When Aliens Attack ....Or At Least, Go Bad
2885 7.8 8.41. Aliens (1986)
In this sequel to the non-plural installment of the series, Ripley, believe it or not, is back. And this time, she arms herself with some big guns & with an even bigger attitude of instead of squaring off against just one xenomorph, she's taking on a whole hive full of them. And their momma too.
This movie has everything that I look forward to in a sci-fi adventure. Suspenseful action, solid story, distinct characters (with great chemistry), great visuals, kick-@ss aliens, a turning plot-twist (we all thought for sure, that Bishop couldn't be trusted), & of course, a catch-phrase that made the entire theatre that I saw this movie in to roar ("Get away from her, you b#tch!").
Mannnn....I wish I had acid for blood.
3900 8 8.52. Alien (1979)
Ridley Scott directs a tale of "in-your-face" first contact, followed by a fatal game of hide and seek between a interstellar search party crew and a xenomorph, just one of what will turn out in following sequels to be a hive-race of double-mouthed acid-blooded slick black visitors who take the role of their hosts quite literally.
Never have the film genres of horror & science fiction been so perfectly blended as in this stylish, dark and damp first entry into the franchise which first introduced what is, IMO, one of the most unique & simply bad-@ss alien life-forms ever produced for film.
1987 7.8 8.23. The Thing (1982)
947 8.2 8.14. Solaris (1972)
This film is an excellent example of what can happen when all of the effort of special effects is replaced with maximum effort into the script.
Definitely a thinking man's science fiction film whose intellect sacrifice none of the science nor none of the fiction.
The plot utilizes the fantasy element of the genre to delve intricately into themes of the pysche such as regret, love, pity, self-inflection & even the most monumental of these concepts, the justification of life and death. It does so with enough room to allow the viewer with no other answer other than the store of reflection which he or she carries into the film, before & after.
Despite an incrimately moving pace that many of today movie-watchers may at first be uncomfortable with, once you settle into it's richly layered rhythm, Solaris is a great film whose provocation of thought is as richly satisfying as is the grandest world-demolishing visuals of any other more explosive sci-fi films.
368 6.8 7.15. The War of the Worlds (1953)
In the so-called "War Of The Worlds", the aliens in question are not only winning, they are displaying the power to totally wipe us out. I mean, they are completely ripping the planet Earth a new @ss.
But just when it seems like all hope is lost for our defeated species, a savior is revealed. In the form of our bacteria. Looks like these giant tripod riding raiders have an immune system that would make a bubble boy's seem like an iron-clad defense system. Yep. The aliens literally catch their death of a cold.
Turns out that, all the while they were cutting us down with their sophisticated disintegration rays, all we had to do was to sneeze on 'em.
Take that, ya blasted Martians!!"
Germ warfare in it's purest form.
"Oh, and if you greenblooded bastards want some more of this,
Cuz I feel a fart coming on with all yo' names on it!"
575 7.6 7.86. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
A great classic sci-fi horror that thrills by channeling it's chills thru the use of the fears that we tend to hold most as a general populace. The fear that we & our brethen are not we seem to be.
And rarely does the black & white look of the time capture this cultural sub-genre fear of the unknown & magnify it so that even today, Invasion makes the viewer feel the sparseness of trust that was running amok during this era of red scares & McCarthyisms.
At the time, this movie could've easily influenced one to view his neighbor with a questioning look of "Are you a friend, a Pinko or a pod?"
1208 6.2 6.67. Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)
A tribute to all those 50's black & white sci-fi horrors flicks, but now in cool 3-D-like computer graphics. And in full color.
The graphics are absolutely top-notch, but some of the sheen has been lost due to the fact that they're also something that I'm sure viewers are pretty much starting to become accustomed to by now. And teen-agers today, let alone the more targeted little kid audience, will barely, if at all, get any of the references made to the Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman, the Creature Of The Black Lagoon & the like.
Now don't get me wrong. I think that MvA comes off with enough of the high quality that we expect from this type of picture, but to some movie-goers, it may feel like it came out a fews years too late.
