This weekend saw aliens attempting to destroy the earth in the Wachowski siblings new movie, Jupiter Ascending. Fans were not very interested in the film, as it finished at only third place for its opening weekend at $19 million. It is a continued struggle for the Wachowski siblings since their breakout movie, The Matrix, as Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas failed to make a dent in the box office as well.
With that in mind, while Jupiter Ascending failed to impress, there are still a ton of fantastic alien invasion movies for fans of all tastes. Here is a look at some of the best alien invasion movies, as recommended by the staff of Renegade Cinema.
Caliber Winfield: Along with Die Hard, John McTiernan released two of the greatest popcorn films within a year of each other. I mean, who on EARTH wouldn’t be sold on “1980s, Schwarzenegger vs an alien?” Beyond Arnold, the greatest action hero of all time, you have an all star cast of burly, creating some of the coolest characters ever. I mean, c’mon, Blaine! He chews tobacco, hardcore leaf style, too, says it turns him into a sexual t-rex, and calls you a faggot, a slack-jawed faggot, at that, if you don’t partake. On top of that, he had the greatest gun in movie history. What more could you want? What’s that? One of the coolest creatures of all time, created by Stan Winston? You got it. Fantastic action? A simple & witty script? You got it. Seriously, I could talk about this film all day. I also tout it as the manliest film of all time. You heard it here first, baby.
Derek Ciapala: To this day, the movie still fascinates me. I can’t help but tune in whenever it’s on television. Of course, I loved any Schwarzenegger movie back then, but watching Arnold go one-on-one with a predator. Thrilling. Absolutely thrilling.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Bethany Lewis: I love the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers for many reasons. The top three include Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, and Leonard Nimoy. But I really love it for how atmospheric, kooky, and out there it is. I love the slow burn of the invasion and the uncertainty regarding who has and hasn’t been snatched. I love how smart the movie is, and how smart its characters are. While its a movie that anyone can enjoy, its also a movie that takes pleasure in its own intellectuality and symbolism.
Edge of Tomorrow
Derek Johns: Even with the terrible title, this was easily one of my favorite films of last year. What could have been just Groundhog Day with aliens surprisingly ended up being pretty clever and original.
There’s also Tom Cruise playing against his usual type by starting out as a self-serving coward rather than the bad-ass action hero we usually see him as. Then of course there’s the always lovely Emily Blunt giving arguably the most underrated performance of her career.
Caleb Masters: My pick is undoubtedly the product of timing and nostalgia, but I can’t deny that I love it. An invasion movie that I always find myself going back to is “The Faculty” which is essentially a re-imagining of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” set in a small town suburban high school.
It’s one of Robert Rodriguez’s more underrated films featuring a very young Elijah Wood, Josh Hartnett, and Jordana Brewster. It’s the classic game of cat and mouse between our non-infested group of teens and the rest of the high school. I saw this move right before I entered high school and it was movie featuring outcasts vs jocks at just the right time. It may be cheesy and far from perfect, but I think it’s the classic example of a cult hit featuring aliens. Did I mention that the T-1000(Robert Patrick) plays the supposed overlord football coach?
Independence Day / Mars Attacks
Sandi Davis: I can’t help it, I have two favorite alien invasion movies. They are extremely different but equally engaging. “Independence Day” has everything you want in an invasion movie: Heroic actors, brave but spunky women and really nasty aliens who will overrun Earth, strip mine it, kill the humans and leave. The odd combination of Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum actually works, and Randy Quaid is perfect as the comic relief. My tying alien invation movie is “Mars Attacks.” How can you not love aliens who talk like they are breathing helium, take childish glee in killing people and send a spy to the White House with their hilarious vision of Marilyn Monroe? Jack NIcholson is brilliant in several roles in a star-studded cast. The crowning touch however is the yodeling tones of Slim Whitman.
Shawn S. Lealos: So, what is John Carpenter’s best movie? Is it The Thing? Maybe – and it is an alien invasion movie disguised as a monster horror movie. Is it Halloween? Probably, since that is one of the best horror movies of all time. However, for my money, I will watch They Live any day of the week over the rest of his films.
Is it his best movie? No, probably not, but it might be his most fun. It stars Rowdy Roddy Piper while he was at the height of his professional wrestling career. He stars as a man who finds a pair of sunglasses that allows him to see that aliens have not only invaded the earth, but have pretty much taken over. His glasses lets him see the aliens in their actual forms.
