A drifter (Roddy Piper) finds construction work in L.A. He befriends fellow worker Frank (Keith David). Frank takes to a shanty town that Frank lives in.
While there Piper notices some strange activity at the local church. When he goes into the church he finds it empty. A tape recorder is playing a choir and the place is filled with equipment and hidden boxes of sunglasses. Later police raid the shanty town and the church. Piper escapes and returns to the church to find it empty but finds the boxes of sunglasses are still there. He takes the box and hides it and takes one of the sunglasses. When he puts it on his world is changed forever.
Piper discovers that the world has been taken over by aliens. The aliens look like normal people but the sunglasses disrupt a signal that the aliens are using. The aliens are the rich elite and have insinuated themselves into society. They run the media, the government and the corporations. Everywhere there are subliminal messages keeping people in check. Obey, consume, reproduce, and conform.
Piper convinces Frank the truth after a lengthy fight. They then team up and decide to try and destroy a signal broadcaster so that the people of Earth can finally see the truth.
This is one of director John Carpenter’s better movies. The real scary part is that the movie almost seems plausible especially today. Still a fun movie with Roddy Piper spouting off the immortal line “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.”