Welcome back to Monday Mayhem where I talk about Armageddon at a grand scale—even though I might embellish as I go along. If you would like to view the rest of the Monday Mayhem posts in the series, you can click on the Monday Mayhem link at the top of this post.
With that out of the way, let’s talk aliens. Strange topic considering most of my posts I’d written have been about zombies. But aliens come a close second when dealing with the end-of-days, post-apocalyptic nightmare. How many alien movies has Hollywood produced where the creatures have beamed to Earth with the intention of taking over the world? Every summer there’s another one of these movies stomping the theaters. The Avengers was the latest that’d come out this summer.
Let’s look at some of the best alien invasion movies to hit the box office—their creatures and their attitude toward the human race. I always enjoy a good alien romp, so this is a great refresher for me. This post also serves as a sounding board to express my love for the genre.
Who can deny the success of the movie Independence Day? Will Smith starred as a pilot who took it upon himself to defeat the alien invasion. How cool is that? As with the majority of all alien movies, the invasion took place with massive ships hovering over the cities of our beautiful, blue marble. As in the movie Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace stated:
“A communications disruption could mean only one thing: invasion.”
The eventual purpose of their visit became clear. They wanted to deal destruction to the main hubs thereby maximizing the death toll. Clever. We should have known. Although their ships were huge, these aliens were not very smart. The heart of their ships gave away their weakness and led to their eventual destruction.
The aliens in the movie War of the Worlds never showed their face. Their ships however trampled all over Earth, spraying a death beam across the land, devouring everything in their path. Shaped as tripods, the government had thought the ships as impregnable. No matter what the army did, the aliens won every battle, obliterating tanks in the wake of its destruction. Then, when all hope was lost and it seemed as if the aliens had won the war, a common virus took hold, annihilating them. Both the 1953 and 2005 versions are worth noting since they differ in story.
M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs had a unique feel for an alien invasion movie. Much of what transpired with the takeover came via news reports and eyewitness accounts. The audience didn’t see the aliens until the end of the movie. A sad strategy for some moviegoers, but for the rest of us, we enjoyed the unfolding. There’s something to say about a movie when the audience lacks the visuals only to rely on their imagination to get scared. Alfred Hitchock did it all the time. Remember Psycho?
Mars Attacks!, in particular, flips the genre upside down. Director Tim Burton takes what other movies have minimized, and exploits the absurd to ridiculous levels. For instance, when the aliens land, and we humans, being who we are, welcome them with open arms—they do nothing but pull ray guns at us, frying us where we stand. It’s fun watching the all-star cast take hit after hit in the most creative way. The audience wonders who will die next.
Barry Sonnenfeld’s Men in Black’s invasion aspect is different. The aliens had already arrived and live among us. A division of black-clad men within the government controls the flow of aliens on earth. With the unfortunate news that an invasion is imminent, or at least the destruction of Earth, the Men in Black race to thwart the impending doom. The comedic aspect of the movie comes in the form of goo-laden scenes where aliens explode at every turn.
Did I miss any? I know I have. Can you tell me what they are? Do you enjoy alien invasion movies? What are some of the things you like about them? I’d love to hear from you.