Barely a year goes by that our cinema screens aren’t attacked by some cheeky alien menace. And this year was no exception, with the long-awaited MEN IN BLACK 3 and AVENGERS ASSEMBLE tearing it up at the multiplexes. As we await the next invasion, let’s reflect on some of the past alien attacks on this planet we call Earth. And in preparation for the latest extra-terrestrial assault, we could take a few pointers on just how to survive the next alien invasion…
10. Leave The Tap On
Poor old Mel Gibson – his wife is dead, his son has chronic asthma, and his daughter is a mental case who leaves glasses of water all over the house. And now some green buggers are making crop circles in his garden (not to mention sneaking around the house). But it turns out that those half-empty (or should that be half-full) glasses of water might not be such a bad thing, as these particular intergalactic critters are prone to croak when they come in contact with water. Which is strange, considering the fact they’ve chosen to invade a planet that’s 70% covered in the stuff. That being the case, it seems unlikely they’ll be back – but best leave the tap running just to be safe.
9. Get Some Badass Sunglasses
THEY LIVE (1988)
‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper has seen off some pretty fearsome challengers in his time – Mr. T, Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart, and Hulk Hogan to name but a few – but none have been so deadly as the alien menace he faced in this overlooked John Carpenter gem. After finding a pair of cool shades, Piper is able to see the world for what it really is – the home of a covert alien race, controlling us helpless earthlings through subliminal messages. After much ruckus, Piper manages to overthrow the oppressive aliens and restore peace to the world. And all with help of his uber-cool sunglasses – a decade before Will Smith made it ‘look good’.
8. Turn The Heating Down
THE BLOB (1958)
After a meteor crashes to Earth, Steve McQueen finds himself battling the hideous Blob – a gelatinous like beast that consumes everyone in its path. But – as any good alien should – the Blob has one inherent weakness: the cold. Though McQueen (or more precisely, the US Air Force) has to resort to freezing the Blob and dropping it off at the North Pole, this may seem like a tall order for Joe Average. Suggest that you keep the heating off at all times – even during the winter – sure, it may be cold around the house but you can always pop a jumper on. Better to be safe and chilly than sorry and dead.
7. Be A Massive Nerd
THE FACULTY (1998)
Robert Rodriguez’s reworking of INVASION OF THE BODYSNATCHERS saw the alien threat relocated to the typical high school. And who’d have thought that Elijah Wood, in the role of super-nerd Casey, would be the one to see off the intergalactic villains? Recommended steps to take include watching as much Star Trek as humanly possible, letting your Mum choose your wardrobe, and never – and that means NEVER – kissing a girl (until you’ve defeated the alien invasion that is, at which point you can pretty much take your pick).
6. Be A Computer Whizz
INDEPENDENCE DAY (1996)
As it turns out, alien technology is compatible with our own, so uploading a virus into their Mothership should be no problem at all. As long as you’ve got a maverick pilot to fly you up there in the first place. Oh, and have access to a nuclear bomb. Other methods of computer trickery might be appropriate too, such as blocking their Facebook or nicking their iPhone.
MARS ATTACKS! (1996)
Much like it is to most of the human race, the music of Slim Whitman is practically inaudible to Martians. In fact, it makes their heads burst, which is handy if all you’re armed with is your grandmother’s record collection and a gramophone. Better still, practice the high notes yourself, increasing mobility when waging war on the alien race. But once the battle is won, keep it to yourself – it sounds bloody awful.
4. Be A Drunk
Charlie is a joke in his little hicksville hometown – he’s always banging on about messages from outer-space, and to cap it all off, he’s a raging boozer. But when the town is overrun with the vicious ‘Critters’ – a race of pint-sized man-eaters – Charlie saves the day by fashioning a Molotov Cocktail out his handy bottle of booze. In fact, the alien bounty hunters sent after the Critters are so impressed with Charlie they take him back with them. Which must have been a laugh as he went cold turkey for the 3 million light-year trip home.
3. Spread Your Germs
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953)
Despite all of the technology and laser guns at the Martians’ disposal, there was no match for a good old-fashioned touch of man flu. After exposing themselves to our atmosphere, it seemed that the Martian immune system was ill-equipped to deal with a classic cold – the same sniffly annoyance us humans fight off with little more than a Lemsip. So next time you’re faced with an alien menace, remember – coughs and sneezes spread diseases.
2. Blow Up Your Children
VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (1960)
You can never be sure with children, can you? They might look like butter wouldn’t melt, but if the movies are to be believed… whether they are murderous toddlers in PET SEMETARY, or psycho nut-jobs in TOY STORY, they are simply not to be trusted. So after the women of Midwich give birth to a number of alien, telepathic sprogs, there’s only one thing for it – lead them to the local school and blow the mother away. Suggest you do this to your children immediately. Just in case.
1. Be Will Smith
MEN IN BLACK (1997-2012) & INDEPENDENCE DAY (1996)
Not a popular choice, to be sure, but a wise one nonetheless. As Big Willie states himself, he just can’t wait to get up there and ‘whoop ET’s ass.’ Indeed. There’s no doubt, when Earth comes under threat from the alien menace, you can’t knock his credentials. Whether it be stamping on bugs to infuriate an insectoid creature, or punching an alien square on the nose (‘Welcome to Earth’), Big Willie is always ready for action. So slide with me… it is the Willenium after all.