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Some Movie Aliens Are Bad at Invading

The release of the trailer for the new film Extraterrestrial, a really scary-looking alien invasion movie, got me thinking.

Almost from the time we realized there was an outer space we’ve been dreaming about the life that might exist somewhere among the stars. And, almost as immediately, we decided they were probably hostile douche nozzles who would kill us, the paranoid meat sacks that we are. However, some of these “threats” posed in popular fiction have been slightly less frightening than, say, a blender turned to frappé. For every White House-blasting or xenomorph chest-bursting nightmare, there are aliens that don’t seem to have any motivation beyond simply being annoying for a few days. Even if they leave some destruction to cities and townships, they haven’t planned anything out and are hence easily thwarted. Here are five of the lamest from movies where we were MEANT to find them terrifying.

War of the Worlds

It was the perfect plan: “Martians” attack us in order to use our planet as their own. They begin growing their vegetation and pretty much decimate the planet. The only problem, of course, is they couldn’t get past our first, best, and only line of defense: a germ. These sophisticated alien invaders must not have any immune system to speak of because they wither and die in a matter of minutes after catching some unnamed bacterial infection, leaving nothing but empty husks. When the novel was written by H.G. Wells in 1898, this was probably a viable answer to the problem. Now, on the other hand, it’s just kind of silly. I hope if the aliens do invade, they’re this lame. Don’t get a flu shot, anyone on Earth, and we’ll have all the firepower we’ll need.

The Blob

Similar situation as War of the Worlds, this little nugget features Steve McQueen as a teenage drag racer facing off against, well, a Blob. It’s basically just that. An alien that is nothing more than an amorphous mass of red gelatin that engulfs whatever’s in its path. It seems pretty horrible, until you find out that it can be easily stopped by a fire extinguisher. Apparently, the pressurized CO2 can render the entire thing useless and indeed freezes it utterly. Once it can’t blob after anyone anymore, the military drops it in the middle of the arctic circle, which is great until the polar ice caps melt. So, soon we’re going to have to deal with global warming, massive flooding, AND a huge alien loogie. Thanks again, military! If you get past the silly horror, The Blob is a thinly veiled warning against the growing Communist threat. A huge, seemingly unstoppable RED thing is sucking everything into itself and making good, honest Americans a part of its evil marauding. Not bad for 1958. All credibility goes out the door with the easier than necessary solution, and of course, this hysterically out of place theme song by Burt Bacharach.


You had to know this one was coming, right? Here’s a message to all you would-be alien invaders out there: If you’re going to invade a planet and do the whole “gas them with your weird arm toxin” thing, maybe don’t invade a planet made predominantly of THE ONE THING THAT HARMS YOU!!! I do not dislike this movie, in fact as far as house/family under siege movies go, it’s probably one of the best. M. Night Shyamalan does a good job of keeping the aliens more frightening by only giving us small glimpses of them, like a foot in a corn field, or a hand under a door, but then the end of the movie comes up and the whole thing is ruined. Apparently, these aliens and their infinitely advanced cloaked spaceships and coded crop circles are harmed by good ol’ H2O. Goddamned WATER brings about the death of these things. You know what planet has no water? Statistically, every other planet in the whole frigging universe. Pick one of them instead. Did you not do your homework at all? Way to fail so horrendously, aliens. I’m glad Joaquin Phoenix beat the tar out of you. You’re stupid.


This movie’s a comedy and hence a lot of the ridiculousness can be written off as that, but they certainly tried to bill it more like an exciting and scary flick… however the complete lack of visuals of the critters themselves speak volumes. It’s like some Trekkies got high one night and said, “Dude, what if Tribbles could, like, eat you?” And his friend, undoubtedly said, “Duuuuuuuuuuuuuude.” That’s the general conceit of this movie. But, we’re lead to believe, these koosh balls with teeth are so dangerous that two shape-shifting alien bounty hunters need to be dispatched to stop them. Really, anyone with a nine iron should be able to take these things down. Or just, like, a ruler. I liked this movie the first time I saw it, when it was called Gremlins.

Plan 9 From Outer Space

Let me see if I can understand this plan, known to the aliens as “Plan 9.” Since the American government did not respond politely to your barrage of flying saucers, you will reanimate the corpses of the recently deceased to, what? Kill everyone? You know that’s a terrible plan, right? Well, what you don’t know is that the first eight plans from outer space were even worse. I happen to have access to the previous plans from these diabolical heathens and will share them with you now.

Plan 1 From Outer Space: Let loose a pod of angry sea turtles
Plan 2 From Outer Space: Throw lit matches at everyone’s sweaters
Plan 3 From Outer Space: Send a giant robot down to Earth and kick Brit Hume really hard in the shin
Plan 4 From Outer Space: Replace all the chocolate in the world with less-delicious chocolate substitute
Plan 5 From Outer Space: Miley Cyrus (this one actually worked)
Plan 6 From Outer Space: Act really aloof and sarcastic in hopes Earth won’t know we secretly love it still
Plan 7 From Outer Space: Call people up repeatedly during dinner despite their pleas that we stop
Plan 8 From Outer Space: Burrow deep into the Earth’s crust and lie dormant for millions of years until such time as an expedition makes its way toward the core of the planet and then step out and tell them we’re happy to take their literature but we’re just not very religious

This is the movie Edward D. Wood, Jr is most known for, and with good reason. It’s glorious shite. Widely regarded as the worst movie ever made, Plan 9 From Outer Space is that rare kind of bad movie that is so unbelievably atrocious that it has actually become entertaining. Made for about $.35, it shows that anyone can make a movie as long as they throw some zombies and flying saucers in there.

And there you have it. Aliens pose no threat.

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  1. Doug Jacobs says:

    I completely agree with you on Signs.  I tell friends that if they watch that movie, to stop it right at the end, when the alien shows up in their house.

    Also…you left Independence Day off the list?  We defeat the aliens by hacking into their computer system and uploading a virus…with a Macbook?!?