Tag Archives: alien

Alien Nation (1988) | Graham Baker



Set in the near future of 1991, it’s been three years since the landing of an actual flying saucer landed on Earth, containing a species of aliens (dubbed “Newcomers”) who had been genetically engineered as slave laborers.  The Newcomers are smarter and physically stronger than their human counterparts, which makes them more suitable to perform certain jobs, and the backlash against them from the human population is escalating daily.  In this environment, Detective Sergeant Matt Sykes (James Caan) has his partner killed by one of the alien “slags”, making it his mission to take down the ones responsible.  He voluntarily requests to be partnered with the first Newcomer police detective, Sam Francisco (Mandy Patinkin) – Sykes calls him “George” instead, and while they haven’t been specifically assigned the homicide case, Sykes won’t stay off of it, employing Sam’s help as needed in order to get to the bottom of the underworld slag crime syndicate. Directed by Graham Baker from a script by Rockne S. O’Bannon and an uncredited James Cameron.


Stranded (1987) | Tex Fuller



In the story, five escaped alien refugees come to Earth like a bolt of lightning and find themselves in a remote North Carolina Victorian-style farmhouse inhabited by a newly-orphaned teenage girl Deirdre Clark (Ione Skye) and her grandmother Grace (Maureen O’Sullivan). Suspicions are high, resulting in the aliens taking casualties in a gunfight with the local yokels. They just want to be left alone and leave peacefully. But police are surrounding the house, just barely able to contain the gin-toting locals out for revenge for these aliens killing one of their own. Joe Morton and Flea also appear.


The Brother from Another Planet (1984) | John Sayles



A mute extraterrestrial resembling a black man (but with feet that have three toes) crash lands his spaceship near New York City. Not understanding where he is or what people are saying, he finds his way to Harlem’s 125th Street. Although derided as either crazy or homeless, others discover his worth when he can heal broken electronics and human injuries with a single touch. A concerned social worker helps him get a job as a repairman. Hobnobbing with patrons at a local bar, the Brother finds a dangerous world outside of junkies, thieves, and thugs. Bounty hunters from his homeworld are after him. After discovering a boy’s heroin overdose, he uncovers a Wall Street drug ring. Joe Morton stars in this John Sayles film.


Starman (1984) | John Carpenter



An alien race intercepts Voyager II, a space probe describing Earth, effectively inviting aliens to visit. These aliens take Earth up on the offer, sending a scout pod to see what we’re up to. American fighter jets greet it and the alien scout crashlands up in the American backwoods in Wisconsin. Using DNA found in the hair in recent widow Jenny Hayden’s photo album, he transforms himself into the likeness of Jenny’s dead husband, a house painter named Scott (Jeff Bridges). Now, not-Scott must get to a rendezvous point at Meteor Crater, Arizona to get back to the mothership before he dies, but SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) and the FBI want him to experiment on.  The alien has no choice but to kidnap Jenny (Karen Allen) to assist him.  John Carpenter directs.


E.T. the Extraterrestrial (1982) | Steven Spielberg



E.T.: The Extraterrestrial starts in a forest outside a California suburb. An alien spacecraft lands, and several extraterrestrials emerge, gathering flora samples.  Suspicious humans arrive, the aliens escape, leaving one behind.  He hides in a backyard shed, discovered by a 10-year-old boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas). Startled and scared, Elliott hides the alien, whom he dubs “E.T.,” in his room, and they become friends. E.T. determines to find his way back to his world by gathering the materials necessary to build a transmitter and “phone home” for his kin to come back and get him, as he appears to be growing weaker the longer he remains on Earth.  However, Earth’s scientists aren’t going to let such an extraordinary creature get away quickly. STeven Spielberg directs. Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, and Peter Coyote also appear.


Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) | Steven Spielberg



Richard Dreyfuss stars as Muncie, Indiana electricity lineman, Roy Neary, one of many people in the world to experience a close encounter with a UFO.  Others experiencing the phenomenon exhibit the same odd behavior — radiation burns and an obsession with a mountainous shape. Roy’s obsession strains his relationship with his family, who think he is mentally ill. The eyewitnesses are compelled to converge at a location where the US military also plans for a close encounter of the third kind. Francois Truffaut, Teri Garr, Cary Guffey, and Melinda Dillon also appear in this influential film written and directed by Steven Spielberg.