2211 6.4 7.18. Cloverfield (2008)
This movie gets an extra point just for the surprise factor of how much I ended up enjoying it. I really didn't expect to like this as much as I did. I saw this flick with my brother-in-law, & remember that when the lights in the theatre came on, we both looked at each with an expression of "Whoa" on our faces.
As an adult, one of my absolute favorite things about going to the movies is when I see a film that brings back those feelings that I used to experience as a kid whenever I saw something that was too fantastic that it was beyond the realm of our realty & yet watch it come to life on the big screen in front of me.
A giant alien monster rangin' thru the streets of the Big Apple is a pretty good f'rinstance.
1039 6.4 6.89. Superman II (1980)
Superman isn't the only Kryptonian to have escaped the destruction of his home planet.
Three equally super-powered criminals of ruthless intent have escaped their prison of the Phantom Zone & have made their way towards the star, Sol, & her third orbiting planet (us).
And unless the Man Of Steel can stop them,
the entire planet may find itself kneeling before Zod.
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
291 6.3 6.410. The Blob (1958)
During the height of McCarthyism & the Red Scare,
comes yet another sci-fi film taking advantage of the attitude scoring across the country at this time.
A big red mass that keeps getting bigger & bigger, terrorizes a small American town, swallowing up innocent denizens of democracy.....
get the symbolism?
Or is that stretching a metaphor farther than the reach of an extended slimey flesh-distintigrating tentacle?
2732 7.8 8.211. The Avengers (2012)
Loki, the God of Mischief, arranges the worldwide conquest of the Earth. Because he's a cosmically powered supervillain, & that's basically the goal of most cosmically powered supervillains. His latest scheme of global domination involves the use the Cosmic Cube and, luckily for the purposes of this list, a vast army of extra-dimensional aliens.
And the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
547 6.7 6.612. Attack the Block (2011)
443 7.5 813. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
While this movie started out with the name "Edge Of Tomorrow', since its release both in DVD and streaming forms, it's been advertised more as "Live. Die. Repeat".
That's because the story for this time-loop epic is basically just same thing as Groundhog Day.
Except, instead of Bill Murray, it stars Tom Cruise as the lead.
And instead of Andie McDowell as the romantic interest, it's Emily Blunt.
And instead of Chris Elliot as the supporting role, it's Bill Paxton.
And instead of taking place on Groundhog Day, it takes place on "Judgment Day".
And instead of a romantic comedy, the movie is an apocalyptic sci-fi thriller.
But other than that, it's just basically the same thing.
2160 7.3 7.914. Predator (1987)
How does one gain the World Championship title belt of Total Badassery? Come from another planet, in full tilt sophisticated battle-gear & then proceed to kick the combined @sses of ""the Terminator", Apollo Creed", Jesse "The Body" Ventura & that one guy who played one of the corrupt cops in Payback. (Not to mention, in following sequels, take on another alien franchise).
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
161 7.1 7.615. Voices of a Distant Star (2003)
Love knows no bounds.
Even in the midst of an intergalactic war with a buncha Martians (in this case, they are particular type of Martian known as "Tarsians"),
this movie shows that as long as you've got a cell phone, a good distance carrier & a hell of alot patience,
long distance relationships can work.
And as most of us who've been stuck in a short distance relationship for awhile know,
sometimes, the idea of flyin' around in space in cool manga tech-gear & battling a buncha aliens, light years away from Earth, sounds alot like heaven.
4221 6 6.516. War of the Worlds (2005)
The story of this 2005 remake is one that doesn't seem to come off as intriguing as the original, it has a few plot-points that don't make too much sense (especially in the world of modern world of science fiction) & it has a weird scene with Tim Robbins that just seems totally out of place with the entire feel of the film.
However, it is still a Steven Spielberg production starring Tom Cruise. Therefore, despite certain shortcomings, the plot was written with a few interesting updates on certain elements of the H.G. Wells' classic, and of course, the high production values that usually come attached with Spielberg's name do provide for some really cool special effects & over-all visuals.
3878 6.6 7.217. Transformers (2007)
Take a classic cartoon about a bunch a large robots from outer space that change into a bunch a cool vehicles that raised the testosterone level to the point that little boys became little "guys",
mix in a healthy batch of modern day hard driving live action peppered in with a few swear words & gritty gun play,
and top it all off with the absolutely & ridiculously hot Megan Fox,
and there you have it.
