9 Astonishing ’80s Alien Rip-Offs



A look at some of the greatest rip-offs of Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic Alien

There’s no real point in waxing too hard on just how influential and game changing Ridley Scott’s 1979 science fiction horror classic Alien was and continues to be. Taking their cues from B-pictures of the ’50s and ’60s like It! The Terror From Beyond Space and Mario Bava’s Planet of the Vampires, writers Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusset grafted on elements of David Cronenberg’s1975 bio-horror Shivers and in turn, under Scott’s watchful eye, set the template of all interstellar shockers that followed.

But of course, amidst Alien‘s directorial verve and that dynamic cast (Sigourney Weaver, Yaphet Koto, John Hurt, Ian Holm and others) giving life to the script, it was artist H.R. Giger’s animalistic humanoid xenomorph design and the phallic, dripping world the species calls home that really struck a chord with audiences.

And other filmmakers, naturally.

Alien was a huge international success and would spawn three official sequels, a prequel (Prometheus), a sequel to the prequel (the upcoming Alien: Covenant), video games galore, comic books, hybrid franchise features (the Alien Vs. Predator films) and likely many more. It’s influence is everywhere and its reputation as one of the greatest dark fantasy movies ever made is well-earned and deserved.

Yet that influence was felt most amusingly in the 1980’s, during that wonderful period when home video and the glut of “hard top” theaters enabled a new market to open up for fans to consume media and that saw rogue producers like Charles Band and Roger Corman really going for it, exploiting what was hot in the mainstream and effectively making their own “versions” of popular pictures in the hopes that they would catch some of the quarters falling out of the pockets of pundits leaving the multiplex.

Indeed, there were tons of shameless Alien rip-offs running wild in the ’80s, all of them crass and many of them – when viewed today – wonderful and tastelessly charming attempts at carny versions of the house that Ridley Scott built.

Here then are 9 of our all-time favorite ’80s Alien rip-offs.

See if your fave made the list…

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Tuesday: May. 26, 2020


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