Another Bughunt
July 18, 2015 4:46 PM   Subscribe

Galaxy of Terror, Mutant (NSFW), Contamination and the joy of cheap alien knockoffs. Prefer the sequel? Here's Aliens remade under the name "Terminator 2". Sadly one take on the franchise that will not be seeing the light of day is Alien Identity, a fan film recently shut down by a cease and desist from Fox. Meanwhile the Neil Blomkamp Alien film continues to incubate.
posted by Artw (50 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
First few links are to trailers, though the truly interested may notice full length versions of uncertain provenance are not hard to find on YouTube, possible only a sidebar click away.
posted by Artw at 4:47 PM on July 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


James Cameron worked on Galaxy of Terror, pre-terminator.
posted by lkc at 4:48 PM on July 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh! And mutant has a good rifftrax VOD.
posted by lkc at 4:49 PM on July 18, 2015


James Cameron worked on Galaxy of Terror, pre-terminator.

Most notably on the alien pyramid, which is a strangely familiar idea.
posted by Artw at 4:51 PM on July 18, 2015 [10 favorites]


Galaxy of Terror was memorable only for the appearance of Erin Moran from Happy Days.
posted by cazoo at 4:53 PM on July 18, 2015


Oh! And in the storyboad there are some weird spikes that look like they are out of Giger's Dune concept art. If Alien had had a Pyramid it would have had some rather neat hieroglyphics outlining the alien life cycle.

And all of this, in weirdly mashed up distorted form, ended up in Prometheus which is pretty much the biggest glossiest alien knock off of all.
posted by Artw at 4:56 PM on July 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Prometheus which is pretty much the biggest glossiest alien knock off of all.

It is a knock-off and it has a fair amount of problems but the more I watch it, the more I enjoy it.
posted by Fizz at 6:01 PM on July 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


For all that it is terrible I get a kick out of all the bits where they've clearly taken leftover concepts and concept art from Alien and splatted it onto the screen in big-budget-o-vision.
posted by Artw at 6:02 PM on July 18, 2015


Artw,

What I loved most about it is that it often felt more like a horror film and less a SF film. The original franchise always straddled these two genre carefully. But Prometheus just feels like stupid people making stupid decisions in space. And there's a kind of 'can't look away' horror to the film. At least with the first two films in the original Alien(s) franchise, we have an intelligent woman who is surrounded by people who are either arrogant or corrupt.

In Prometheus we watch a scientist who SHOULD know better with regards to approaching a species he has never encountered die because of his own ineptitude. Millburn's death is my favourite scene in that entire film.
posted by Fizz at 6:24 PM on July 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well there we a deffo in shitey B-Movie territory.
posted by Artw at 6:37 PM on July 18, 2015


Uh, so why is the beginning of the Galaxy of Terror trailer from Battle Beyond the Stars? Were they just trying to make their shitty movie look more exciting with footage from another shitty movie?
posted by selfnoise at 6:51 PM on July 18, 2015


Actually, let me walk that back a bit. Battle Beyond the Stars is way more fun than these films.
posted by selfnoise at 6:55 PM on July 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why do they keep giving Neil Blomkamp money to make movies?
posted by octothorpe at 7:16 PM on July 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I suspect the chronological evidence will led to a room with vaccum tubes surrounding a parrifin wax wrapping of John W. Campbell Jr.
posted by clavdivs at 7:19 PM on July 18, 2015


The James Cameron special effects in Battle Beyond the Stars ended up being reused all over the place - they probably set some kind of record for it. Probably to do with it being the one movie where the economically minded Roger Corman got a budget to work with and him wanting to make the most of it.
posted by Artw at 7:22 PM on July 18, 2015


Why do they keep giving Neil Blomkamp money to make movies?


Dude is visually brilliant - I just wish there were a Dan O'Bannon level scriptwriter working with him as it's becoming rapidly clear he has no idea what he is doing in that department.
posted by Artw at 7:24 PM on July 18, 2015 [9 favorites]


Actually, let me walk that back a bit. Battle Beyond the Stars is way more fun than these films.

