I believe I’ve already mentioned what a HUGE fan I am of the Alien franchise in past posts. Ellen Ripley is, without a doubt, one of my heroes. But as much as I want to talk about what an action icon she is, this post (unlike this one) is devoted to her foe . . . the face-hugging, chest-bursting Xenomorphs. Thanks to their creators – Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett – these are some of the scariest creatures in the film industry.
The aliens start out looking innocent and non-threatening; no one would suspect while gazing upon them in their un-hatched eggs that they’re natural born killers. But then the shell comes off and the little hell beasts come out to play. The image of one leaping out and attaching itself to a crew-members face haunted my eight-year-old nightmares for months (thank you so much for that one dad).
And yet, this terrifying scene is a picnic compared to what comes next. (Prepare yourself.) The alien implants an embryo into its victim’s stomach before falling off and dying, and then, just when you think all is safe, the now-matured embryo violently bursts through its host’s chest in one of the most iconic scenes of all time (I'll leave out the corresponding image for this one). It’s so shocking and disgusting that it’s incredible. You just don’t expect it to happen. And when it does, you simply have to scream and cheer at the same time. With their speed, strength and acid blood (which, unfortunately, they spit at their targets), these Xenomorphs are the crown jewel of deadly species and top of the extraterrestrial food chain.
But not all aliens are created equal (or equally petrifying). Some look remarkably . . . human. Like those from the 1999 TV series Roswell. They are able to blend in among the humans of earth, hiding in plain sight. Of course, Max, Michael and Isabel are only half alien. In fact, they’re hybrids. They maintain the gifts and abilities of their alien ancestors, such as the power to heal or mind-control, which looking like normal teenage kids.
Or nine-year-old Allie Keys from the TV miniseries Taken (played by Dakota Fanning). She too is a human/alien hybrid, and a product of decades of alien experimentation with both species DNA. This series, for those of you who’ve never heard of it, was a Sci-Fi channel sleeper-hit (produced by Steven Spielberg), and some of the best television I’ve ever come across.
There are of course many other alien designs, from the adorable E.T., to the Prawns of District 9 and tentacle-baring villains of Independence Day. But none of them will ever compare with the the masterful Alien franchise.
This post is part of the Blogging A through Z Challenge 2012. My theme is (in case you didn’t already guess) science fiction. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you’d like to check in on the rest of the participants, simply click here.