Top Ten: Alien Designs
Wow, so many aliens to choose from, so many fans of said aliens to piss off. Before we start, let us get something straight. Firstly: This is a list describing an individual’s taste in alien get ups and designs. It’s not to be taken as a be and end all of alien lists and says nothing of the quality of the movies these designs are found in. Secondly: This list is narrowed down to alien designs since 1991, so only designs from the last 20 years are taken into consideration here. There are many fabulous designs made before 1991. None of them are listed here. Okay? Let’s roll.
WARNING: Here be spoilers!
10. Transformers (2007) – The Decepticons
Man, are the Decepticons a cool design. Michael Bay had me eating out of his palm the moment I laid eyes on Scorponok, slithering in the sand (mind you, he had me spewing in that same hand with the second film). So intricate, so awesome to behold. Major props for the designers of these things (from the toy makers to the CGI staff on the films). The Autobots are of course cool too, though more ingenuity seems to have gone into making the Decepticons. Almost has you rooting for the bad guys.
9. Attack the Block (2011)- Furry Black Beasts With Neon Teeth
Attack the Block may not have the coolest aliens you’ll ever see, but they are highly interesting and within the setting of the movie they make sense. Sort of. The way they move works, the blacker-than-black fur truly makes them alien, rather than being growling teddy bears from outer space, which I’m sure the production crew worried they could become. And glowing teeth are awesome, methinks. Way cooler than glowing eyes for sure. Too camp you say? Did you see Star Wars? ‘Nuff said.
8. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005) – Humma Kavula
John Malkovich is awesome. There is no denying it. John Malkovich with tiny metallic feet dangling from his torso: double awesome. There are many fun designs in The Hitchhiker’s Guide but this one beats e.g. the Vogons, simply on shock and awe. Deliciously evil, beautifully simple, yet complex enough to catch your attention.
7. Avatar (2009)- Pandora’s Wildlife
What a world to behold! Pandora, the planet that caught our imagination and ran away with it. Not only is the design of the vicious yet stunning planet remarkable, the creatures that dwell there seem in contest to top each other as well. From flying leonopteryx to the viperwolfs, they all just take your breath away. What about the N’avi? They’re OK, too.
6. Men in Black (1997) – The Edgar Suit
Now I haven’t seen Men in Black for years, but I distinctly remember everything about The Edgar Suit. The Edgar Suite is probably one of the best make up and costume jobs I have ever seen, and Vincent D’Onofrio‘s acting is sublime (in a too-large-for-life kind of way). If you haven’t seen it, please look it up. If you have, you know what I mean. It’s like The Invasion (or any other form of the story of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers) but way better executed. Brilliant.
5. Super 8 (2011)- Huge Monster Alien
(Since our readers may not have had the chance to see this movie we decided it’s up to them if they want to see the alien or not. See THIS for the real thing.)
Whether it was Cloverfield or Super 8 that convinced you that J.J. Abrams‘ monster/alien designer is awesome is irrelevant. (In fact, if you haven’t figured it out yet, the whole design, make-up and costume department on Abrams’ productions is pretty talented.) The point is that multilegged-troll-like-sea-creature-thingies rock, whether they can feel what you feel or shoot out even scarier thingies that will hunt you down in a dark tunnel. Now I would say that Cloverfield was a monster movie, though it was dropped from somewhere onto Earth and that Super 8 was the alien movie of the two, but let’s not split hairs here.
4. Independence Day (1996) – The Aliens (duh)
Creepy, creepy, creepy. These are the aliens that put fear in the hearts of a generation of moviegoers. These became the aliens all other aliens would later be compared to. At least in my mind. How do they stack up? They are still pretty awesome. Icky, evil, have huge intimidating spaceships and look exactly like you hoped they wouldn’t. What’s not to like?
3. Mars Attacks! (1996) – The Big Brain Skulls
A beautiful homage to the outrageous aliens of the 50s and 60s. Bad motherf***ers who made a point of letting us know what an alien invasion was supposed to be like. “Nice planet – We’ll take it” says it all. Who else but Tim Burton could have brought us this exact kind of aliens (now in glorious Technicolour)?
2. District 9 – The Prawns
Not only a great movie with social relevance, but also a kick-ass alien film. The Prawns are everything you don’t want to be, filthy, eat cat food, live in a ghetto, and look like they smell. Not quite like any other design on this list (not that they have much in common with each other, now that I think about it) and therefore a much appreciated breath of fresh air in the plethora of alien films these past few years.
1. Alien: Resurrection (1997) – The Alien Queen
Since 1979 there has been one alien that beats them all. Simply called Alien. The incarnation of pure fear. Now, in 1997, in what will admittedly not go down in history as the best of the Alien franchise, H.R. Giger’s masterpiece was taken even further in the design of the new alien queen, an even grander spectacle than James Cameron’s version of her in 1986. The scene where Ripley lets herself go into the arms of the queen, her daughter, is a thing of operatic magnificence (completely over the top, undeniably beautiful). Gotta love it.
What extra-terrestrial creatures would you put on this list? Tell us.