6 Film Aliens That Actually Look Alien - Mania.com

List Feature

25 Comments | Add


Rate & Share:


Related Links:



  • Series:

6 Film Aliens That Actually Look Alien

Aliens With a Non-Human Look

By Dirk Sonniksen     August 12, 2009

Film Aliens That Actually Look Alien
© Bob Trate


Perhaps it’s our mortality and fixation on the “made in our own image” vibe or possibly the creative department is running out of steam, but the release of the recent Avatar teaser poster has us scratching our heads. Simply put, if we wanted monochromatic aliens with scales and glowing eyes, we’d have a five-year-old draw one. We know better though, we have favorites and here they are: the top six aliens that embody the drooling, oozing, body-part-devouring tradition of the inhuman alien.


1. The Thing

The Thing had its ass handed to it when it first opened in ’82, due to competition from another alien—ET: The Extra-Terrestrial. While ET was really cute, it’s no contest against a parasitic life form that invades its host and explodes into spaghetti-like goo. Also, anything starring Kurt Russell and Wilford Brimley is a definite keeper.

2. Star Trek TOS (Episode 25) – Horta

“Beam down, Spock! Quick! I’m being attacked by a giant square of lasagna!” It’s the Horta, a rock-like creature that resembles a quadrupedal version of Cousin It. It’s really cute, like ET, but in that really, bad, brilliant, late ‘60s sort of way. Horta: Cut film to vent. Microwave on high for seven minutes. Remove film. Enjoy!


3. The Blob

“It crawls! It creeps! It eats you alive!” The Blob is a cross between Jell-O and sweet, light crude, and while definitely fitting the non-human category of aliens, it’s puzzling how something so slow and obvious could possibly be a threat to mankind. Puzzling still is why Steve McQueen would have agreed to star in the 1958 version, and why it would have been remade in 1988.

4. Slither (2006)

Slither takes top honors on our list for gross-out factor. These disgusting wormy creatures certainly fit the bill for strange alien life forms, and if you’ve ever had an irrational fear of something burrowing into your body, this is not a flick you’ll want to see. Director James Gunn gets a nod for making us  want to laugh and vomit simultaneously.


5. Doctor Who – Daleks

Daleks are alien organisms housed in a mechanical device that resembles a large saltshaker. Even though Daleks are ruthless and bent on destroying anything that gets in their way, something so bumbling is hard to take seriously. While being very non-human, the Daleks, oddly, speak English in a screechy, auto-tuned dialect that sounds more paranoid than menacing.

6. Starship Troopers

The aliens in Starship Troopers (referred to as The Bugs) are a cross between a praying mantis, a pill bug, a bird and a cat’s behind. There are a plethora of cross-species elements here, but nothing particularly human. The sheer volume and wide-array of “bugs” make them a formidable opponent, and a case study in how to mix and match species to make a scary alien.





Showing items 1 - 10 of 25
1 2 3 >  >>  
Sanity 8/12/2009 7:31:36 AM

Hmm...yeah, I think I'm going to go with the queen from Aliens.

Gelatinousman 8/12/2009 9:27:28 AM

What was that clip from TOS ?

redhairs99 8/12/2009 9:35:22 AM

I'll add to your Alien Queen the creatures from the Critters series.

invisioner 8/12/2009 9:38:13 AM

 The Thing is still the top dog as far as I am concerned. Even the blood screams! Too cool.  But, you left out good choices.

1. Alien. When it came out, there was NOTHING to compare too.

2. Babylon 5: The Shadows. Very creepy cool, alien

3. Andromeda Strain. Okay, so I have studied virology. The matrix that made up the alien virus was so out of the realm of terrestrial. 

4. The aliens of Star Trek Voyager (can't remember the name) that came from a fluid universe that beat the crap out of the borg. That was the best alien since the Horta (next time, actually use a real clip from the episode!

5. Star Man. You never saw what it was, but I always wondered if it was a belligerent "Thing" Hey, it was John Carpenter!

jfdavis 8/12/2009 12:06:32 PM

Yeah,  How could you forget Species 8472 from Voyager?  (What was that TOS music video anyway?)

djphillips25 8/12/2009 12:50:33 PM

I believe they were going for aliens that don't even remotely look human. The creature in Alien could quite possibly be an extremely mutated human (arms, legs head, tongue, standing upright) so it probably doesn't qualify as looking totally alien.

oberonqa 8/12/2009 12:57:41 PM

 Yea this list is definitely missing a few creatures.... most notably the Crites from the Critters series, Species 8472 from Star Trek: Voyager... and the entire Alien life-cycle (facehugger, chestburster, drone, and Queen).  In fact, I'm not exactly why the Alien isn't on this list AT ALL.  It remains, to this day, one of the most terrifying and realisticly-filmed creatures ever to grace the silver screen (at least, in Alien and Aliens anyway... the CGI creature in Alien3 was poorly done, the creatures in Alien: Ressurection were too obvious in their man-in-a-suit approach and the creatures in AvP and AvP:R weren't filmed properly due to bad lighting... to this day the only reason why I know what the PredAlien looks like is because of the Unrated Edition box litho).

EagleManiac 8/12/2009 1:35:42 PM

Actually, the creepier alien from the Alien films was The Face Hugger! Especially what it was designed to do to the "victim".

Jabba The Hutt. There's one UGLY alien, for sure.

I'd still give the high nods to the creatures from The Thing and Alien/Aliens!

Forbidden Planet's ElectroCreature that was seen in the electrified fencing that surrounded the space ship was really freaky, but since it was from someones mind(a projection), is that truly an "alien"?



xenomorph 8/12/2009 1:46:28 PM

How about the snow monster from Star Trek? or the sand worms from Dune? Oh, and the aliens from the remake of Invaders from Mars.

FerretJohn 8/12/2009 1:52:44 PM

You missed the opening credits here guys, "Aliens that look Alien", that means bipeds can wait outside.  The Face-Hugger could make the list, but the Queens and Soldiers themselves were out, as are the Crites.  Even though the 8472s were bipedal they were sufficiently 'alien' in my book to make the list.  Jabba?  Big slug, but two arms, two eyes, one tongue.... I'd say no.  And no, the Id-Creature of Forbidden Planet (why hasn't anyone done a remake of that movie?) was a manifestation of the human mind so it isn't technically an alien.

1 2 3 >  >>  


You must be logged in to leave a comment. Please click here to login.