Aliens Unmasked: A Salute To The Human Faces Behind My Favorite Movie Aliens! [F]

Goodness I love science-fiction! Behind every alien and beneath every sci-fi suit and mask, and not to forget cyborg, creature, monster and mutant scum, there’s a human actor or actress we never get to see on-screen. Mad props to you all, I salute ye!

Here are a few, unmasked so if you see them on the street you can now haggle them for an autograph 😀 Let’s start with the ones you may never have heard of / my favourites:

Robert Picardo as Wak in ‘Explorers’ (1985)

This is ‘one’ of my Top five All-Time Favourite Films and that’s never going to change. Wak is a fun, and yes, very wak alien. But can you blame him?

Three young boys discover they have been given the blueprints for interplanetary starship travel through their collective dream. They build a spacecraft from an old theme-park ride and embark on an adventure every childhood science geek dreams of.

*Ahem, like moue* This adventurous space tale (a contemporary Huckleberry Finn adventure) stars a young Ethan Hawke and late star River Phoenix as misfit best friends.

Director Joe Dante celebrates science-fiction with this family friendly classic, and don’t get me started on its ‘perfect’ soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith – RIP (February 10, 1929 – July 21, 2004). If you want your child to turn out like Fin, try show this to them ASAP HA!

7′ 7″ Lock Martin as Gort from ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ (1951)

1951 and not the snore fest remake with that young girl who solved the Labyrinth. The Day the Earth Stood Still is based on a 1940s short story “Farewell to the Master” by Harry Bates and is truly a science-fiction classic. “Klaatu barada nikto!” = Don’t tase me, bro! Great film, cheers ‘D’light for showing me.

Klaatu (possibly analogous to Jesus and his message) claims Earthlings’ warlike behavior is of no interest to the spacefaring species of the universe, as long as it’s contained to one planet. But the interstellar community is beginning to fear that Earthlings are about to discover interstellar travel, and they will not permit humanity to bring their atomic weapons with them.

Paul Reubens AKA Pee-Wee-Herman as Max, the nickname the boy gives to the robotic pilot artificial intelligence which calls itself a Trimaxian Drone Ship from the planet Phaelonin in ‘Flight of the Navigator’ (1986)

Good year! (Chernobyl & Challenger aside…) Every image of the alien spacecraft in this movie is visual splendour. Sleek, very appealing, memorable and iconic. Max Rocks!

Disney is probably/most definitely going to remake this film and I don’t care, as long as the classic original is around I’m fine with their attempt to capture what made this film great – 80s vibes and that Beach Boys moment! “Round Round Get Around I Get Around.” Watch it, COMPLIANCE!

This film also stars a very young Sarah Jessica Parker as NASA intern Carolyn McAdams, and I must admit I had a crush on her when I was a boy (and one on the ‘child like empress’ “Moon Child” from ‘Neverending Story’ too, but that was yonks ago) …Damn’it I have Limahl in my head now!

A 12-year-old boy goes missing in 1978, only to reappear once more in 1986. In the eight years that have passed, David hasnt aged.

It is no coincidence that at the time David comes back, a flying saucer is found, entangled in electricity cables.

Dan O’Herlihy as Grig in ‘The Last Starfighter’ (1984)

One of my favourite over-re-run childhood VHS tapes I ever owned. The Last Starfighter is in fact a sci-fi retelling of ‘The Sword in the Stone’. Instead of Arthur pulling Excalibur from the stone, 18-year-old Alex Rogan brakes the top record of an arcade game called Starfighter.

It’s a great family film that I never get bored with watching – Especially the final death scene!

“Captain! We are trapped in the moons gravitational pull! What do we do?” (pause) … (visor swivels over eye) *bzweeeeeeet-click* “We die.” (pause) … *EXPLOSION!!!* (EPIC)

It was one of the first films that used computer generated special effects as an actual narrative medium and not treat it as if it were graphics by the characters in the movie: (also the ‘first’ computer generated Spacecraft; designed by artist Ron Cobb)

You know what I mean? Tron had graphics but every character in the movie knew and acknowledged them as graphics. Whereas now a days it’s normal to suspended your disbelief of green screening. Starfighter was the first to achieve/do this …yeah…

A young man seemingly doomed to stay at his trailer park home all his life, finds himself recruited as a gunner for an alien defence force thanks to his topscore on the arcade machine / training simulator at his trailer park – No way, I can totally relate!

