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The Blue Aliens are the eponymous main antagonists of the 1988 John Carpenter sci-fi film They Live.


These beings came from outer space and want to control the wealth and political powers of Earth. They were able to take over by using a giant satellite dish that will make the blue aliens look just like ordinary people to regular humans. They also have the power to teleport using a device on their arms, and the device also works as a communicator.

The blue aliens want money, political power and sexual intercourse. Their primary method of obtaining all three are advertisements that also deceive humans due to the giant satellite dish. These advertisements seem very bland and non-surprising with all its pictures and images as there are only a few words or even no words at all. That's how the advertisements were convincing to the humans. One example is that when Nada first experimented with his sunglasses, he saw that a billboard showing a girl in a bikini that has the caption "Come to the Caribbean" actually reads "MARRY AND REPRODUCE" with glasses on. This proves that the billboard wasn't really about the Caribbean, it was just about the bikini girl and her body was being used to get people hyped up for sex.

The Blue Aliens' Advertisements

The aliens use propaganda disguised as advertisements depicting money, power, and sex to control humans.

Money Advertisements

  • Buy
  • Consume
  • This Is Your God (printed on the dollar bills)

Power Advertisements

  • Do Not Question Authority
  • Submit
  • Conform
  • Stay Asleep
  • Watch TV
  • No Independent Thought (or just No Thought)
  • No Imagination
  • No Ideas
  • Doubt Humanity
  • Honor Apathy
  • Work 8 Hours, Play 8 Hours, Sleep 8 Hours
  • Surrend
  • Follow
  • Obey Authority 
  • Cooperate 

Sex Advertisements

  • Marry and Reproduce

Human Collaborators

Then there are humans who work for Blue Aliens. How did they come into contact with the aliens is unknown, but they work for the aliens' benefits. The Drifter, one of the human collaborators states that by aiding the aliens, the humans are given to the kind of life that they could only dream of having. However, it is indeed known that humans are nothing more than physical or sexual slaves to aliens and the Drifter only sided with the aliens, because he grew fed up with being a homeless bum in his entire life, and by turning on his own race the aliens privileged him with a life of luxury. Among the most successful collaborator is a woman named Holly Thompson: by aiding the aliens she is given an assistant director of Cable 54 Station (the source of Alien's brainwashing satellite dish), hefty salaries and luxurious home.

They Live (1988)

Not much is known of the origin and background of the blue aliens, not even when they landed on Earth and began overthrowing the human race. It is implied that the aliens even overthrew other extraterrestrial life from different worlds across the galaxy to find as many planets rich in resources.

The film's main protagonist, Nada found a pair of sunglasses that exposes the aliens' true faces and after yelling out loud in a grocery store full of aliens that he knows their secret. He then killed the police officers who were aliens, then took their guns and started killing several of the aliens in a bank declaring, "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubble gum."

At the end, Nada destroyed the satellite dish that made the aliens look like regular people. He unfortunately died in the final battle between him and a group of armed aliens on a helicopter. With the aliens' true faces exposed, the humans quickly panicked while the aliens (who didn't know the satellite dish was destroyed) asked them why they are traumatized. This included two aliens who were broadcasting the news or criticizing movie violence, several aliens at a drinking bar and an alien who was having anal sex with a naked girl. 



  • John Carpenter states that the Blue Aliens are meant to reflect his pessimistic views on the consumerist nature and Trickle Down component of Reagonomics and nothing more than that. Carpenter stresses that They Live is not meant to spread fear and paranoia over literal aliens from space invading earth and subjugating the human race. Carpenter denounced neo-Nazis who misinterpret They Live as sympathetic to their ideologies of ethnocentrism and anti-Semitism. 
  • In the source material short story Eight O'Clock in the Morning and its comic book adaptation Nada (which They Live was based on), the Blue Aliens are called the "Fascinators".
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