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.
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