Number 5: “Alien”/”Aliens”

I was and am to this day COMPLETELY OBSESSED with these dark wet menacing insect like humanoid killing machines known as “Aliens”.

Don’t let the boilerplate name confuse you either.  These are not just ‘Aliens’.  These are the scariest most menacing acid bleeding chest bursters in the galaxy.  I’m not even sure they are a species, maybe more of a virus.

They are the brainchild of master of the dark arts H. R. Geiger.  Who draws the craziest shit you’ve ever seen.  After watching a documentary on him I FINALLY went and checked out some of his other art. HOLY JEEZE what the hell!  To me it would appear this guy either dreams or trips to ANOTHER UNIVERSE where ALL OF THIS STUFF ACTUALLY EXISTS and then draws what he sees.

In the documentary he talks about how these images just show up in his head and he draws them because they scare the hell out of him.  Yeah I can see that.

And who better to bring the most menacing killing machine in the multiverse to life than Ridley Scott.  This dude hangs dong.  (He may be making another appearance in this list as well ;).  Ridley was a graphic designer/visual artist before he was a filmmaker.  This is impeccably apparent in his film “Alien”.  The atmosphere, inside the ship, on the alien planet, inside the alien’s ship, etc are all INCREDIBLY detailed and a feast for your eyes.  But then he’s also a genius at pacing, casting, story structure, and well everything that goes into making an amazing film.

This movie crushes it.  So many deep and bewildering ideas.  It would be years until I understood that the alien skeleton with the hole in his chest was not an “Alien”.  He was another species in the universe who was also horribly killed by an “Alien”.  WHAT? Wow!  Give that man the ten thousand dollars!  What a concept.  You’re telling me we’ve not only found aliens but we’ve found two aliens?  And one totally fucked the other up however many millennia ago? HOMG! I could have a nerd stroke right now.

“Alien” knocked it out of the airlock with the terrifying reality of dealing with a single “Alien” in your space ship.

“Aliens” knocked it out of the much bigger airlock by pitting a group of future marines against an entire nest of “Aliens”.   And for my money is even BETTER!  To say James Cameron is better than Ridley Scott would be very silly.  One is not better than the other they are extremely different.  Without Ridley, Cameron never could have made “Aliens”.  But taking that extremely fertile idea and extrapolating it as only Jim Cameron could, you unleash arguably the greatest science fiction film of all time that STILL stands tall even among today’s much larger budgeted CG filled nightmares.

When I was a boy of let’s say six or seven.  I was so obsessed with these creatures and  would draw them all day.  I loved the length of their skulls and would spend hours making sure my drawing was perfect.  I would even include the little tongue biter that would shoot out of their mouth.  Scary?  Yes, Chris that’s terrifying. I agree!  But here we are.

And if “Alien” inspired your six year old self to draw freaky sexualized alien looking humanoids all day then come on down to the Staged Reading of my Psychadelic Cyberpunk Film Noir screenplay “Mum Knows Best” on Sunday August 9th from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Annoyance Theatre & Bar https://www.facebook.com/events/875860632494808/ because we’ve got your six year old self and he’s freaking out.

 

I say this line to my dog every night before bed
I say this line to my dog every night before bed

Number 10: “Terminator 2: Judgement Day”

If you’re wondering, yes I did just start humming the theme song to this unbelievably well done and insanely entertaining epic film.

I can’t think of a single movie that I watched while growing up that has influenced me more than this movie.  It had Arnold jacked and bad ass as ever in a super cool and interesting alternate reality where artificial intelligence blows up the world with nukes.  Nowadays that actually sounds pretty standard and normal but this movie is anything but!

James Cameron is simply a master at creating incredibly engrossing hard boiled worlds where the action is simply the best you’ve ever seen.

This dude straight up will wait decades until the technology catches up to his ambition. Like what he did with “Avatar”.  He knew he wanted to create his “Star Wars” with the next round of game changing technology in the late nineties.  But the technology simply wasn’t there so he just waited!  He had already made the highest grossing most successful and every eleven year old girls’ favorite movie in “Titanic” and could have made anything with anyone at anytime he wanted.  But he just waited… twelve years until the technology caught up with his imagination.

Now that takes balls!  The same balls it took to create a movie so good it has spawned three awful sequels, a television show, and plenty more in the works.

Quick Aside: That’s a theme I keep running into.  These great masterworks are amazing and life changing but they leave a wake of crap. “The Simpsons”, “Billy Madison”, “Terminator 2”.  These are my favorite tv shows and movies that I would not be the same person without and yet they are still making “Simpsons” episodes which are unwatchable.  Adam Sandler is still making films which are below unwatchable.  And “Terminator” is still pumping out awfully unwatchable films.

But anyway back to the awesomeness at hand.  I F-ing love this movie.  I love the ideas in this film.  The time travel, artificial intelligence that wants to wipe us out so bad, and the humans who continue to fight the good fight and even have a chance to win is so freaking cool I could shriek.  And then all of these amazing ideas are wrapped up into an astounding film that NO ONE ELSE could make but James Cameron.  Really what a triumph.

I hear he’s a major asshole as well.  Unbearable even.  But for art of this caliber is that really so high a cost to endure.  I am not recommending that or even intimating I might take try out that strategy myself but it does seem to work #SteveJobs!

And if you wish all it took to create great art is you becoming an asshole then come on down to the Staged Reading of my Psychadelic Cyberpunk Film Noir screenplay “Mum Knows Best” on Sunday August 9th from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Annoyance Theatre & Bar https://www.facebook.com/events/875860632494808/ because I’ll probably continue to be a nice and friendly dude…

My favorite arcade game ever...
My favorite arcade game ever…