Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Alien Rip-Offs/Future Horror in the 80's

(Before trying to watch the trailers be sure to pause the Hard Ass Radio player on the right!) After the success of ALIEN there was a flood of lower budget "Horror In Space/Future/Alien" movies. This is one of my favorite genres  since Alien was a super high-budget movie that had state of the art EVERYTHING... these imitations did not but they certainly gave it the old college try! I often use Alien as a measuring stick foor movies... like compare movies made 5, hell, even 10 years after Alien and Alien makes most of it look like it was made in the 60's in comparison. Making futuristic space ships and gadgets on a low budget generally makes for some good comedy (one movie has a corridor in a spaceship that looks like it is literally lined with Big mac boxes!). But some of these stand on their own as decent/watchable movies despite their meager budgets. Let's discuss!

First up we have my favorite of them all: GALAXY OF TERROR. This movie had an all star cast, featuring everyone from Freddy Kruger himself (Robert Englund) to Mr Hand (Fast Times At Ridgemont High), and Joannie from Happpy Days! How can you not  like this movie with that lineup of stars? This nonsense concerns a crew sent to a planet on some bogus mission by some oracle or something. Turns out this planet somehow has the ability to make your worst nightmares come true. There are some imaginitive deaths and some are quite gruesome... this movie certainly has plenty of gore and slime to go around. One of the women is even raped to death by a giant maggot! How could you possibly go wrong with THAT? Turns out whoever survives this journey through their worst nightmares gets to become the new Oracle or something of that like. The art used  for this movie is classic and the tag line is one of my favorites: "YOUR COUNTDOWN TO HELL IS ABOUT TO BEGIN!" This is the cream of the crop in regards to the early 80's Space horror movies and is highly watchable.

Next we have HORROR PLANET also known as Insemenoid. This movie features a woman astronaut who is raped by an alien in a cave on a distant planet who gains super strength and turns evil as a result of the alien baby she is impregnated with. Got all that? Seems like a reasonable plot line right? Some very funny scenes of the woman overpowering and man-handling her crew mates. Not as gruesome or shocking as you might think it would be... but it is a fun entry in this genre. The artwork used is some of my favorite as it features women being held by a reptilian claw in outerspace while floating eyes shoot lasers at them

Another solid entry in this genre is CREATURE. This one is very watchable and was a staple of the shelves at just about every video store ever. The Monster is very familiar looking (HR Geiger should have been paid royalties) but this time the alien creature is a very ancient one that has been let loose by a previous space crew when they stumbled upon an ancient "butterfly collection" of misc alien creatures. The Monster has the ability to control minds and can even reanimate dead corpses. This has some great gore scenes (including a great exploding head) and some more nice touches to make this one of the most watchable and entertaining movies of the genre since it throws in some other elements into the mix like Psychic Horror, Zombies, etc. The always great Klus Kinski is on hand too.This is a forgotten winner that everyone needs to see and a staple of many lost Saturday afternoons.

    A more seldom seen entry in this genre is FORBIDDEN WORLD also known as MUTANT. This movie is not to be confused with the later 80's MUTANT that is a really crummy zombie movie that features cover art of a monster that is never seen in the movie. This is a total Alien rip, the alien monster is a dead ringer too. This is extremely gory and is famous for it's scene where the monster is destroyed when it eats the canerous liver and vomits to is for gore enthusiasts and people who want to see every movie in this Space Horror genre only since it is difficult to find and usually expensive when you do. For now you can buy a bootlegged DVD on IOffer or wait till it is eventually released on DVD.

    Lastly we have Italy's input with CONTAMINATION, sometimes called ALIEN CONTAMINATION. This splattery movie has very familiar looking alien eggs on earth, but watch out! If you touch these eggs you will explode! Literally! You can imagine there's some gore since it is Italian and it does involve people exploding. This movie follows the always wacky formula that many other Italian movies of this time period followed which is the movie begins in the city, but somehow they end up by the end in the jungle of some other country. Turns out there is a terrorist organization producing the eggs and using them for their agenda. The end is great as it features a random monster that produces the eggs which is straight out of a Nintendo game like Contra since it is just a giant monster face in a wall. Really silly... those of you who played video games like Contra and the like will really see the resemblance to this monster and a main boss you would see in one of those games. Also, this had lots of the same music that was  in ZOMBIE CREEPING FLESH/NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIES, and it is obvious some of those same ppl worked on this movie. Check the trailer below:

    In the 90's there were some other decent Space Horror movies worth noting like DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, DARK UNIVERSE (that was rated EM "Extremely Mature" instead of the standard R for no good reason since is it is pretty tame) and the big budget EVENT HORIZON. There are many more movies in this genre and I am sure I missed some, so please feel free to post about them yourself if you feel there are any I missed. Enjoy some trailers! Be sure to PAUSE THE HARD-ASS RADIO player 1st!

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