The decade of the 1980’s was a time of paranoia and displacement. With most worrying about nuclear meltdown and radioactive death, it was no wonder we looked to the stars for escape. Here is a list of some of the best alien films from that era:
10. Alien Nation (1998)
Los Angeles, 1991. Aliens live among us and look a bit like a race of Kojaks with measles. James Caan runs around with his giant shoulders being annoyed and xenophobic about being assigned an alien partner only to then learn to love him and see that he is still a person, albeit an alien one who looks like a spotty cock. The biggest mystery of the film is perhaps why they only thought to base it a mere three years in the future?
9. Mac & Me (1988)
OK, so a small boy in a wheelchair befriends an alien who likes McDonalds. What is so wrong with that?? This is the film E.T. could have been had Spielberg been a bit brave and sold out to McDonalds. Also it should be noted, whilst E.T. causes a boy to fly with joy, Mac (Named after a Big Mac) indirectly causes a small boy to attempt suicide. That’s my kind of alien. Mainly in this list because it was so hilariously shit.
8. Critters (1986)
A load of evil Hedgehogs come down from space and attack a small farm. Sound shit to you? Well, guess what? It rocks! Much like Gremlins before it, it has tongue firmly in cheek and isn’t afraid to laugh at itself.
7. They Live (1988)
One of the last good John Carpenter films. Aliens are living among us and, they sure is ugly. However, if you wear special sunglasses, you can see them and, best of all, insult and then kill them. WWF wrestler Roddy Piper has come to chew bubblegum, and kick ass, and he’s all out of bubble gum.
This film also has one of the longest and most futile fight scenes ever.
6. The Last Starfighter (1984)
Alex is really good at a starfighter game. Turns out it isn’t a game, no, it is a test to find the best pilot there is and Alex IS the best pilot in the galaxy. He is then recruited by the good guys in space to save the galaxy. The equivalent of being really good at Songstar and Simon Cowell coming round and taking you on tour. A classic and one of the first films to utilise CGI.
5. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Although not as good as Mac, E.T. was certainly a big alien from the 80’s. He could get drunk, make his finger light up and make a bike fly. A modern classic that in years to come will be thought of as fondly as It’s a Wonderful Life is now. Also, I defy anyone to watch it through to the end and not have a little lump in their pant…I mean throat.
4. The Abyss (1989)
This is the film that started James Cameron’s obsession with being underwater. It is also the pilot for the T-1000 effects later used in T2. Michael Biehn is awesome as usual as the mad Navy Seal. Life underwater has never looked so scary.
3. Bad Taste (1987)
Before there was Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson was running around making this slice of total genius. I challenge anyone to make a better film on their own time and money. Where as most people’s first films are character pieces and emotional art films, Peter Jackson had blood, brains and aliens eating their own puke. A total and utter fucking master piece.
2. The Thing (1982)
Man is the safest place to hide. John Carpenter creates a world of total isolation and paranoia. The effects by Rob Bottin still stand out as amazing and something CGI will never be able to top.
1. Aliens (1986)
The grand daddy of Alien films. Where as Alien had the haunted house in space feel, Aliens had all of that but with added marines as lambs to the slaughter. Not just any marines though, but Marines with real charm and character that you really care about. It even had a kid in it that isn’t *that* annoying, which is a real achievement. James Cameron did one hell of a job with this film and filled it with highly memorable scenes, set pieces, lines and images. A real barnstormer, mostly.
Originally posted 2013-05-22 14:04:19. Republished by Blog Post Promoter