The Abyss (1989) | James Cameron



Virgil ‘Bud’ Brigman (Ed Harris) is the lead foreman of Deepcore, an underwater oil drilling rig 2,000-feet deep. Deepcore receives word of a downed US Navy nuclear submarine in the area near the Cayman Trough. As Russian subs are close by, foul play is suspected. The crew must escort Bud’s soon-to-be ex-wife Lindsay (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), the project engineer for Deepcore, and a crew of Navy SEALs for a rescue mission.  A hurricane cuts communication outside, effectively leaving Navy SEAL Lieutenant Coffey (Michael Biehn) in command. Psychosis from pressurization makes Coffey unstable and paranoid, viewing the various neon-colored NTIs (Non-Terrestrial Intelligence) in a nearby abyss as enemy Russian vessels that must be destroyed. James Cameron writes and directs.


Real Men (1987) | Dennis Feldman



James Belushi stars as Nick Pirandello, a crude smart-ass that just so happens to be one of the country’s top CIA agents, who is ordered to recruit a mild-mannered suburban insurance salesman father, Bob Wilson (John Ritter), a lookalike for a recently iced agent, to join him on a secret mission that may have interplanetary implications that may result in the end of the world as we know it. But Bob is such a sweet-natured man, he needs a crash course in toughening up to the task, which Nick must do in order to achieve the mission’s success.  Meanwhile, Bob thinks Nick is off his rocker, particularly when he begins talking like the case involves aliens from outer space. Dennis Feldman writes and directs this zany off-the-wall buddy comedy.


Predator (1987) | John McTiernan



Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Major “Dutch” Schaeffer, who, along with his crew of elite special ops commandos, is sent to the jungle of a hostile Latin American country on a covert hostage rescue mission.  However, he soon finds out there’s more to the mission than he had originally been told by his old friend, Major George Dillon (Weathers), leaving them in a firefight with other military factions in a country they aren’t supposed to be in.  Worse, they discover that some of the soldiers in the area have been killed in a most disturbing manner, skinned, disemboweled, and left for vultures to feast on.  And worst of all, Dutch’s crew appear to be the next on the prey list. John McTiernan direct this classic action/adventure/sci-fi/horror/war hybrid.


Alien (1979) | Ridley Scott



The story begins in the year 2122, onboard the commercial towing vessel, the Nostromo. Its mostly blue-collar crew, five men and two women, are awakened prematurely while still in deep space from their cryogenic slumber en route back to Earth.  The reason for their early disturbance has to do with the company’s policy to investigate potential alien life forms, so when what appears to be an SOS signal is being transmitted from a moon in their relative vicinity, their overriding primary mission is changed to checking out the situation.  Upon landing on the desolate planet, the scientists discover what appears to be eggs containing another form of life, one of which hatches and latches itself to one of the crew.  Unable to remove the creature, it is brought back on board the Nostromo, where it grows at a rapid pace to become one of the deadliest killing machines humankind has ever faced. Alien would make a star out of Sigourney Weaver, and Ridley Scott one f the most sought-after directors in Hollywood.


Lifeforce (1985) | Tobe Hooper



In Cannon Films’ Lifeforce, we find a space shuttle mission co-funded by American and British space agencies traveling to explore Halley’s Comet up close. They soon make a discovery of an alien ship hiding in the comet’s coma, so they go on board to investigate, only to find desiccated bat-like creatures and three naked humanoid beings, a woman and two men, seemingly in a perpetual state of sleep in their individual glass sarcophagus-like pods. They bring the pods aboard to bring to study, but things go awry in ways that we don’t quite learn about until the pods are brought down to the European Space Research Centre in London. The shuttle mission’s sole human survivor, Colonel Tom Carlsen (Steve Railsback) also makes his way to Earth to spin a crazy tale, and to help with the mission to track down the space vampires trying to make their escape and wreak havoc on an unsuspecting planet. Tobe Hooper directs this big-budget oddity from 1985.