You're only saying that because you like busty spaceships.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:29 PM on July 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


I always think of Parasite as being a sort of spiritual predecessor to Alien, especially the notion that this critter, desperately being sought by the corporation/government, is hiding away in the star's stomach, ready to burst out.
posted by mittens at 7:30 PM on July 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Artw: "Dude is visually brilliant - I just wish there were a Dan O'Bannon level scriptwriter working with him as it's becoming rapidly clear he has no idea what he is doing in that department."

I haven't seen Chappie yet, but I'm almost coming around to wanting to see it, after William Gibson, of all people, championing it on Twitter, and retweeting all the people who thank him for making them see it.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:00 PM on July 18, 2015


Chappie's saving grace is Die Antwoord who, admittedly, would be any movie's saving grace.
posted by item at 8:45 PM on July 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


now I'm picturing a world where Die Antwoord starred in Lake House.
posted by item at 8:46 PM on July 18, 2015 [9 favorites]


i've said it before...ninja would make a terrific gully foyle.
posted by j_curiouser at 9:04 PM on July 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Battle Beyond the Stars FX footage and spaceship models got reused endlessly, in everything. I swear to God, there's probably a spaceship from that movie somewhere in To Kill a Mockingbird.
posted by Naberius at 9:21 PM on July 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


Why do they keep giving Neil Blomkamp money to make movies?

My thing is that he seems like such an obvious choice (I mean, that and all his movies are dumb). I miss the Fox mindset that gave the Alien franchise to a weirdo French director who'd made feverish dystopic films about cannibalism and stolen dreams, or to the guy who made a bunch of Madonna music videos. I want the next Alien movie to be directed by Lynne Ramsay, or the guy who made Kanye's 'Bound 2' video, or by someone who's only ever made Colgate commercials or something. I already know what Neil Blomkamp's Alien movie is going to look like.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:01 PM on July 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Why do they keep giving Neil Blomkamp money to make movies?

Well his first film was amazing (well the first 3/4 at least)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:32 AM on July 19, 2015


It's interesting how much Fox lets people get away with... ie this 'Predator in medieval times' short. But a more substantial sounding piece with actual actors from the film series (even if they are playing different roles) was a step to far. I kinda think the film-makers already knew this and but it's all good publicity for their eventual non-Aliens aliens film
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:37 AM on July 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Talking of Die Antwoord this looked a far more interesting project.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:52 AM on July 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Also, Hicks totally died at the start of Alien 3..."

Alien 3? Alien 3? Nope, don't recall any movie by that name. Sorry.
posted by Splunge at 7:59 AM on July 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Contamination is garbage but it's worth noting that it has a typically fantastic Goblin soundtrack.
posted by Merzbau at 8:09 AM on July 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Gibson has plugged Chappie so relentlessly it's worn me out following him on twitter - does he have any stake in the thing or is this just an odd bit of celebrity fan enthusiasm for the film?
posted by ominous_paws at 9:32 AM on July 19, 2015


I haven't actually seen Chappie but the trailers looked terrible and the reviews were dismal and after being burnt by Elysium, I wasn't inclined to give Blomkamp any more of my money. I'll probably check it out if it shows up on Netflix/Hulu/Prime.
posted by octothorpe at 9:47 AM on July 19, 2015


Ang Lee 'Alien' anyone?
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 11:53 AM on July 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Alien 3? Alien 3? Nope, don't recall any movie by that name. Sorry.

Yeah, it's Alien3 not 3!
posted by davros42 at 1:03 PM on July 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


I could see Blomkamp directing the hell out of the Gibson Alien 3. Would still lack identifiable characters with much to do but would look amazing.
posted by Artw at 1:23 PM on July 19, 2015


I actually like the "work print" of Alien 3 even though Fincher disowned it.
posted by octothorpe at 1:59 PM on July 19, 2015


Funny, I think of Alien as a cheap Terrore Nello Spazio knockoff, but it's at least one of the better ones.
posted by sonascope at 5:11 PM on July 19, 2015


There's certainly a big chunk of Planet of the Vampires in it's DNA, especially the derelict. It's basically Planet of the Vampires mated onto the bits with the pet from Dark Star.
posted by Artw at 5:14 PM on July 19, 2015


I'm willing to cut Blomkamp some slack, because it looks like he's trying to pick up the baton from Paul Verhoeven, and is attempting to make films that are fun, violent, sci-fi romps with a heavy dose of black humor. Unfortunately, Blomkamp has two things holding him back and dragging down his movies.

