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|“||You still don't get it, do you boys? They're 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 gonna let us have it good if we just help 'em. They gonna 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!||„|
|~ Drifter explaining to Nada why he sided with the Blue Aliens.|
The Drifter is the secondary antagonist of the 1988 sci-fi satirical film They Live. He is a collaborator of the film's main antagonists, the Blue Aliens, who rewarded him money to aid them in enslaving his own kind.
Drifter was not very fond of the aliens himself, but being a greedy coward he sided with them so that he will not end up as another human bullied and impoverished by the aliens.
He was portrayed by the late George Buck Flower.
In They Live, it turns out that for some time now aliens had already arrived on earth and assimilated the human race into doing their bidding by forcing humans to produce both quality women and luxurious items (through hard labor) for the aliens, and in return the aliens gave them insufficient pay and removed their free will. Humans are also forbidden by the aliens to have any political or financial power, and the aliens took over the governments, banks, press, television, police, military and any other position that has to do with power and high pay. Poverty arose among humans for these reasons. The blue aliens were intergalactic and very capable of space colonization, and maybe not just Earth and her humans but also a variety of resources-rich planets in the galaxy and their native life forms have also fallen victim to the blue aliens' totalitarian invasion to deplete occupied home worlds of their resources to fuel themselves.
An underground network led by human rebels had attempted to overthrow the aliens and it turns out they were the ones who were hacking the TV signals and created the sunglasses for Nada.
|“||What's the threat? We all sell out each other everyday! Might as well be on the winning team!||„|
|~ Drifter rationalizing his own actions.|
Drifter was a homeless bum who used to live a poor lifestyle since he had no money on him, assumed to be because the aliens introduced wealth inequality on earth. He lived in a shantytown that housed a homeless settlement camp where it is implied that Drifter could eat only food out of trash, wore dirty clothes everyday and had nowhere to sleep except for a soft arm chair. Drifter was seen trying to watch TV, but the signal is continuously intercepted by hackers who want to get out a message from a bearded man asking that humans living in poverty rise up against the tyrannical rich. Drifter turned off the hacker's signal not wanting to listen to it.
As the movie progressed, sometime off-screen the aliens had recruited the Drifter as one of their new human collaborators. Frank and Nada discovered the aliens' secret base and entered, making the Drifter think the two were also collaborators, first finding the two when they were listening to the speech an alien delegate was giving out to the aliens' human collaborators who were made a rich elite class. Drifter gave Frank and Nada a presentation of how aliens arrived: a space link port that aliens built (presumably on their own home planet) to teleport to other planets. Drifter then wanted to show a further tour of the aliens' television network to Frank and Nada, although the alien security guards refused as they were not authorized. Frank and Nada in response shoot the alien guards and Nada subdues Drifter, grabbing him by the beard and pointing his Desert Eagle handgun at Drifter forcing him to confess why he joined the aliens. Drifter answers there's no hope for humans anymore and that the aliens are too powerful and rich to stand up to, and since money is everything he decided to join. He then begs Frank and Nada reconsider rebelling against the aliens and to just join him not only to survive but to live happily off the aliens' extravagant wealth. But because another alien guard came in, Frank was forced to shoot him and release Drifter. Drifter happily mocks, "See ya boys!" as he reveals he has his own teleportation watch and escapes.
Drifter's fate is unknown regarding how he will be affected by Nada successfully killing the satellite dish that concealed the blue aliens' appearances. Though the aliens' reign of enslaving the humans has started to crumble, indicating that Drifter will be homeless and broke all over again. Or he might even have to go into hiding and give up everything he has just to avoid being exposed as a collaborator for the aliens, which still means he's homeless again.