Alice Krige as the Borg Queen in ‘Star Trek: First Contact’ (1996)

The enigmatic Borg Queen is the central locus of the Borg Collective and brings order to the legions of voices within the Hive mind. She is the “one who is many.”

The borg. What can I say about the Borg other than they’re hands down the most malevolent cybernetic organisms in the Star Trek universe. Not just because they look badass, but because they will assimilate you against your will because they truly believe that their Borg nanoprobes will unite all species thus becoming a superior, perfect race.

By introducing the new concept of a ‘central locus Borg Queen’ in First Contact, the Borg became so badass and grounded as an ongoing threat that they reappeared to play major roles in The Next Generation and Voyager television series, primarily as an invasion threat to the ‘United Federation of Planets’ and the means of return to the ‘Alpha Quadrant’ for isolated Federation starship Voyager, respectively. *deep breath* Can you tell I’m a fan?

First Contact is a tight, contained and controlled little story and was directed by Jonathan Frakes who plays Captain Picard’s first officer, Commander Riker. Not as epic in scale as some of the earlier Star Trek films but very much one of my favourites – “Assimilate this!” …Speaking of Star Trek:

Robin Sachs as General Sarris, the reptilian insectoid in ‘Galaxy Quest’ (1999)

“By Grabthar’s Hammer” I almost forgot about this surprise hit! A successful standalone sci-fi comedy that parodies Star Trek’s cult following phenomena and the conventions it spawned. Jonathan Frakes himself approves.

I believe that great casting can breathe life into an otherwise mediocre story, but when the two align the results can be highly entertaining. That, and Sigourney Weaver’s hotness helps:

Sigourney Weaver as Gwen DeMarco, the actress who played Lt. Tawny Madison, the Computer Officer of the Protector, who performed communication duties similar to Lt. Uhura. As the show’s female sex symbol.

Captured Alien Invader voiced by Frank Welker in ‘Independence Day’ (1996)

“WELCOME TO EARTH!” Admit it; you love Independence Day! It’s ok, what’s there not to love? The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Jeff Goldblum, Data’s doppelgĂ€nger, Tentacles, F/A-18 Hornets dogfighting sick-looking alien crafts within earth’s atmosphere, foolish hippies getting blasted off skyscrapers, the White House’s iconic destruction and President of the United States Bill Pullman! (could have done with a little more burlesque action, but hey)

This movie put science fiction back in the lime light, was one of the first disaster movies to kick-start the genre, and rates tops when it comes to great (cheesy fun) popcorn flicks! Too bad them aliens didn’t upgrade their virus scan software, tisk tisk.

Louis Gossett Jr. as Jeriba-Jerry-Shigan from ‘Enemy Mine’ (1985)

I remember watching this with my mum. “You Ugly Head!” If you are a fan of science fiction then Enemy Mine is one of those films that you MUST see. I’ll get you a copy ok.

Going through my retro collection of Starlog magazines (man that felt weird saying) I found a small write-up on its production:

A soldier from Earth crash-lands on an alien world after sustaining battle damage. Eventually he encounters another survivor, but from the enemy species he was fighting; they band together to survive on this hostile world.

Admiral Ackbar played by Timothy M. Rose and voiced by Erik Bauersfeld in ‘Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

Achuta! My favourite Mon Calamari from Mon Calamari, Admiral Ackbar, the supreme commander of all space forces for the Rebel Alliance during the second and final assault on the rebuilt and fully operational Death Star! Old Ackbar has become quite the internet meme.

I’d also like to honourably mention these BAMFing bounty hunters that make a quick appearance in The Empire Strikes Back, who I imagine were unfortunately ‘rejected’ by the empire: “WE DON’T NEED THEIR SCUM.”

Michael Patrick Bilon (August 29, 1947 – January 27, 1983) played ‘E.T. The Extra Terrestrial’ (1982)

How can I continue and not give mention to E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, directed by Steven Spielberg in his prime; when he truly was the best at making successful box office films.

Spielberg took the time to craft details, layer on an internal logic unique and relative to the world he wanted us to see, and fuse it all with visual appeal and memorable imagery. A film that encourages imagination, holds excitement, and manages to capture life through the eyes of a child. I give credit where credit is due, and E.T. is definitely a master piece of storytelling.

But, compared; that abysmal Indiana Jones alien crap makes me think, a wee bit too much self-indulgence went to your head there Mr Spielberg. And CGI monkeys!? I know where the zoo is thanks.

