Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: Aliens


From time to time in my life, I've been asked whether or not I believe there are other life forms on some other planet. I've always said yes. My logic is really simple. Look up at the sky at all the stars. Between them, lord knows how many planets are between them. Our sky extends into space which goes on farther than any of us can imagine. There has to be someone out there.

What would happen if that someone found a way to make it here? That's essentially the topic for this week's Thursday Movie Picks. Aliens. Given how I started this post, it would be easy to suggest three deep, philosophical movies on the subject. At the very least, I should suggest something good, right? Where's the fun in that? You want the "good" stuff, you better check out our host Wanderer's site, Wandering Through the Shelves and see what she and everyone else picked because that's generally not how we roll around here. 'Round these parts, when possible, we take all those movies you know and love and toss those to the side. We just keep on tossing until we get to the bottom of the barrel. When we get there we scrape that gummy substance from the barrel floor and present it to you. This, ladies and gentlemen, is where I found my aliens.


Plan 9 From Outer Space
(1959)
Starting here is actually not quite bottom of the barrel because it's gotten quite popular. I've even picked for a prior installment of TMP. Still, I couldn't resist taking. Some alien race from somewhere has come to Earth and wants to take it over. Their plan starts with reanimating human corpses to do their bidding. That's actually not a terrible plan if you can pull it off. It's also not the first plan the aliens had. Read the title, it's the ninth plan. No clue what the first eight entailed. In case you didn't know the making of this film makes up a huge chunk of the Tim Burton film about the director of Plan 9, the incomparable Ed Wood. Yes, you really can see the strings attached to the flying saucers. Look at that gif again. Yes, people wave guns around with the same careless abandon they would an ink pen. Yes, there really is stock footage of Bela Lugosi haphazardly shoehorned into the film even though the man had been dead for over two years. Yes, the guy that doubled for Lugosi in other shots was the real life chiropractor of Wood's wife. He was also much taller than the screen legend and looked nothing like him. Yes, this is the movie often hailed as the worst film ever made. Needless to say, it's so bad it's awesome!


 Howard the Duck
(1986)
Somewhere out there is a planet very similar to Earth, called Duckworld, but with one glaring difference. The dominant species are, um, ducks. I don't mean regular ducks. I mean three foot tall, fully anthropomorphic ducks. In other words, they're just like human beings, except they're not. Hell, when we first meet Howard, he's looking at the centerfold in Playduck magazine. I wish I was making this up. Through some contrived something or other one of them, named Howard, finds himself on our planet, in Cleveland, Ohio. All types of bizarre shenanigans ensue, including Howard attempting to bury his face in an elderly woman's ass, the police strip-searching him, and Jeffrey Jones taking his act from Ferris Beuller's Day Off up about a thousand notches because his character gets possessed by an alien. Strangest of all, we see Howard and Lea Thompson getting jiggy with it. Makes you wonder about Ms. Thompson. In Back to the Future she desperately wants to get it on with her own son and here she fucks a duck. Sigh. For all of you that claim to be sick of comic book movies, be damn glad these aren't the types of comic book movies they're making these days. I'm a little saddened by this fact because this is so bad it's awesome!


Femalien
(1996)
So there's this alien race that has evolved beyond the point of existing as physical beings. They are merely beams of light. No, seriously. For some reason that only makes sense in the land of Skinemax movies, they get a longing to experience pleasures of the flesh. Since they share a collective memory, or some mumbo jumbo like that, there's no need for all of them to try it. They give just one, Kara, human form and send her to Earth to experience as much pleasure as possible so they call all know what it feels like. Lots of soft-core humping ensues. It's clear that during my lifetime I've spent way too much time in front of a television set after midnight. Oh, and lest you think this cinematic marvel was a fluke, there is also a Femalien II. Wonders never cease. And both movies are so bad they're titillating. At least they were before internet porn took over the world.


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28 comments:

  1. I do want to see Plan 9 from Outer Space. I don't care how bad it looks as I'll probably enjoy than a frame of Michael Bay's bullshit. Howard the Duck I don't think was that bad. I kind of have a soft spot for it as I just love some of the antics Tim Robbins go through. I don't remember if I've seen Femalien as I did enjoy a lot of those cheesy 90s softcore B-movies as I thought they were fun. What teenager wouldn't enjoy a film with violence, tits, and ass?

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    1. I think Plan 9 will give you lots of laughs. It's something every cinephile should see at least once. I've got a soft spot for Howard, too, but it's bad. Baaaad. Violence, tits, and ass. Kinda what life is all about, ain't it?

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  2. lol your opening. The only one I've seen here is Howard the Duck, which I remember being quite terrible. I've always wanted to see Plan 9 just because it's always on "worst" lists.

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    1. Please see Plan 9. You owe it to yourself.

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  3. Well these are ripe specimens for sure Dell.

    Plan 9 is so amateurish, I've seen junior high school projects that had better production values. Poor Bela Lugosi this has to be one of the saddest cinematic swan songs out there...though not as dreadful as Veronica Lake's Flesh Fest which is just the worst!

