Piper had taken the line from a list of ideas he had for his pro wrestling interviews.
The film was made and released about twenty-five years after its source short story "Eight O'Clock in the Morning" by Ray Nelson had been first published in 1963. According to John Carpenter, this movie was also based on an Eclipse Comics comic-book adaptation of this story.
For years after the film's release - and even on the movie's DVD commentary - Roddy Piper maintained that the film was based on an actual incident in the 1950s in which a company manufactured a TV that planted subliminal messages in women's brains instructing them to make extravagant purchases. Piper was unaware that the "documentary" he had seen, L'affaire Bronswik (1978), was in fact a comedy short.
Writer-director John Carpenter has said of this movie that it was a critique of Reaganomics, a "vehicle to take on Reaganism".
A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.
You see them on the street. You watch them on TV. You might even vote for one this fall. You think they're people just like you. You're wrong. Dead wrong.