Friday, July 5, 2013

Who's the Best...Alien Invasion movie?

Karen: Yesterday being Independence Day made me think of the crappy sci fi film, Independence Day, and alien invasion movies in general. So weigh in with your opinion: what's the best alien invasion film?


William Preston said...

The Arrival, a terrific, smart movie overshadowed by the epic dumbness of Independence Day.

Also, I Married a Monster from Outer Space is a stylish, clever, well-directed film that must be seen:

Edo Bosnar said...

Mars Attacks!

J.A. Morris said...

'WOTW' is probably the best. But my "sentimental favorite" would be 'It Came From Outer Space', I wish I'd seen it in 3d, here's the trailer:

William said...

Battleship, definitely.

Anonymous said...

Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

The remake scared the CRAP out of me as a kid.

Anonymous said...

That was a good one. Remember that dog with a human head? Yikes.
What about The Thing? (1980's version). I know it started with only one alien, be it multiplied all over the place. That's an invasion.

david_b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
david_b said...

Way too many for me to think about.. Once I mention my fav, someone else'll come up with one I SHOULD have mentioned.

Off the top of my head, I'd say 'Mars Attacks', not so much for the occasional Tim Burton excesses, but WHAT A HOMAGE to those bubble gum cards..!! For those of us older types, didn't you always imagine what a movie would look like based on those cards..? There you go.

I liked 'Independence Day' ~ Yeah it had a fair amount of '90s smugness and those silly 'dramatic cinematic moments' you saw so much of, but Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum were fun to watch.

I liked the couple of Monkees episodes, like 'Monkees Watch Their Feet' with the Mickey robot narrated by none other than the 1968 write-in Presidential Candidate Pat Paulsen..:

[BEST DEADPAN comedian this side of Steven Wright...]

..and the other one, 'The Frodis Caper' with insane Wizard Glick (Frodis was naturally their 'set slang' for pot).

I'll end with a shout-out to the first 'Avengers' movie. Superb effects.

Steve Does Comics said...

I've always loved the 1950s War of the Worlds. Also, Invaders from Mars and Harryhausen's Earth vs the Flying Saucers.

I also have to give a shout-out to Peter Cushing's Dr Who and the Daleks' Invasion of Earth, which I always have to watch whenever it's on TV.

If Quatermass and the Pit counts as an alien invasion movie then I definitely have to put it on the list. One of my favourite movies of all time.

Garett said...

William, I remember enjoying The Arrival, now can't recall anything about it except Charlie Sheen. Have to check that out again.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers was scary, the '70s version, but I'll go with Anonymous and say The Thing is even better. Seems to me there was an SCTV episode like the Body Snatchers, where aliens took over the station.

I didn't like Independence Day...I wanted it to be more about the end, infiltrating the alien ship, than the long, slow buildup. V was a cool miniseries when it first came out.

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember an SCTV episode that was a parody of "Zontar, the Thing from Venus," which, in turn, was a remake of "It Conquered the World." My own personal favorites are "War of the Worlds" (1953) and "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers." And "Plan 9 from Outer Space" and "Robot Monster" are kitsch classics. "Plan 9" may not be the worst movie (or even the worst invaders-from-space movie) ever made, but it may be the worst movie you can enjoy watching.

Garett said...

That must be the SCTV I'm thinking about, Anonymous--there are cabbages on their heads when they transform into aliens? : )

How about The Abyss? Not so much on the invasion, but maybe the best type of alien show in that it shows humans' reactions to the unknown. Great characters, with Ed Harris and his relationship with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio at the center...nice to see Michael all the colorful supporting characters. I've watched it several times, always go back for more. The scene with the water rising is still tense to watch!

Rip Jagger said...

"The Thing From Another World" is the best. Its low-wattage destruction is low key today but these are the kind of movies are the ones that hit the core of the concept, which is fear of the unknown and of ourselves.

Someone already mentioned "Quatermass and the Pit", an awesome classic filmed for the big screen as "Five Million Years to Earth". It's the scariest.

On the modern front, I really really liked "Battle: Los Angeles" which gave us a solider's perspective on an invasion.

Rip Off

Anonymous said...

IIRC, the SCTV characters had cabbages or something on their heads after they were hypnotized by the aliens. In "Zontar," I think the victims had spider-shaped parasites on the backs of their necks. Steve mentioned Quatermass and the Pit (US: Five Million Years to Earth). I remember the giant horned devil at the end. The plot premise was a variation on the "ancient astronauts influenced our mythology" theory before Erich von Daniken popularized it.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody remember The Giant Spider Invasion? I know we're supposed to be talking about good alien invasion movies, but you all know how long a discussion stays on point around here.
I think those spiders were from outer space, but I'm not sure and don't think the "writers" were either. If you enjoyed Plan 9 than this may be right up your alley.
Anybody who ever wanted to see a giant hokey alien spider gobble up degenerate country bumpkins, this may be the motion picture you've been waiting for.

B Smith said...

My friend Tracy saw Independence Day with a friend...after the movie, the friend told her in all seriousness that it was part of a plan concocted by Hollywood in cooperation with the US Government to get people comfortable with the idea of extraterrestrials actually existing...the next step, after a few more movies with a similar ET theme, would be to reveal to the world that aliens really exist, complete with physical proof.

Needless to say, we're still waiting.

Anonymous said...

Does the original version of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" count? Instead of an outright invasion, we got a stern warning that we would be wiped out unless we changed our destructive behavior.

Karen said...

You know, with the pictures I included, I wasn't sure whether to include films with just one alien invader, like The Thing, or Day The Earth Stood Still, but I suppose one would still qualify. I guess I was thinking more of an all out war rather than a more subtle threat.

J.A., I also love "It Came from Outer Space," sort of an unsung classic.

If we were to count Quatermass, or Five Million Years to Earth as it's known in the US, it would rank up with my favorites.

War of the Worlds (the original) still works for me as a thrilling film.

There's a real creepiness to Earth vs. the Flying Saucers that I like, plus Harryhausen flying saucers!

And William -Battleship? Really? Or should that be followed with a ;) ??

ChrisPV said...

I love the original WotW with a passion. A few years back the wife and I went to the Sci-Fi museum in Seattle and I just lost it when they had a bunch of those models on display. (I was paralyzed in terror when they had the full-sized queen alien from Aliens, but that's not an invasion movie). The newer version with Tom Cruise was okay, but not spectacular.

I think both versions of The Thing (50s and 80s) are phenomenal for entirely different reasons. The characters are better drawn in the original, but the claustrophobia is so intense in the remake. And the effects in the Carpenter version are just amazing.

And, if I may be allowed a bit of cheek, I really like Starship Troopers. Which is totally an alien invasion movie from the viewpoint of the bugs. Stupid fascist humans, trying to kill all the helpless insects.

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