Alien. That one simple word holds more horror for me than an entire Stephen King novel. I've always had this love/hate fascination with aliens. As a child, I would constantly take out books about UFO's from the library. I would read the cases and study the photographs and I would quietly freak out that I might get abducted and experimented on. It's silly, but that irrational fear still lingers in the back of my mind. I hear a strange noise in the house at night and my first thought isn't "GHOST!". Nope....my first thought is "AW FUCK.....ALIENS!"
I remember when I was about 7 or 8, my Dad bought me a copy of the Alien video game for the Commodore 64. I had never seen the movie, but I was VERY familiar with the VHS box art that graced the copy that sat on the shelf at Video Paradise as well as my new game. Oh....that strange awful egg....cracked and leaking green stuff.....that strange alien lattice work beneath it. That tag line....In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream......I couldn't even begin to imagine what horrors awaited. We got it at K-Mart. I don't know why I remember that exactly.....I just have an image in my head of me and my Dad at the game counter. Thought I would share that with you.
The Alien game had quite an effect of me. Loading up the game (yes, back in those days, you had to actually load the game yourself!) for the first time, I had no idea what to expect. When the title screen appeared, it was incredible.....and frightening. The music that plays during the title sequence of the game is absolutely evil. The SID tune used a series of filters to create a sound that was literally out of this world. It FELT alien. The music immediately burned itself into my brain.....joining the ranks of the Forbbiden Forest (and Beyond The Forbidden Forest) as my all time favorite video game music.
The game itself was quite hard and I never completed it, but I still had a lot of fun trying my best to get rid of the alien on my ship. When a crew member was killed, it switched to an animation of the alien attacking. The 8-Bit incarnation of the Alien was my first exposure to the titular beast. I remember asking my Dad if it looked in the movie as it did in the game. He said "Yeah...sorta." And that was that. A few years later, I finally watched the film and decided he was right.
I had a nightmare about that damned egg on the poster. In my dream, my sister and I were walking home from the bus stop. When we rounded the corner of our street and our house came into view, that egg was hovering in the air very close to our house. It was pulsating. We rushed inside and into the kitchen. The house was empty. My sister opened the cabinet where my mother kept all our canned goods. There was a room back there behind the cans! We climbed into this secret room and we watched from a tiny window that egg.....pulsating and starting to crack. We didn't know where our parents were. We sat and waited....and watched. It pulsated more. It cracked more. Finally my mother's Plymouth Valiant rolled around the corner and she pulled up to the house. She started to get out of the car and the Egg suddenly dropped and broke open in front of the car. My mother screamed and I woke up. I'll never forget that nightmare. It terrified me beyond reason. I stopped playing the game for quite a while after that. It's probably got a lot to do with the fact that it took me a long time for finally watch the movie too!
As scary as Alien was.....as I grew older it was still the "real" aliens that I read about in Time Life's Mysteries of the Unknown books that scared me. Greys. I started to read about Roswell and the Government's alleged cover-up of the crashed saucer. I read about the Travis Walton case. And then I watched the most terrifying film about aliens ever made: Fire in the Sky. I still can't watch that movie by myself. I watched it with my Mom one Saturday night in my room. I had just gotten a VCR in my room and my Dad had wanted to watch something else on TV....so
we took our rented copy of Fire in the Sky....and a bag of microwave popcorn and 90 minutes later, we were both terrified.
Oh yeah....don't get me started on Communion. Aliens. Abduction....AND Christopher Walken?!? Holy crap. I caught an edited version of it on TV once....I think it might have been on FOX.....back when they showed an 8 o'clock movie. Remember the good ol' days?
The odd part has always been the fact that despite the fact that aliens scare the crap out of me, I can't seem to get enough. I can't stop reading about them or watching movies like The Fourth Kind. That movie wigged me out too. Since I'm confessing here, I might as well go ahead and tell you that I went to see M. Night Shyamalan's Signs.....and I did not sleep well that night. Go ahead, call me a pussy. I won't stop you. It's not my fault that this shit scares me, I'm just wired that way.
I'm beyond obsessed with Ancient Aliens, UFO Hunters and the slew of bizarre alien and UFO programming that you find on a multitude of channels these days. I firmly believe that there is life on other planets. I don't know if they've visited us yet, but I have a feeling they have. I think that I may just see the day that the world discovers once and for all that we are not alone in the universe in my lifetime. I will then promptly arm myself to the teeth and get ready to kick E.T's ugly ass. I've seen enough movies to know how this ends.