In the 70s alien movies were still relying heavily on the cerebral scare but had at least started to really embrace the visceral terror as well since some of the greatest images in alien movies back in the 70s have given rise to what we know and love now in the current era. If not for some of these movies then it’s easy to think that we wouldn’t have had some of the blockbusters that came later, at least not in their current forms. If you ever stop to think about that you might realize that despite the somewhat lackluster special effects that today’s audiences might accuse these movies of, they were what was available at the time and to be quite honest some of the scared the living hell out of people and made them gape in wonder as they witnessed something they’d never seen before.
Here are some of the best alien movies from the 70s.
5. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Even when he’s promoted to Admiral, Kirk can’t resist taking command of the Enterprise when the ship is sent out to investigate a mysterious cloud-shrouded disturbance that has already caused unrest in the galaxy and is headed for earth. Eventually it’s discovered that at the core of the cloud is a sentient ship that was sent out from earth and presumed lost in a black hole. Voyager, or V Ger, became sentient after being intercepted by a race of sentient machines, thereby gaining consciousness and seeking to return home, but without any decided purpose. The new captain of the Enterprise, a man that had been demoted once Kirk came aboard, offers to give the machine a purpose, and together they disappear, thereby saving earth.
4. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
On the scale of alien abductions being creepy to absolutely terrifying this would get a score of slightly unnerving but nowhere near scary since the whole issue with the UFO’s that are seen in the movie is that they’re able to cause shock and awe but not quite as much terror. Abducting a little boy might be seen as suspect but the fact that he’s returned near the end of the movie seems to indicate that these are benevolent aliens that are perhaps interested in studying humans, not so much torturing them in order find out just how we tick. At any rate, it’s one of the more positive alien films to ever be released.
3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Survival is the key goal of any species and some know how to do it better than others. But then some are evolved on a level where simplicity is key and the complexities that go into other organisms are easily copied and made to work for them rather than against them. In this movie, a remake of an older one, the alien species isn’t exactly an overwhelming evil, but it’s not good either. Humans tend to qualify things as good or evil, but when personal freedoms are taken away and conformity is the only choice then it becomes a struggle to retain one’s identity, something that is quickly suppressed in this movie.
2. Star Wars: A New Hope
In terms of being an epic film a lot of people back in the day didn’t think this would amount to much. In fact it’s not even considered the best of the bunch any longer since Revenge of the Empire kind of took that crown a while back. But in terms of kicking off the franchise this was great since there weren’t a lot of expectations but that meant that there was really no bar to reach for and as a result Star Wars eventually took over as one of the greatest science fiction epics to ever come along. As far as being an alien movie there are plenty of species in this film and the films to come that could classify, but if you think really hard, humans are the aliens on several of the worlds as well in this epic tale.
In space no one can hear you scream. But on the Nostromo everyone can hear when the screaming starts since from the first dumb move when one of the crew members decides to mess with the strange-looking egg to the moment when he’s suddenly splayed out across the table, bucking and thrashing as though he’s having a serious fit, the screams come long and loud. You could ask why in the world anyone would stick their face over the opening of a massive, fleshy egg just to see what was up, but then that’s the movie, and that’s how people react in horror films, and alien films. It’s not intelligent to be honest but it’s a sense of curiosity that people can’t condemn since it does happen.