Posted in Monday Mayhem

Alien Invasion: Shifters

The best aliens are the ones we don’t know who they are. Does anyone remember The X-Files? Remember how this grand conspiracy swept the show, yet the audience didn’t have a clue as to what was going on? We know, but we don’t know. We think we have it figured out, but it changes. Maybe.

The X-Files' Scully and Mulder
The X-Files’ Scully and Mulder

Monday Mayhem has always been about zombies and aliens. From the beginning, I outlined the focus right from the first few posts. There is a plan at work here. Have you figure it out yet?

All right, as I’d mentioned, the best aliens are the ones who we haven’t a clue who they are, what they want, and their motives for doing what they do. Let’s talk about The Thing. A story that scares the sweet nothings out of me, the 1982 film introduces us to an alien that changes forms as it kills its prey. To make this real, imagine your best friend suddenly behaving strangely, turning into someone you no longer recognize. Apart from the fact that in real life we do have friends like that, my tongue is firmly planted in cheek as I write this, it would be a devastating thing to live through.

Those aliens who take our form are far worse to fight than those who you see coming.

Another example is the symbiont alien that affects Peter Parker in the 2007 movie Spider-Man 3. Amplifying Peter’s negative attitudes, the alien changes him into someone who is an exact opposite of who he is. Again, this is a far worse enemy than those detestable aliens from Independence Day. Because we can’t see their real form, we have our imaginations to rely on, pondering what happened to our friends in the interim.

It doesn’t end there. The 1956 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers is one of the scariest movies to watch on a cold Friday night. It presents as its stage a small town overrun by alien duplicates of its citizens—another opportunity for aliens to show their ingenious and devilish ways when assimilating a nation. What makes this story unique is its reference to communism, but I won’t get into that.

The last, but best of all examples of aliens attempt at taking over the world in human form is the TV miniseries V. The gist of the story goes like this: alien ships appear in the sky and by all accounts, they come in peace, wanting to share their technology with humans and their advancements. Little does anyone know that beneath their skin lies a monster so incredible that I can’t bear to spoil the story for you. You’ll just have to watch it to find out what I mean. This is must viewing for alien aficionados.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if shape-shifting aliens do exist? The world would make a whole lot more sense given how people change once they receive money and power. I won’t use example here, but I’m sure you can come up with your own.


What do you think? Are we living in a world already filled with aliens impersonating humans?

Posted in Freedom Friday

Friday Tradition

Weekends are for movies. Friday nights are for science fiction or retro. I’m not sure what I’m watching tonight, but whatever it is, I’m sure it will be perfect. Last weekend I watched The King of Comedy with Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis, a Martin Scorsese film about an obsessed comic who goes too far with wanting to be on TV. Not science fiction, the 80’s movie was nothing short of clean fun.

Space war
Space war

The other day I watched Mars Attacks! with pretty much everyone who was anyone in Hollywood in 1996 starring in the flick. This proved to be another hilarious romp, but this time it was science fiction.

I’m not sure when this tradition started. All I remember is how Friday nights became The X-Files night and once the show had moved to Sundays, I had a massive void to fill. Incidentally, one of the first movies I watched for a Friday night was Mars Attacks! and it became a type of template for what I wanted out of the evening.

All the Men in Black movies became a Friday night staple at my home, too. They deliver on fun with a twist of science fiction. The wonderful thing I like most about the movies is their consistent 50’s theme while set in the 90’s and 2000’s. For instance, the flying saucers, which everyone knows is nothing more than a throwback to the old sci-fi flicks that hit the drive-ins in small towns across America during the cold war, make a valiant appearance.

Flying saucer
Flying saucer

Part of my Friday night viewing pleasure is retro viewing. I’m talking about watching one of those 80’s action flicks with plenty of cheesy lines, and a thousand explosions that would cause serious sonic damage to the structural integrity of my house’s foundation. We’re talking Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger damage here. I’m a sucker for those movies. Anything but the movie Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot will work here. If it’s Predator, I’ve seen it a gazillion times. If it’s any of the Rambo movies, I’ve seen them another gazillion times. Nothing quite beats a muscleman hero with a smart-alecky attitude to get my testosterone pumping full throttle. These movies never cease to entertain me on a Friday night.

Lastly, I do hold a special place for those one-offs where no other night will do to watch the movie other than a Friday night. I’m talking about real bad movies. The kind of movie that would embarrass your mother if she were watching it with you. The kind of movie that would cause someone to have the desire to walk across a busy freeway. The kind of movie that would make someone wish a train would derail and crash into the house to bring them sweet relief. Can I get away with one more bad movie joke? The kind of movie that would cause you to say, “drop your gun, I’m Superman,” knowing full well the robber will shoot to prove you wrong. Somehow, these movies make for a fun start to great weekend.

I hope you enjoyed this Freedom Friday post. What a treat to go back to the days when habit became tradition and I now have something to look forward to every week.


What do you watch during movie night? If you have more than one movie night, what kind of themes do you have?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombies, Aliens & Vampires

Jack Flacco is proud to announce RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, the second book in the Ranger Martin series, will publish on October 21.

Men in Black is one of my most favorite Friday night fall movies. The other film I love, which has a similar theme is Mars Attacks. Yes, both are alien movies, and yes, both have a not-so-serious plot devoted to conspiracy. When these movies came out back in the late 90’s, The X-Files had a huge following. Talk about conspiracy theory. The X-Files took all that we knew back then about alien invasion and turned it on its head. Who can forget the tag line The truth is out there?


For today’s edition of Monday Mayhem, I would like to examine interesting fads that have taken over the media. In particular, I would like to look at the alien, vampire, and zombie fads of yesteryear and today. In the past, I’ve detailed how vampires and zombies throughout time have played a game of one-upmanship. Sometimes vampires are on top, and sometimes zombies. Today, zombies rule.

Where do aliens fit in all this?

The X-Files
The X-Files

As I’d mentioned, in its heyday The X-Files had garnered a massive following. Everyone wanted to know how the aliens fit in the whole humanity vs. alien universe. The show’s creator Chris Carter had a perfect formula where he’d trickle just enough information to the audience to keep them coming back for more. The X-Files had also some of the most interesting episodes on television for the time. I can never forget the episode where a cockroach appears to crawl on the screen. I screamed thinking the roach had somehow invaded my home. Through the wizardry of modern television effects, I became a sucker for the producers’ quaint, but hilarious practical joke.

Vampires didn’t become fashionable until the movie Twilight came out. I should rephrase that. Vampires didn’t become part of pop culture until the advent of Stephenie Meyer’s literary anvil hit the scene. Anne Rice, of course, influenced the genre years earlier with her book Interview with the Vampire, but teenage girls with Edward on their mind had more than blood coursing through their veins.

As with all fads, once Breaking Dawn’s star came and went zombies took over the reign as the pop culture phenomenon. With The Walking Dead in full swing and World War Z about to become a movie, is it a wonder zombies turned hot. Campuses across America played host to zombie runs while Halloween transformed from vampires only clubs to zombie apocalypse nightmares.

As for the aliens? They’re there. Listening and waiting until their time comes again. Only time will tell what pop culture has in mind once the reign of the zombies ends.


What other movies have an alien theme associated with the zombie genre? What do you think of The Night of the Living Dead?