A summer super-mega-blockbuster incorporating all the things that can easily make the males of our species grunt with ultimate ball-quivering delight.
2722 7.5 818. District 9 (2009)
so at first,
in District 9, the aliens aren't so bad.
A bit messy, a bit dumb, but not so bad.
But as always, we humans have to push it.
And even to a bunch of generally benevolent giant cockroaches,
we find out that every one, no matter what galaxy they may have spawned from, has their limits.
613 7.1 7.319. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
Late in the future 2300's, some super-powerful alien force is looking for the now extinct whales, & it's approach towards Earth is likely to destroy the entire planet.
Kirk & crew decide to jump back through time to the mid 1980's & fetch one, with the hope that utilizing it's whale lingo, it can persuade the gigantic "whatever-it-is" to back the eff off.
A great story with fun energy & for my money, the best of the ST franchise series. The interaction between the the crew members in this film is the most integrated of the "old" generation series. You can really get a sense of family that this group of people (whom we've come to know after so many years) have grown into.
4619 7.2 7.920. Avatar (2009)
We Earthlings did it to the American Natives, we did it to the Australian Aborigines & in the not-so-distant future, we tried to do it to the alien populace of Pandora.
Only to find out that, despite not having any weapons, what these blue-skinned giants do have on their side is Mother Nature.
And as dictated by that one universal law that applies everywhere,
no matter what planet you're on,
you don't mess with Mother Nature.
350 6.2 6.321. The Blob (1988)
2578 7.7 822. Star Trek (2009)
After watching this reboot of the original crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise, it becomes obvious that space is no final frontier,
time travel is.
And "reboot" is a loose use of the term in that Kirk, Spock & all the rest of the gang are not so much back, as much as they are introduced. And yet, this storyline is still a continuation of the "current continuity" of the Star Trek franchise, just that, in this episode, it has branched off into.... well...
to try & explain it any further would require spoilers.
Anyways, this newest mainfestation of the "old" crew comes off as fresh & invigorated, with sets that look detailed yet stylish, the special effects are typically awesome (as is it is always expected in this genre), the starship battles kick ass & the plot's purpose doesn't stray too far off from what made this film series popular to begin with.
So, while fans of Star Wars grumble all over the internet & at sci-fi cons of how low their beloved franchise has fallen,
with this latest chapter, Trek fans, old & new, have been given A New Hope for a future filled with the possibilty that, as Trekkies, they will truly be able to live long & prosper*.
* Oh, come on...! You knew that phrase had to come along eventually.
1411 7.5 7.823. Dark City (1998)
As the old adage paraphrasingly goes,
talking to strangers is never a good thing.
And even worse,
letting 'em take over the planet & trying to control over all reality is even worse.
Particularly when they're a buncha endangered parasitical pyrokinetic extraterrestrials, whose only hope for survival are the souls of their human hosts.
1719 6.6 7.224. The Mist (2007)
767 5.7 6.225. Solaris (2002)
382 6.5 6.726. Heavy Metal (1981)
Multiple stories all connected by the Loc-Nar.
You guys know what a Loc-Nar is, right?
It's a green glowing orb from outer space.
And it's basically an alien life-force that is made up of "The sum of all evils."
So y'know.... that kinda pretty much explains why this movie is being included on this list.
651 5.5 5.827. Battle Los Angeles (2011)
158 7.1 728. The Hidden (1987)
923 6.8 7.129. Pacific Rim (2013)
As a fan of the first Godzilla flicks, I used to watch those old Kaiju movies as a kid with the anticipation that one day the technology of special effects would catch up to grandness of giant monsters & robots duking it out in the midst of ill-fated Tokyo downtown districts.
And even though, because of modern movie audience's shrinking ability to suspend their belief for this kind of stretched out subject matter, it took longer than I would have liked, Pacific Rim finally came along and sated that almost life-long anticipation.
3601 6.2 6.730. Signs (2002)
How do you get a former priest whose lost his faith to "open his eyes" & believe again?
Try sending down an alien or two to start forming big ol' circles in his crops.
