We're hot on the heels of the 4th of July, and that means you'll probably get an entire day off work to watch movies about aliens.
Why aliens? Because it's Independence Day, silly: the day our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, freeing the thirteen American colonies from British rule. As a nation of immigrants, one could argue that we're all aliens on this special day. So without further ado, here are the top five Alien movies to watch on Independence Day (*wink wink*).
5. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a rare case where the remake of a movie not only does the original justice, but improves upon it in every capacity. Donald Sutherland stars as a San Francisco health inspector who discovers a species of alien life forms that integrate with plants to replicate humans. Can he stop these "pod people" before they copy and kill everyone he loves? Invasion of the Body Snatchers plays with the deeply human fear of finding out that our friends and loved ones aren't actually who we think they are. But as great a movie as it is, it's nowhere close to our number one pick for best alien movie for Independence Day.
20th Century Fox
Part sci-fi horror, part hardcore action, the original Predator is easily one of the most fun, adrenaline-pumping alien movies ever. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the leader of an elite military team, sent into Central America on a rescue mission. Unfortunately for him and his team, the Predator––a technologically advanced space alien who gets his kicks hunting intelligent lifeforms––got there first. Predator features great special effects, grisly deaths, and one of the coolest alien monsters to ever hit the silver screen. On Independence Day, however, there's still another movie that's even more relevant.
3. Lilo and Stitch
Walt Disney Pictures / Photofest
Sure, Lilo and Stitch may not feature blood, gore, or the existential dread of realizing that humans are mostly likely not at the top of the cosmic food chain, but it's still an alien movie. Lilo is a little Hawaiian girl who likes to surf. Stitch is a cute blue alien who is also an intergalactic space criminal. The two become friends and surf together. It's very sweet, and unlike many of the other alien movies on this list, it can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Even factoring in Stitch's adorableness, a different alien movie naturally needs to top the list for Independence Day.
20th Century Fox
Considered by many to be the greatest sci-fi horror film of all time, Ridley Scott's Alien remains one of the best alien-related movies ever made. The story follows the crew of a commercial space tug called Nostromo that discovers a deadly alien loose within the interior of the ship. Alien utilizes incredible practical effects and features the iconic (and original) alien-bursting-out-of-a-dude's-chest scene. It also stars Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, one of cinema's first real badass female protagonists. Now, without further ado, here's what you've all been waiting for––the number one best alien movie to watch on Independence Day:
1. Starship Troopers
That's right folks, the single best alien movie to watch on Independence Day is Starship Troopers. Oh, you thought it was going to be Independence Day with its razor-thin plot and distinct lack of political subtext? Maybe we'll do that during a year when immigrants aren't being detained en masse on the Mexican border, with children in concentration camps on American soil.
On one hand, Starship Troopers is an awesome sci-fi movie featuring brutal, large-scale space battles between mankind and the insectoid alien race known as "Arachnids." But more importantly, Starship Troopers is a merciless satire of right-wing militarism and American jingoism. This makes it the perfect pick for the 4th of July, because on "America's Birthday" it's nice to remember that we're supposed to be a nation of aliens, and not a fascist, xenophobic regime.
Also, after watching Starship Troopers, you can appreciate this great song:
"Death from Above" Music Video www.youtube.com