Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Christopher Nolan Says 'Interstellar' Is About "What It Means To Be A Dad”; Plus Check Out New Pics Christopher Nolan Says 'Interstellar' Is About "What It Means To Be A Dad”; Plus Check Out New Pics Paul Schrader, Nicolas Winding Refn & Nicolas Cage Campaign Against Their Film 'Dying Of The Light' Paul Schrader, Nicolas Winding Refn & Nicolas Cage Campaign Against Their Film 'Dying Of The Light' WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting Retrospective: The Films Of Paul Thomas Anderson Retrospective: The Films Of Paul Thomas Anderson WB Reveals Full DC Slate Through 2020, Including Two 'Justice League' Pics, 'Wonder Woman,' 'Green Lantern' & More WB Reveals Full DC Slate Through 2020, Including Two 'Justice League' Pics, 'Wonder Woman,' 'Green Lantern' & More Brad Bird Explains Why He Passed On Directing 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Brad Bird Explains Why He Passed On Directing 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Shia LaBeouf Cut His Own Face, Fought The Cast & Got A Tooth Pulled Making 'Fury' Shia LaBeouf Cut His Own Face, Fought The Cast & Got A Tooth Pulled Making 'Fury' Robert Downey Jr. To Join Chris Evans In ‘Captain America 3’ Which Will Help Launch A New Phase Of Marvel Robert Downey Jr. To Join Chris Evans In ‘Captain America 3’ Which Will Help Launch A New Phase Of Marvel BFI London Film Festival Review: Susanne Bier's Long-Delayed 'Serena' Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper BFI London Film Festival Review: Susanne Bier's Long-Delayed 'Serena' Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Oscar Buzz: Who's Going To Challenge For Best Actress This Year? Oscar Buzz: Who's Going To Challenge For Best Actress This Year? Robert Downey Jr. Says Superhero Films Are Becoming “Old" And Showing "Signs Of Fraying Around The Edges” Robert Downey Jr. Says Superhero Films Are Becoming “Old" And Showing "Signs Of Fraying Around The Edges” Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 6 ‘Devil You Know’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 6 ‘Devil You Know’ Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Space Invaders: 14 Aliens Attack Movies

The Playlist By The Playlist Staff | The Playlist March 10, 2011 at 5:39AM

While the genre never really goes away, once a decade or so the alien invasion picture suddenly hits the zeitgeist. It happened in the 1950s with the slew of B-movies, it happened in the 1990s as "The X-Files" captured the public's imagination, and for whatever reason (birthers? immigration concerns? a shortage of fake teeth for vampire movies?) it's happening again now.
12


While the genre never really goes away, once a decade or so the alien invasion picture suddenly hits the zeitgeist. It happened in the 1950s with the slew of B-movies, it happened in the 1990s as "The X-Files" captured the public's imagination, and for whatever reason (birthers? immigration concerns? a shortage of fake teeth for vampire movies?) it's happening again now.

Last November saw "Skyline" start to broach the subject in a big way, hot on the heels of the surprise hit "District 9," and the coming weeks and months sees Greg Mottola's comedy "Paul," Joe Cornish's much-buzzed-about "Attack the Block," the western hybrid "Cowboys & Aliens" and the Russian-set actioner "The Darkest Hour" hitting theaters. But first up, unfortunately, is "Battle: Los Angeles" which, as our review from yesterday will attest, is one of the more painful theatrical experiences in recent memory.

Fortunately, there's plenty of far superior pictures dealing with the same subject matter in a much more watchable manner, so we've delved into the archives to pick out a selection of seminal movies featuring alien aggressors that will make you feel something other than a fear of "Clash of the Titans 2" and concern for Aaron Eckhart's career.

The Blob" (1958)
There are twin invasions present in the 1958 "The Blob," and both signify a direct threat to the good townspeople -- both the amorphous alien menace and… the emergence of teenagers (led by Steve McQueen). Authorities don't believe the kids when they say that a blobby bit of galactic goo has started to eat people and grow in size. But then, of course, they figure it out too late (about the time it takes up an entire movie theater). "The Blob" is a quaint, easy-going drive-in movie that probably won't scare you today but is still likely to make you smile. It should also be noted that Frank Darabont and Chuck Russell crafted a sturdy remake in the late '80s that upped the gore quotient with elaborate special effects but retained the rebellious teens-versus-small town authority core that made the original so indelible. [B]

Independence Day" (1996)
Fiercely nationalistic, casually racist, and embarrassingly entertaining, Roland Emmerich’s “Independence Day” could be B-moviemaking at its silly best. An army of “that guys”--and some genuine stars like Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum--take on the invading hordes and (spoiler alert) win, as the whole world waits for America to save the day on the Fourth of July. It’s easy to be sarcastic about this bombastic, over-the-top blockbuster with a blush-inducing St. Crispin’s Day speech delivered by the president (Bill Pullman), but it’s far easier to just have fun and enjoy the effects-driven ride. But as much as the city-sized UFOs and telepathic aliens push the story toward its gleefully inevitable conclusion, Smith’s charm is what makes it all watchable over a decade later. [B]

This article is related to: Films, Feature, Battle: Los Angeles


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates