THE LAST KNOCK presents: Alien Invasion

The Last Knock

In the 1950s, with the looming Space Race, Project Blue Book, and feared mutations from The Atomic Age, alien invasion films wormed their way into many a theatre to make audiences scream. Yet, even today,  aliens landing to meet and eat continue to be a mainstay in the horror/sci-fi splice. We look at the cool alien invasion films that may haunt you as we explore the sub genre in spacesuits and death rays in hand – just in case. Enjoy the journey from Xtro and Slither, to Altered and They Live – and more of course, because if you see one alien from another planet, you know there are many more ready to make their move.

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10 Replies to “THE LAST KNOCK presents: Alien Invasion”

  1. You had me at XTRO. Since, I’ve not seen it, transport me to YouTube, please.
    ALIEN ABDUCTION was a very good one, and the explanation for the found footage aspect of it worked beautifully.
    SLITHER was a fun scifi/horrorcom romp.
    TO SERVE MANKIND is one of my Twilight Zone favorites. They should have been more selective in their choices to usher back to their planet… pick ’em plump. The episode when the alien landed on the lady’s roof was a mental horror piece not unlike Orson Welles 1938 radio broadcast WAR OF THE WORLDS and the subsequent movie from 1953 THE WAR OF THE WORLDS with Gene Berry,
    I fondly recall, when I first saw the original THE THING FROM ANOTHER PLANET. It was very frightening, yet, somewhat lame. Even as a young boy, there were too many boring moments of the usual scientists versus the military, love interest, beauty and the beast junk, cluttering up Marshal Dillon as THE THING.
    In retrospect, it’s awfully hard to beat the science fiction.horror episodes in black and white dished out a la cart over at the little place we adore and know as The Twilight Zone.
    I always have and forever will love Science Fiction and Horror. The combiination of the two, IMHO, is exactly how Reese’s Peanut Butter cups were invented, giving us the perfect mixture of sweet and savory.
    This was surely an other-worldly show, klaatu barada nikto!

    1. Thank you, Ron! As a kid, I felt the same way you did about THE THING (’51) – all that exposition and bickering detracted from the alien action. In the ensuing years, I’ve grown to appreciate its subtext, characterization, and dry humor, which complement – rather than detract from – the formidable setpieces featuring James Arness.

      1. Jonny, I’ve revisited it several times over the years, and to this day, the subtext remains distracting, more alien and less jabbering would have been nice. For instance, the Creature from the Black Lagoon 2 or whatever it’s entitled is layered with this sort of subtext (science vs. brawn) and jockying for the female character’s favors which was way too common during the 50s and 60s.
        BTW, I watched XTRO after catching your show last evening, and it was everything you guys said up until the kid’s newly-given alien powers began. It became so comical that I had to fast forward the silly parts, like the GI Joe murder of the gross, old lady. It mever ceases to amaze me how something very good can crash and burn so easily. But that’s just my take on it, and that lovely French lady alone was worth the effort .

    2. You think the exposition in THE THING FROM ANOTHER PLANET is bad, wait till you read John W. Campbell’s short story. Right now, MacReady, who’s not a helicopter pilot but second in command, has been spewing dialogue about what they found in the ice, while discussing magnetic poles, how Antarctica looked a gazillion years ago, wind speeds, temperature, and on and on.


      1. Sounds like writing by those whom I call, “Old Testament” authors. As a reader, I don’t really need to know how to construct a nuclear sub from the first bolt or how to practice law after reading a 1,000 page book. Though, some have said, verbosity is my baby’s daddy, but I’ll always get you out of the desert much faster than 40 years.
        John Campbell’s “short story” doesn’t sound so short or appealing to me. Less is more in writing, more or less, imo.

        1. The worst thing about Campbell’s exposition: It’s all in the dialogue – in a massive multi-page and uninterrupted monologue from MacCready. A couple of times, he even does the “as you know” crap.

          Ron, put this on a T-shirt: “Less is more in writing, more or less” and you’ll be a millionaire in short order!

          1. The suggestion is appreciated, Bill. Cranking them out now.
            As a writer, verbosity is always an ass biter.
            In fact, as you know well, too many words can be as detrimental to a project as too few, but if you practice the English art of punctuation, grammar in general, and their usage of run-on sentences, using clever punctuation devices such as the oft-used colon and more than often tagged-in semicolon; you’ll begin to see that verbosity is merely a device used by some of the greatest writers of yesteryear and in our times to make more money when their works at times, become less about substance and more about volume, like in a work of fiction, how to build a nuclear submarine, when they are paid by the word; we, too, could genuflect our verbose muscle if the publisher dude or ette would see fit to compensate us for every word in our manuscript because as some writers know, more, in fact, is more, while less remains wanting, and our commas can always be used for the wanted effects, pause, breath, if we so choose.
            As well as, the use of a new paragraph for impact on a stand alone sentence, emphasising the salient point the writer wishes to showcase.
            Yep, a picture is worth at minimum 1k words.

          2. Ha! “Ivanhoe” scribe, Sir Walter Scott, was the first “hack.” He got paid by the word. That’s why it took him multiple pages to describe one person and his/her clothing. I couldn’t stand the man – so I sat down.

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