alienripoffThere’s no point in going into detail about just how great Alien was, and still is in the eyes of horror and sci-fi fans alike. With it’s stylistic direction, the feeling of loneliness in space, and the fear of the “perfect” being stalking it’s prey; it’s still pretty damn scary in it’s own right. But of course, among Alien‘s perfect and dynamic cast [Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, and Ian Holm – just to name a few] giving life to the script, it was none other than the late artist H.R. Giger, and his animal-humanoid monsters: the Xenomorph who gave Alien that edge: their design and their dripping world that the species calls home really struck a chord with audiences in the early 1980s.

After it’s release, Alien was a huge international success and would spawn three official sequels, a prequel [Prometheus], a sequel to the prequel [the upcoming Alien: Covenant], a ton of video game spinoffs, a comic book series, and even some double franchise features [see Alien Vs. Predator] It’s influence is literally everywhere and its reputation as one of the greatest dark fantasy movies ever made is well-earned and deserved! Of course, with great success comes rip-offs: exploiting what was selling well in Hollywood, and making their own “versions”; hoping to make some extra money off the unsuspecting movie-goer who accidentally walked into the wrong theater. Oh yes, there was many of these shameless Alien rip-offs running free in the ’80s, they were tasteless, strange, and most of all: cheesy.
Naturally, being a huge fan of the original Alien film[s], I took my cue from these copycats [some of which are on Netflix!] and have complied my top 05 Alien rip-off films, complete with their plot! Can you tell why these were considered Alien rip-offs? : ENJOY!

“A former astronaut helps a government agent track the source of mysterious alien pod spores, filled with flesh-dissolving acid, to a South American coffee plantation controlled by alien pod clones.”
Fun Fact: this movie was sold as “Alien: Contamination” in the USA as a way to try and sell as part of the Ridley films!

“In the distant future, a federation marshal arrives at a research lab on a remote planet where a genetic experiment has gotten lose and begins feeding on the dwindling scientific group.”
You can’t tell me that the “mutant” in the poster isn’t a Xenomorph..

“A crew of scientists arrives on a far, cold planet to examine archaic artifacts of unknown origin. They discover that their German enemies already have a ship there. When they seek their help after a failed landing, they only find the Germans’ bodies, obviously slaughtered by one of the creatures. Now the alien is after them.”
Sound familiar? I swear I’ve seen this one before, maybe on late night television..

“A spacecraft travels to a distant planet to rescue the crew of another spaceship that crashed, but their own craft, damaged in the landing, needs repair. While one by one, rescue team members are killed in weird situations materialized from their own fears by an ancient alien pyramid.”
The movie’s poster even mentions Alien! Also, Robert Englund is in this film!

“Two campers in the New Jersey woods have their outdoor fun interrupted by the arrival of a meteorite crashing nearby. They go to investigate the crater, but are suddenly attacked and devoured by alien parasites who have hitched a ride to Earth.”
The aliens in The Deadly Spawn look like the Xenomorph‘s cousin or something..

As you can see from the list above, there has been many rip-off Alien films, and they still continue to be released to this day! While the above films aren’t necessarily “good”, I wouldn’t put them in the “bad” category either; they’re just obscure. The Directors of these films were trying to cash in on what was relevant at the time, and for that; I understand. It’s kind of like those “The Haunting Of..” films you see at HMV. There’s a ton of those, but people like haunting films; so they keep coming out with more. Same plot, different person being possessed. You have to give the above movies credit, they’ve definitely become “cult classic” cinema! [Some are even approved by Roger Corman!]

Now I turn to you, do You like the Alien franchise? Are You excited for Alien: Covenant? Let me know in a comment below, and if you enjoyed this list; go and follow me over on my Facebook page! [we’re at over 150+ likes – let’s get to 200!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. So go follow over there too!

Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review coming the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

[wrong XENOMORPH..]