I really liked the theme of a man-of-faith who has lost his faith that provided the personality conflict of the main character.
And, IMO, the first part of this flick almost matched The Sixth Sense in terms of building up the creep factor.
However, once the guilt-ridden veterinarian (played by M. Knight) announced that he had an alien in his kitchen, & then just drove off (...uhmnnn...whut....?),
it kinda began showing "signs" of the kind of rushed, crumbling logic that we could expect to dominate Shyamalan's future films.
Still, in the end, for me, the majority of this movie make for an over-all solid down-to-Earth alien thriller.
Not to mention, that it's always cool to see Joaquin Phoenix in a role that depicts him as a normal person, as opposed to the alien life-form that he has since become. Nowadays, he's seems more frightening than the extra-terrestrials of this or any other sci-fi-horror film.
6430 6.7 7.231. Men in Black (1997)
They say what you don't know can't hurt you.
And in this movie, this applies to idea of aliens as well.
Extra-terrestrials have not only touched down to Earth, they are living amongst us and have been doing so for quite some time. So, how did we get by for so long without knowing?
The MIB, a secret organization that makes sure that unidentified flying objects remain unidentified and that extra-terrestrials remain "extra" (I hope that mkaes sense...).
And it's not a conspiracy, it's for you're own good.
These black suited, dark sunglassed agents know that if any of us average joes were aware of the fact that we had been being visited for years now, it would be too much information for us to handle.
In short, to save from us being taken away by the men in white, we need the Men In Black.
We just don't know it.
Heck, a being from another planet could be writing these very words that you are reading right now.
438 7.2 7.432. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
988 6.6 6.933. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
What can you consider a Vegan to be a vegan and a carnivore at the same time?
When it's a giant flesh-craving Venus Flytrap from another planet.
A little shop that demonstrates that in order to properly take care of a house plant,
one need simply add water, potting soil & lots of sunshine.
Not to mention, a carcass or two.
79 6.4 6.634. Destroy All Monsters (1968)
For the first time ever, Godzilla, Minilla, Mothra, Rodan, Gorosaurus, Anguirus, Kumonga, Manda, Baragon, and Varan, all together in one movie, kicking all sorts of ass with their big, floppy rubber feet (or any other appendages of like-minded floppy purposes).
And it's all because of those stupid aliens!
This is the original Monsters Versus Aliens epic,
not to mention, the battle royale of all battle royales! With cheese!
Run for your lives!!!!
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
1244 6.8 7.135. Pitch Black (2000)
A dark film with a plot that literally isn't all sunshine.
A group of space-farers find their intergalactic journey interrupted when they are marooned on a planet of almost perpetual daylight, with the exception of the periodical cycles of ecliptical darkness.
And during these few shifts of nightfall,
the major form of alien life are hordes of flying meat-eating whatchamacallits.
And to these nocturnal beasties, humans make a pretty tasty midnight snack.
515 6.2 6.436. Monsters (2010)
this is actually more of a love story with a backdrop of giant aliens monsters, of which we probably don't see enough of.
I gotta give credit to this movie for trying to do something in it intermingling of genres.
For my tastes it wasn't as successful in efforts as I would've like it to be, but I truly admire the quality in which this project was appraoched by it's creators.
1 2 2.637. Alien Abduction (2005)
Also known as the "The McPherson Tape".
Originally planned to be called "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner", until they found out that that title had already been taken.
A Thanksgiving family get-together gets interrupted by big-eyed visitors from, well, y'know by now where this is going.
I think that this film is an allegory of what happened to the Native Americans after they had the Pilgrims (i.e. White man) over for a turkey dinner. The McPherson family is supposed to represent the Natives & the aliens, the white man.
But I'm not sure.
I may have just made that up for this post.
1205 5.7 6.438. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)
Even when they're dead, aliens can still become a marauding, world conquering nuisance by hanging around as hordes of a massive spirited phantom plague.
Okay, I'll admit, the story was boring, & the people looked stiff despite the motion capture technology.
But still, at the time of it's release, the visuals were really something to behold. For me, this was a major stepping stone that would eventually lead to some of the most high tech images we are seeing not just on movies screens today, but also to the crossing over of video-game technology.