This movie basically the aftermath of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and shows one man on a battle to expose the aliens to the rest of the planet. It also features great lines (I came here to chew bubble gum and kick ass and I just ran out of gum) and one of the longest fight scenes in film history that was later replicated for an episode of South Park. This movie has it all and anyone who loves fun movies should seek it out.
Sebastian Howard: There is a lot of alien invasion movies, but pretty much all of them suck. Aliens is terrible, and doesn’t have shit on the original. Mars Attacks had a great premise but just ended up purely retarded. Independence Day has become horribly dated, and without the super CGI bullshit, all the flaws in the plot are glaring. And a lot of the older, classic alien invasion movies are too damn old to resonate, or even be interesting to modern audiences. Luckily, there’s still the damn best alien invasion movie of all time, Predator 2.
Now a lot of people hate on Predator 2, but honestly, I think that’s closer to the idea that Shawn had for the alien invasion idea. Predator is just one alien dicking around in a forest in the middle of nowhere… not really that big of an invasion. However, Predator 2 is THE perfect Alien invasion movie. The Predator is in the big city babyyyyyy!!!!! He’s killing cops and Jamaican criminals in LA, in fucking brutal ways. The movie’s premise really carries it on its own, and yeah they probably should’ve gotten someone else to fight a giant muscular alien who could take on Arnold, but Danny Glover is really good in the role. He’s pissed off, he wants to get to the bottom of things, and is a more realistic “loose cannon” cliche’ than say, Steven Seagal in Exit Wounds. And its not like they have Glover pulling a Commando, and beating Predator with his muscle, and through sheer will. He has to use his smarts, what he’s picked up about the Predator, and weapons. Its not overly realistic, but the movie does a good job of making it seem realistic at the same time.
The characters are also a lot more fleshed out in Predator 2 than in the first one. In the first movie you had these stereotypical 80s action heroes, which while great in a tongue in cheek way, and even when the action wants to get serious… still leaves a lot lacking substance, and character wise. Also, it has that super douchey awesome guy from Aliens in the movie, y’know the one who yells, “GAME OVER MAN!!!”? He’s pretty great in this movie as the annoying, but likable, rookie cop. They could’ve easily fucked up the role by putting someone in there who’s just purely obnoxious, but the rookie cop actually comes across as charming, goofy, and ready to learn from his mistakes. However, Gary Busey is the shit in this movie. He comes across as so damn evil, and cut-throat… but then SWERVE it turns out he was trying to kill the alien the whole time. Of course, his whole team fucks up, because he somehow didn’t think out that the Predator could change the vision on his mask, which was pretty damn retarded.
The real reason this is the better Invasion movie, without actually being the better movie is because of all the cool ass scenes of the Predator fucking up LA in the early 90s. Watching this movie on TV really doesn’t do it justice because the deaths are fucking brutal. And the whole premise of Predator fucking around in LA, and killing people is gold in itself. I don’t understand how Caliber doesn’t like this movie, but does like Jason Takes Manhattan. At least the Predator is actually in LA for the whole movie, and not on a goddamn boat! Some of the imagery and the atmosphere is really well done here also, when that Jamaican future drug doing douche is by himself in a dark alley, Predator just starts slowly approaching him, and its so damn cool. I kind of wish they would’ve had more scenes like that in the movie, because Predator sneaking up on people during the middle of the night is a really great idea.
The best part of the movie though is the end were Glover’s in the spaceship, and he’s killed the Predator. Like, ten more Predator’s come, and Glover’s just like, “Ah, shit,” and then they give him some lame assed old pistol that probably doesn’t work anymore, and let him get off the ship. The cool part though is that YOU CAN SEE A MOTHERFUCKING ALIEN SKULL IN THE SHIP!!!! I thought that was so fucking cool when I first saw it, and whenever I see this movie that always sticks out to me… which is kind of weird because no one ever mentions it. LITERALLY THE FUCKING ALIEN FROM ALIEN, ITS FUCKING SKULL IS IN THE SHIP!!!! There’s also a Dinosaur skull right next to it too, which is super rad sauce.
The closest they’ve really come to making a movie similar in story to this, is Alien vs Predator 2, and that one wasn’t so great… The main character was a little bitch, there was only one Predator for absolutely no reason, and the whole movie is completely dated in that weird late 2000’s movie category. What I do think is cool though, is Batman vs Predator the comic. Now that shit is awesome, and you should definitely torrent that, and check it out.