They Live is a 1988 film directed by John Carpenter, who also wrote the screenplay under the pseudonym “Frank Armitage”. The movie is based on Ray Nelson's 1963 short story Eight O’Clock in the Morning.
Part science fiction thriller and part black comedy, the film echoed contemporary fears of a declining economy, within a culture of greed and conspicuous consumption common among Americans in the 1980s. In They Live! the ruling class within the monied elite are in fact aliens managing human social affairs through the use of subliminal media advertising and the control of economic opportunity.