Top 10 Alien Invasions in Film
“I’m afraid there is no alternative. In such a case, the planet Earth would have to be … eliminated.”
– Klaatu, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951)
As most of the cast from the original “Independence Day” struggles once again with alien annihilation – (almost) exactly 20 years later with the sequel “Independence Day: Resurgence,” The Massie Twins examine the 10 greatest alien takeovers of Earth in cinema’s crowded history of this classic sci-fi premise. To qualify, the alien/s must attempt to dominate Earth, not just destroy one city. Sorry Godzilla.
10. Slither (2006)
Slimy, creepy, and often truly disgusting, the alien slugs in “Slither” attempt to inherit the Earth like so many of the “giant killer insect” films that this one so cleverly parodies. Infused with just as much comedy as gore, James Gunn’s debut feature comes highly recommended, if only to see Elizabeth Banks and the always funny Nathan Fillion.
9. The Blob (1958)
Sure it’s only one alien, and a gelatinous mess at that, but it did a fine job of wreaking havoc by consuming anyone nearby to increase its mass. And only a Bullitt could stop it (which wasn’t very good odds for the Blob to begin with).
8. Mars Attacks! (1996)
In Tim Burton’s zany send-up to classic ’50s sci-fi, unfriendly, big-headed aliens from Mars come to Earth and attempt total domination. Featuring a fantastic cast and some ludicrously bizarre events, this clearly Burton-esque production parodies some of the finest of the genre. Also, as far as we know, no other film features Sarah Jessica Parker’s head on the body of a dog. Congrats to you, Tim.
7. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
In one of the most bizarre kult klassic aliens-invading-Earth movies of all time, grotesque klown-like monsters land in a small town and begin turning humans into kotton kandy kocoons for konsumption. Komplete with bloated kostumes, klaustrophobic paranoia, and a krashing ice-kream truck finale, “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” remains a true feat in macabre weirdness that preys on the prevalent phobia of the painted circus performers.
6. Species (1995)
Hands down the best way to take over the world, alien woman Sil (Natasha Henstridge) plans to mate her way to world domination. A top-notch cast and a top-less Henstridge practically make this required viewing. Probably wouldn’t be a bad Armageddon.
5. Signs (2002)
Following his phenomenal debut, the next real horror film M. Night Shyamalan released was a spooky thriller about crop circles, faith, and alien invasion. But more importantly it was about ugly humanoid greys getting their asses handed to them by Mad Max and Emperor Commodus.
4. Independence Day (1996)
If it weren’t for a cocky pilot and a nerdy computer wiz, these little “greys” (with amazingly elaborate exoskeletons) might have taken over the world. But they did manage to blow up just about every major building and landmark.
3. The Thing (1982)
In John Carpenter’s gruesome masterpiece, a shapeshifting alien assumes the identity of any living creature it comes in contact with at a secluded Antarctic research facility. In a race to stop the Thing from reaching civilization and subsequent world domination, Kurt Russell’s MacReady must battle paranoia, distrust, and the paralyzing cold – where success may come in the form of mutual termination.
2. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
In this sci-fi horror classic, aliens take over humans in their sleep – a premise so inventive that several remakes and reworkings have succeeded (but never bested) this still-creepy original. The pitchfork to the head of the pod-person remains an icky highlight. Plus, these aliens pretty much accomplish their task of world domination, a feat few others can claim.
1. War of the Worlds (1953)
One of the most influential and searing looks at alien invasion, H.G. Wells’ famous novel told of Martians waging war on Earth. While both this version and the impressive 2005 Spielberg incarnation contain plenty of surmounting suspense, gripping terror, and spectacular special effects, only one features Morgan Freeman’s soothing narrative voice.