4649 6.4 6.939. Independence Day (1996)
1840 6.4 7.240. Starship Troopers (1997)
I didn't find this to be all that great, in it's story or just as a movie over-all.
But what it does have going for it are a kick-ass looking alien race of giant insectoids & some pretty decent battle scenes (not to mention the dramatic debut of the ultra-fine Denise Richards).
Definitely what you'd call a beer & popcorn movie.
Preferably more beer than popcorn.
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
413 6.2 6.441. Flash Gordon (1980)
Ming The Merciless is mad & in a mood to mess with the planet Midgard (...Earth).
Okay, while I have a few listed here, the truth is, I don't usually go for campy movies. For the most part, I find many of the modern films of this kind see using their camp as an excuse to not have to come up with a good story.
But, every once in a while, one will come along where, despite it's shortcomings in it's plot, the tongue in cheek aesthetics will strike the right camp chords in my heart.
Or, if I'm really honest, maybe I just like this modern take of the old sci-fi serial b'cuz, as a kid, I have fond memories of watching the infamous S&M styled scene of Princess Aura getting whipped while tied to a table. Back then, being that I hadn't yet reached puberty, my mind was filled to capacity with carnalous curiosity as to why every time I viewed that scene, it always seemed to make my little peepee to get really hard.
4674 5.9 6.242. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
361 6 6.143. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
3371 6 6.344. Mars Attacks! (1996)
478 4.7 3.945. Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
"Inspector Clay is dead...murdered...and somebody's responsible!".
I like this movie.
I said it.
While I initially dimissed this king of kings of all crappy movies because of it's reputation, I have since then actually developed an affection towards this film.
it's probably lives up to it's rep as the worst movie ever made,
but it's not without it's charm.
There are plenty of bad movies out there that are just bad & then that's it. No more to add.
But this film,
there's an instinctual level to it,
in which it feels like that there came a day when all the film-gods gathered together & decided to inspire a woman's cashmere sweater wearing b-film (okay, okay.....d-film....& that's being generous) "director" to make a movie that's so bad, it can almost remind us that a big part the concept of filmmaking is to just have fun. To "escape" into the process of making a movie as much as in the viewing.
Okay, maybe not everyone will get any kind of positive response from watching this trainwreck of falling backdrops & bad acting (really bad acting), but you don't even have to watch it. Just knowing that it's there is enough. As a reminder that we can not have a day without a night. We cannot have the good without the bad.
We cannot have an Apocalypse Now without a Plan 9 From Outer Space.
To reminds us just how good movies can be if some of 'em can be this bad.
And to it's credit, considering the time it was made,
some of the effects are kinda amazing.
I mean, I don't know how they did it, but they actually made some of the props in this film look like they were made out of actual cardboard.
And this was before CGI.
Like way before.
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
2152 5.8 646. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
This is not just a movie about a bunch of aliens who've gone bad,
it's basically a franchise that went bad.
And as an example of how bad,
T-2 is a piece of cinema that features giant robot testicles, a couple of racial stereotype robots & an extreme close-up of John Turturros hairy ass-crack in a thong. Not to mention, Megan Fox's typical bad acting. And none of that has absolutely nothing to do with the plot.....
that is, if you could call whatever it is that strings the scenes together in this movie as a plot.
341 2.9 047. Battlefield Earth (2000)
Probably the only movie that I ever sat thru where upon the diasterous feeling that resulted from watching it, along with the diaster that the movie itself is, overwhelmed the story of diaster that the movie was supposed to depict.
I may have survived watching this movie,
but the sane aspect of my mind & every part of my soul have been permanently scarred.
A diaster flick in every sense that is possible to imagine.
I genuinely wanted to die during this movie.
Now, for the sake of the theme of this list,
I would try to somehow explain the plot of this flick, but I don't think I'm qualified to do so...
Mostly b'cuz I failed Scientology back when I was in high school. I was always better at things like gym an' stuff.
84 3.1 048. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
1699 5.2 5.549. AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
Take two landmark alien franchises from the 80's, mash 'em up together with a bad story but cool looking graphics, acronymize the title into 3 letters,
& then that's it.
And so is this list.
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
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