Back to ET – Great nostalgia is associated with this feel-good flick for a great many people around the world. Plus it stars a young Drew Barrymore, who happens to be fucking awesome! (Justin Long you lucky son of a *#@*$)

ET ALWAYS manages to bring a few held-back tears to my eyes, and I think most of them are a credit to John Williams and his mastery of sound.

Did you know that Pat Welsh (and Debra Winger), the voice of E.T. went uncredited in the film. Shocking.

Bolaji Badejo as Alien in Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’ (1979)

“In space, no one can hear you scream.” Alien (sometimes referred to as a xenomorph) laid the foundation and set the standard for every subsequent Alien in the franchise, thanks to the talented and obscure mind of Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger:

Bolaji Badejo’s role as the title character (the Alien) in ‘Alien’ was practically tailor-made to suit him.

Badejo was a young African design student when he was picked up from a bar by Ridley Scott (director of ‘Alien’). He was as big as Scott wanted the alien to be: at least two metres (6ft, 7in) tall. Bolaji Badejo, a Masai warrior, stood at well over 7ft . It was Scott’s intention to create a monster that looked as if no human could be behind the mask.

It was to be long and angular, with an impossible frame that only a few men would be able to fill. Badejo filled the role. Lucky.

Maiwenn Le Besco as Diva Plavalaguna from ‘The Fifth Element’ (1997)

Maïwenn Le Besco is a French actress and film director, sometimes credited as Maïwenn. Maïwenn had a daughter, Shana, in 1993 with director Luc Besson. (I read somewhere that she was only 16) They were still engaged at the beginning of filming for The Fifth Element, during which Besson left her for Milla Jovovich. Maïwenn later had a son, Diego, with her second husband, Jean-Yves Le Fur.

Inva Mula-Tchako is the voice behind the Diva Plavalaguna when she performs the aria “Oh, giusto cielo!…Il dolce suono” (the mad scene) from Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and “The Diva dance” song.

I actually love the Mondoshawans (played by Clifton Lloyd Bryan,Richard Ashton, Justin Lee Burrows, Jerome Blake, Kevin Molloy and Francois Guillaume – (uncredited) more than the Diva, but the performance anxiety and need to express character emotion through the face demands a heck of a lot more ‘courage’ than wearing a suit.

The Fifth Element is so great, It doesn’t really require praise or explanation – it, just, is. Perfect. This film is unique, colourful, humorous, intriguing, has a beautiful (another fav) soundtrack by Eric Serra, is sexy, smart, action packed and fun. It stars a great cast and I wouldn’t change a thing. (…Maybe Picasso)

I also think everyone is an alien when they wear *does the voice* Jean Paul Gaultier clothing.

Someone asked me a time ago, if there was one movie I could watch over and over again what would it be? I misheard the question and kicked myself ever since lol. I said the fraking Matrix, being the movie that I have watched the most of, but only because of it’s bro-friendly popcorn flickness. Fifth Element is tops! And don’t you get me started on the Zorg ZF-1 Pod Weapons System! *drools* I’m not a pack-rat, but I still have my ticket-stub somewhere.

Michael Jackson making a cameo appearance in ‘Men In Black II’ making a special request. Who didn’t hiccup a giggle when they first saw this?

Congratulations for making it through this epic post, and thank you. Here are a few extras that require no real introduction, and I was planning on excluding from this post… Basically, I’m too knackered to write anymore and remember the ones I’ve missed:

Kevin Peter Hall as The Predator

Zoe Saldana as Neytiri in ‘Avatar’ (2010)

Eytukan was played by Wes Studi from AVATAR

CCH Pouncher as Mo’at

Chewbacca –  Peter Mayhew

Yoda – Frank Oz

Ray Park as Darth Maul

Can’t forget the best worst fight scene in television history, and I’m so proud that it’s Star Trek. Robert Eugene “Bobby” Clark is an American film, television, stage actor and stunt double. He is the Gorn.

Done & Done. Have I missed any?

~ by Fionnlagh on November 26, 2010.

4 Responses to “Aliens Unmasked: A Salute To The Human Faces Behind My Favorite Movie Aliens! [F]”


    Epic post BTW!

  2. YOU DA MAN FIN! Hurry up and get rich already!

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  4. Thank you. I am curious about this mission of yours. What is it?

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