    I've only seen pieces of Howard the Duck. It ran at the movie theatre I was working in when it came out so I had to check occasionally that the film was running properly, those glimpses were enough to convince me that I'd seen enough!

    Somehow I've missed Femalien through the years, though I'm sure I've seen something like it long ago during those late night Cinemax offerings.

    Aside from Alien and Aliens this genre always makes me think goofy low rent stuff which is what I went with this week.

    I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958)-After his buddies give him a bachelor party handsome young hunk Bill (Tom Tryon) heads home but stops when he thinks he’s hit something in the road and is suddenly engulfed by a heavy gray fog. Next day prospective bride Marge (Gloria Talbott) frets when Bill is late to the wedding until he shows up and faster than you can say Jack Robinson she’s “MARRIED TO A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE!!!!” Pulpy 50’s sci-fi follows their story as it slowly dawns on Marge that there is an alien race who are seeking a way toward reclamation of their species. Leading man Tryon eventually abandoned acting for a very successful writing career (The Dark Secret of Harvest Home, The Other etc.)

    I Come in Peace (1990)-A gang of drug traffickers known as the "White Boys” cause havoc when they make off with a cache of heroin from a federal building followed by a strange spate of deaths where the victims bear a puncture mark on their foreheads. Hard-nosed cop Jack Caine (Dolph Lundgren) and FBI agent Arwood Smith (Brian Benben) follow bizarre clues looking for an answer. B movie actioner whose tagline “Good cop. Bad alien. Big trouble.” pretty much says it all.

    They Live (1988)-Drifter John Nada (Rowdy Roddy Piper) finds a pair of sunglasses that when worn shows the world as it truly is. How it truly is happens to be a place where the billboards and all media carry subliminal messages such as “No Imagination” and “Stay Asleep” and the people in authority are actually aliens hidden behind a mask of normalcy who are keeping the masses subdued. Directed with a sardonic tone by John Carpenter.

    Honorable Mention-Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956)-Playing into both the public’s fascination and fear of space exploration and outer space in the 50’s this low budget sci-fier is both earnest and reactionary. Flying saucers, looking like exact replicas from My Favorite Martian, start blasting the hell out of a military base when their signal is misinterpreted. Once the mistake is revealed and against government orders a lone scientist tries to straighten out the muddle. Finding out the aliens intentions it’s then a race to find a defense before the human race is enslaved! Cheesy but if you like this kind of thing it could be fun.

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    1. I imagine working in a theater at the time would've scared me off Howard the Duck, too. Ha!

      I've seen two of your picks. Actually picked I Married a Monster From Outer Space for an earlier Thursday. Goofy fun is right. I have also seen I Come in Peace. Such classic Dolph Lundgren silliness.

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  4. Oh, Plan 9. Like Joel said, it's just amateurish. Howard the Duck, though. I can't even imagine watching it, it sounds so terrible. Femalien on the other hand, sounds like a rollicking good time. For Skinamax offerings, that is!

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    1. Howard the Duck is terrible enough that it needs to be seen.

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  5. Ah, Plan 9...so goofy it becomes endearing. Hard to go wrong with something that is so terrible and yet so earnest at the same time.

    I nominate The Hidden from 1987. It's a buddy cop movie with aliens, mass murder, strippers, and a possessed dog. It's far, far better than its premise and completely worth watching. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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    1. Remember hearing about The Hidden, but I've never seen it. Sounds like I have to.

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    2. I join in the strong recommendation for The Hidden. Far better than you'd expect it to be.

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    3. Cool. Have to see if I can find it.

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  6. I can't stop laughing at Howard the Duck! What a fantastic choice!

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  7. This list is out of this world - only you could have come up with it.

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  8. I've never seen Plan 9, but I'm totally digging that old-school vibe in the gif you posted! Great post!

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    1. It's a great gif, really represents the awfulness of the the movie. Thanks.

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  9. I think I really need to see Howard the Duck. It's one of those film thats mean to be terrible but somehow scrapes by as cult, at least in some circles. I also need to see Plan 9! It must be online somewhere for me to watch.

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    1. Oh no. The people that made it were really trying to make a good film. It's just a horrible misfire. I think Plan 9 is online. Start with YouTube.

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  10. I love Plan 9-I have such fondness for that movie. I never knew lea Thompson was into bestiality. Funny when she was on Dancing With The Stars, they always mentioned back to the Future but never this movie...wonder why??:) I haven't seen the last flick.

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    1. If you ever see Howard the Duck, you will no longer wonder why they never mentioned it. Glad to see a fan of Plan 9.

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  11. I've been meaning to watch Howard the Duck because it is based on the Marvel comic books, but I've always avoided it because of its reputation.

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    1. It's a well-earned reputation. That's all I'll say.

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  12. I'm sure you will be shocked to hear that I have not seen any of these three epic films. :-) Ah, the things I've missed out on!

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