I adore the Alien franchise. The original three films were fantastic. Yes, I said three! I loved Alien 3. Hell, I even enjoyed parts of Alien: Resurrection. I shall even be so bold as to say that I found joy in a few parts of the Alien VS Predator films. But, the one thing I have enjoyed even more than this amazing film franchise is the cheap knock-off’s and badly inspired films that have swamped the world since those glorious days.
Welcome to my five favourite bastard children of the Alien franchise.
The Deadly Spawn (1983)
We’ll start with this little gem. Made for less than $25,000 this -let’s be honest here- indie film is perhaps one of the most unsung sci-fi/horror films of all time. Now, I am not saying it’s a great film. To be frank it’s quite bad. But, it is a film that used its budget well, as far as I’m concerned.
The film revolves around a small town that gets invaded by a legion of alien spawn that arrive via a meteorite to wreak havoc and consume all life. (Nothing new there. -Ed) There is a surprisingly good amount of action, gore and alien goo for such a cheaply made film.
The Terror Within (1989)
Now this little monster is considered a little “too rough” by certain standards of the times. Let me explain. Essentially, the apocalypse has occurred and much of the human race is dead; those not dead are in a desperate fight for survival with horrible mutant creatures. (Not a major change there. -Ed) Now this is where the film gets a little twisted. In order to produce more of their kind the mutants violate human women who then “birth” offspring in a bloody scene reminiscent of Alien “chest bursting”.
SOCIAL METAPHOR: One of the characters gets raped and impregnated, but refuses an abortion as she does not know if the child is the creatures or her boyfriends. It was the most powerful social message of this film, and it is still discussed today.
Saturn 3 (1980)
Now this film is perhaps one of the best sci-fi/suspense films of all time. Not only does it involve only 3 characters and a rogue robot, but those 3 persons were played by some of the best actors of our time. Farrah Fawcett, Kirk Douglas, Harvey Keitel all give amazing performances as they try and outwit and out think their demented robotic colleague as they all run around a spacecraft desperate to survive. (Think alien and Terminator meet 2001 A Space Odyssey. -Ed)
This film is about as close to Alien as you can get. A group of scientist end up getting chased around and killed by an alien monster from beyond the stars. Oh, and the creature can turn the dead into zombie minions/walking snack machines.
DeepStar Six (1989)
Now this was one of my favourite films as a child. I must have seen it a dozen times or more. In this wonderful film a group of underwater researchers get slaughtered by an ancient deep sea creature that they’ve accidentally “discovered”. Let’s be honest, they poked it with a stick and it killed them all!
FUN FACT: The creature was created by legendary SFX artists Chris Walas and Mark Shostrom.
You know, I’ve enjoyed writing this article so much that I might go out and see if I can create a few other articles in a similar vein.