WEIRDO’WEEN #12: The Thing [1982]

weirdoween2015Can you imagine being trapped in the middle of Antarctica during a blizzard? [that’s like: colder than cold!] Even worse, can you imagine being trapped in Antarctica with your fellow workers in a facility; all while an alien creature has the ability to mimic your best friend, and you don’t know just what’s going on? That’s exactly what happens for Helicopter pilot J.R MacReady, who’s hellbent on finding out just what is going on around him..I mean, what can you do when you’re amongst an alien with the power to transform and take the appearance of anybody else is amongst them. Who is infected already, and who can be trusted? All those questions [and more] will be asked, in this edition of Weirdo’ween‘s movie: John Carpenter‘s The Thing.

weirdo'ween-#12The Thing takes place in the Antarctic in 1982, where it mainly focuses on a group of American scientists. We are given no introduction to their mission, but are thrust into their lives when a pair of [seemingly] crazy Norwegians appear out of nowhere at their base camp, chasing an escaped dog. The Norwegians are abruptly killed, and the dog finds its way into scientists’ base, which is when things really start to pick up. It soon becomes quite clear that this “dog” is actually a shape-shifting alien organism, which seems to take it upon itself to take the physical form of its victims! In other words, as it begins to eat the Americans, it also can imitate them so well, that the remaining humans cannot distinguish the difference between their friends and their new found enemies!

The pack of scientists, led by one J. R MacReady[played brilliantly by Kurt Russell] begin to fight for their own survival, using only their remaining wits.. Of course, many questions start arising: If this Thing is among them, then how are they supposed to go about revealing it? Is there only one? Or how many Things are there? How can this Thing be killed? [Can it even be destroyed at all?]

Thankfully, the creature’s origins in the film are explained easily: Thirty thousand years ago a spacecraft crash landed on Earth, and was encased in the Antarctic ice. While The Thing tried to escape, it was quickly discovered [in the ice] by the Norwegians, who unknowingly accidentally released it from its natural icy prison. What makes this movie so good is it makes you ask questions as you continue watching such as: “How am I supposed to stay alive if any, if not all, of the crew is infected?” The Thing is extremely smart and calculating, forcing each decision the few remaining survivors one step closer to killing off the entire group. It plans for this, it hopes for this: and sadly – things really could have gone from bad to worse really fast. MacReady takes control of the situation with a no-nonsense attitude, but over the course of the film, even he can see the reality of the unfortunate situation; that eventually – this thing might actually come out on top.

But the absolute best thing about this movie [besides everything] is the visual effects. The creature design of The Thing is one of those great design masterpieces that manage to feel so real, it feels almost out of place. Like I said before, we actually get to see an alien life form in the shape of a dog physically attach to a human being and try to steal its form; the same thing also becomes a disembodied head sprout legs and crawl around the research station like a spider! I mean, yes; it’s gross, gut wrenching and certainly disturbing but The Thing itself is unlike any alien you have ever seen in a movie before.. and for that, it deserves all the credit.

Another thing that makes this movie such a great film is that The Thing actually provides little to no answers, leaving us to seek them for ourselves. Naturally, this infuriated many audiences when it was first released.. Viewers wanted closure, answers, and a sense of victory over the “monster.” Instead, Carpenter gave us a look at the state of humanity in 1982, leaving us with more questions than answers: Who won? Who was still human? Did it even matter anymore? How do we know we aren’t already living in a world composed of “things?” In my opinion, this makes the movie better, though at the same time, it also makes the movie feel depressing. Even in the last shot of the film, when Childs and MacReady are seen taking swigs of a bottle of whiskey during a wide shot of the camp in flames fire after “it’s all over”; both men just sit among the burning wreckage.. waiting for the flames to die down the winter weather to ultimately consume them.. it makes us wonder: could either [if not both] of these two men be The Thing? It’s a question that is still being talked about to this day, and the movie is over 30 years old!

If you consider yourself a horror fan, then you have to have seen The Thing by now, and if you haven’t; get on it. Seriously. It’s scary, it’s dark, and it can be fairly depressing; especially when you come to the conclusion that the ending might just not be as happy as you would hope. But it’s a masterpiece in it’s own right. Though, be aware: it’s not strictly horror, since it could also be considered a sci-fi film as well, but it’s just so good; it definitely one of those movies that deserves it’s praise! [even if it was a flop when it first released!]

Another thing! If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow morning when I talk about weirdo’ween #13! STAY TUNED! [and with this post now written, we are officially caught up on weirdo’ween movie reviews, yay!]

because I know that you wanted to see the dog ‘transform’ ..