One, even though Chappie, Elysium, and District 9 are rated R, they don't feel like it. Or at least not to the harrowing extent that Robocop, Total Recall, and Starship Troopers did. I don't know why. Today's R feels like yesterday's PG-13, and today's PG-13 is pretty tame.

Two, all the films are fantasies, and have a lot of crazy things happening in the story, but Verhoeven's are better written and have internally consistent logic. Blomkamp's films all seem to stagger, and contradict themselves in places. This can be fixed, but I'm not sure what can be done about the state of the R rating. Chappie got pretty coy in a few places regarding violence. So much so, it was surprising that it had an R rating at all.

note: long time reader, first time... etc. Coughed up the five bucks just to throw this out there.
posted by Wetterschneider at 6:19 PM on July 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also, "It, the Terror from Beyond Space", which has pretty much the same plot as Alien.
posted by octothorpe at 6:20 PM on July 19, 2015


ominous_paws: "Gibson has plugged Chappie so relentlessly it's worn me out following him on twitter - does he have any stake in the thing or is this just an odd bit of celebrity fan enthusiasm for the film"

I haven't seen or read anything to indicate he has anything to do with it, beyond being a big fan, obviously.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:07 AM on July 20, 2015


Whilst looking for something else I found this self-interview / thing from Ninja re the crazy rumours on what was going on on the set of Chappie. If anything it makes it seem even more crazy.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:27 AM on July 20, 2015


octothorpe: "Also, "It, the Terror from Beyond Space", which has pretty much the same plot as Alien."

Different movies for different times. I saw It as a child and it terrified me. If I were to compare me at that age and It to me at the age I was for Alien, I might even consider It the better movie.

Let's face it, dude in a monster suit. Cramped space ship. Alien vs. humans. Same movie, different day.
posted by Splunge at 3:50 AM on July 20, 2015


"Also, "It, the Terror from Beyond Space", which has pretty much the same plot as Alien."

Was that the movie where the astronauts looked over and happened to find a box of grenades on top of a filing cabinet or something as equally amazing?
posted by synthetik at 7:29 AM on July 20, 2015


Actually the grenades and firearms as well were included in the ship's stores. This was 1958, so that was not considered unusual.
posted by Splunge at 9:30 AM on July 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Per the Wikipedia plot description they dug out the grenades as the regular .45 sidearms they are carrying around on a spaceship prove ineffective.

Alien's improvised weaponry and the crews concern about putting a hole in the ship are a bit of a contrast to that.
posted by Artw at 10:05 AM on July 20, 2015


It's pretty astounding that Alien was only twenty years after "It, ...", there's really such a sharp dividing line of "before 2001" and "after 2001" for science fiction movies.
posted by octothorpe at 11:22 AM on July 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


2001: A Space Odyssey marked a watershed moment in science fiction movies. In a way, Kubrick legitimized the genre. People wanted 'smart' sci-fi after that.
posted by Splunge at 4:46 PM on July 20, 2015


The other watershed moment being Star Wars, which took the standard SF look of gleaming whites and silvers and replaced it with a lived in, broken down look.
posted by Artw at 8:19 PM on July 20, 2015


The cast and crew of Alien Identity speak with Mark Johnston on Talk 34 about the C&D

Not listened to it all as yet but, skimming through, the interview starts about 30mins in.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:39 PM on July 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


From Alien to ITV: Sigourney Weaver set for guest role on Doc Martin

For those that don't know Doc Martin is literally the most bland television show you can imagine.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:51 AM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


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