While it’s fair to say that no film exists in a vacuum, and that all movies are inspired by other works of art, some films are ripped off a heck of a lot more than others. These are the prime movies, the films that create or redefine whole genres, that boast technical and narrative innovations that force everyone else in the industry to sit up, take notice, and react by producing similar movies in the hopes of having a similar impact.
You can probably think up a few of these prime movies on your own, like Star Wars, Psycho, Seven Samurai and Halloween. And of course we have to include Ridley Scott’s Alien, a film that spawned wave after wave of imitators which took the tropes of the earthbound horror genre and transported them to outer space (or other futuristic locales), and/or menaced big ensemble casts with grotesque new sci-fi imagery.
The list of Alien knockoffs is so long that it may as well be its own subgenre, and like any subgenre there are good examples and bad examples within it. Sure, Alien knockoffs may be inherently derivative but that doesn’t mean they’re all bad. Many of these films are impressively produced, or pretty darned fun, or – at their best – add new elements to the formula that challenge our expectations.
So, since Alien Covenant was a bit of a letdown (and ironically played like an Alien knockoff too), let’s take a look at our eight favorite films that wouldn’t exist without Ridley Scott’s innovative masterpiece. They’re the best Alien knockoffs we’ve ever seen, and we think you should see them too.
Eight Unusually Good ‘Alien’ Knockoffs:
Top Photo: Constantin Films
William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.