So, with the desire to write and use this new blog more, I’ve decided that I’m going to start doing the occasional list. Hopefully, over time, this will become a weekly feature, but for now it’ll be when I find time (and a topic).
First up: Top 5 (and Honorable mention) favorite Aliens (film)
Fair warning: this list excludes all Star Wars, Star Trek, comics and Kaiju, as then the post would never end. I had to limit myself somehow.
Honorable Mention: Aliens from Signs
I remember liking Signs when I saw it. I remember seeing it in theaters, and I own it on DVD (probably because it came out while I worked at Blockbuster, and I bought a lot of movies while working there), but it’s not a film I rewatch a lot. But Signs does have something going for it, and that is one of the few films that not only freaked me out while watching it, but has stuck with me after all these years. The scene in question is where the screen shot is from: Merrill Hess (Joaquin Phoenix) is watching a clip on TV of an alien caught on tape at a birthday party in Mexico. The alien stepping out of the bush and crossing the screen is very similar to the infamous Patterson Bigfoot footage. It not only startled me out of my seat, it became ingrained in my brain almost. On the way into the town in which I live in, there is a length of road that has swamp on either side of it, and during the summer has growth very similar to what the alien steps out of. And for a period of time after seeing Signs, I was unable to drive into town going that route because I would freak out.
5. Aliens from Mars Attacks!
Mars Attacks! is one of the first firms I remember seeing a trailer for and having a sense of excitement for. Not that I hadn’t been excited for movies before then, but in ’96 I was 14 and really beginning my love of cinema. I remember getting anything related to the movie, including issues of magazines and the novelization. It’s also one of the first movies I remember seeing on my own. Is it a great movie? It all depends on who you ask. I myself love it; it has a great ensemble cast, and is just fun to watch.
Predator is quintessential viewing of ’80s action/horror. I rewatched it recently, and it holds up so well. What starts off as an almost generic action film with a team of commandos going into the jungle for a rescue mission quickly turns into a slasher film, as the Predator alien starts picking off the commandos one by one. It’s also a movie that the wife and I quote a lot. (It’s been more than a decade since I’ve seen Predator 2, and I haven’t seen Predators or either of the AvP films since theatrical run.)
I’m going to be completely honest: I really wasn’t into science fiction growing up (I’ve learned I missed out on a lot of great cinema, and have started rectifying this mistake.) Minus the two AvP films, I hadn’t seen a film in the Alien franchise until I blind bought the Quadrilogy on Blu-ray back in 2014. That set turned me into a fan of the franchise, and is one of my all-time favorite sets. The behind the scenes documentaries are just as good as the movies themselves (and for some people, probably even better when you’re talking about Alien3 and Resurrection). As with Predator, Alien is straight up a slasher film, just with an alien as the killer and not a masked villain. Ripley is one of the greatest action heroes of cinema. Aliens takes the action film formula, throws it into space, and magnifies it to 11.
2. Pizza Planet Aliens (AKA Little Green Men)
Aliens and dinosaurs are two things kid/teen/adult Jason consider part of his favorite things. When these little green guys showed up in a movie that was blowing away the mind of 13 year old Jason, he had favorite characters. The Toy Story franchise is my favorite of the Pixar library, and even though they’re more cameo characters than anything, these little guys are still the best. Be it being mesmerized by “The Claw” or saving the day, it’s hard not to love them. (I remember reacting in horror just as Woody and Buzz did when Sid throws one to Skud in Toy Story.)
1. Stitch (AKA Experiment 626)
Lilo & Stitch is one of my favorite Disney films, as it is my wife’s (it taking place in Hawaii is a big part of her love for it). An alien created for chaos who finds his Ohana after crashing on Earth. Also, the marketing campaign for the first film was brilliant, with Stitch landing in classic Disney movie scenes, and the tag line “There’s one in every family.” The scene where Stitch tells Nani that “Ohana means family, and family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” makes me misty-eyed just thinking about it.