…From Outer Space!
A good title can do many things, it can draw in the audience or turn them straight off. Everything from The Constant Gardener to Reservoir Dogs to The Science of Sleep all elicit very different responses. A title can a form a mental image in your mind about the film you’re expecting to see. Often a title and accompanying graphics will be enough to grab a passer by and make them watch a trailer or read an article on sites like imdb.
Sometimes you’ll get patterns, most often with sequels such as ‘Part 2’ or ‘Returns’ but in the past there was one popular type of title; the ‘… from Outer Space’ movie. It became famous from early science fiction movies like It Came from Outer Space or Plan 9 from Outer Space in the 50s but more recently bring up images of lower budget ‘cheesy’ films such as ‘Attack of the Flesh Devouring Space Worms From Outer Space’. A 1998 film whose lead actor’s CV includes doubtless classic Cosmic Space Ninja. If nothing else titles like these and other classics like ‘Attack of the…’ movies have a certain charm. They are amusing, exciting and elicit ridiculous and fun images. Your inner monologue reads these kinds of titles with a certain glee or dread that makes them appealing even when you know the film will almost certainly be terrible.
So what if some of the more mainstream movies of recent times came from outer space? How would it change the story and would you still go see it? Here at the20, we endeavour to find out…
Mean Girls from Outer Space!
Actual Plot: Cady Heron is a hit with The Plastics, the A-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron Samuels, the ex-boyfriend of alpha Plastic Regina George.
Space Plot: Cady Heron is a hit with The Plastics, a grotesque alien race whose skin is malleable enough to form itself into any shape. Things take a turn for the worse when Cady accidently kills Trigger MacReady, the ex-general of the Plastic army.
Key Scene: Plastic leader Regina begins to melt as Cady sets upon her with a flame thrower, Ellen Ripley style. Regina’s last words are a bubbly “Bitch, you melted my eyebrows… they took 20 minutes to… blerg…”.
The Karate Kid from Outer Space!
Actual Plot: A handyman/martial arts master agrees to teach a bullied boy karate and shows him that there is more to the martial art than fighting.
Space Plot: A handyman/martial arts master agrees to teach a fallen alien karate and show him that there is more to interstellar travel than peaceful exploration… you can kick ass!
Key Scene: Having entered an Earth karate competition Dani-al Soon is badly beaten and looking at certain defeat. Our extra-terrestrial hero stands up on one leg, arms arced up like a crane… then out of nowhere kicks his opponent square in the balls with his secret hidden leg.
About A Boy from Outer Space!
Actual Plot: About A Boy is the story of a cynical, immature young man who is taught how to act like a grown-up by a little boy
Space Plot: The story of a cynical, non-believer who is taught how to love Star Trek by a little alien boy.
Key Scene: In floods of tears at Hugh Grant’s attitude the little alien boy explains how Star Trek was constructed by his race to soften the blow of their arrival as they are very conscious about their appearance. Explaining that Patrick Stewart is a sophisticated re-con android, all they wanted was an intergalactic cuddle.
Knocked Up from Outer Space!
Actual Plot: For fun loving party animal Ben Stone, the last thing he ever expected was for his one night stand to show up on his doorstep eight weeks later to tell him she’s pregnant.
Space Plot: Fun loving party animal Rebecca is stoned, drunk and seeing things; or at least that’s what she thought. Little did she know that the little green man she slept with was exactly that. Now she’s pregnant and about to give birth to an infant E.T.
Key Scene: Mid-coital banter from our alien Romeo hits new lows when he quips that he’s he can navigate all over the milky way but still can’t find the clitoris.
Falling Down from Outer Space!
Actual Plot: An unemployed defence worker frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society, begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.
Space Plot: A frustrated space worker, angered at his poor working conditions begins to psychotically plot the destruction of his ship. Plummeting towards Earth can the ship’s captain stop the vessel from dropping out the sky and killing thousands?
Key Scene: With the ship sabotaged our intrepid captain reaches the airlock just as Michael Douglas blows the door, sucking him into space smiling manically. He must be dead, right?
Look Who’s Talking from Outer Space!
Actual Plot: After a single, career-minded woman is left on her own to give to birth to the child of a married man, she finds a new romantic chance in a cab driver. Meanwhile the point-of-view of the newborn boy is narrated through voice over.
Space Plot: Mikey is a baby, but he’s no ordinary baby.
Mikey can hear hidden radio transmissions in his head. One night he hears about a secret Russian plot to blow up the White House! Can Mikey somehow warn the President (here played by Chuck Norris) before it’s too late?
Key Scene: Upon hearing the news of the Russian plot, President Norris roundhouse kicks the North Pacific to wave goodbye to the Kremlin.
Batman Returns from Outer Space!
Actual Plot: When a corrupt businessman and the grotesque Penguin plot to take control of Gotham City, only Batman can stop them, while the Catwoman has her own agenda.
Space Plot: After two years lost in a shuttle in space after losing a battle with Dr Freeze, Batman returns to Earth having been driven mad by his frozen solidarity. Can he keep together the shattered pieces of his psyche long enough to defeat the grotesque Penguin and The Riddler to ensure Robin’s safety. Will Catwoman play a telling role in what could be the caped crusaders final battle?
Key Scene: Having crashed to Earth after two years lost to the dark chill of space Batman mistakes Robin for an enemy and almost beats him to death. About to land the final blow Robin brings Batman to tears pleading with him, his cries reminding the caped crusader of the cries of his parents before they were murdered.
Snakes on a Plane from Outer Space!
Actual Plot: An FBI agent takes on a plane full of deadly and poisonous snakes, deliberately released to kill a witness being flown from Honolulu to Los Angeles to testify against a mob boss.
Space Plot: An MI5 agent takes on a Virgin plane full of deadly and poisonous snakes, deliberately released to kill a panda being flown from China to Edinburgh to occupy a giant a zoo cage… in space.
Key Scene: Becoming disgruntled by all the hilarious shenanigans the panda sneezes makings snakes all around it jump! Samuel L Jackson is heard to quip “Don’t let things blow out of proportion”.
The Men Who Stare At Goats from Outer Space!
Actual Plot: A reporter in Iraq might just have the story of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady, a guy who claims to be a former member of the U.S. Army’s New Earth Army, a unit that employs paranormal powers in their missions.
Space Plot: A Russian cosmonaut spends his time alone on a orbiting space station staring down at Earth. Abusing his access to a super telescope he looks down on his wife on their goat farm slowly descending into despair as he watches her affair.
Key Scene: As orchestral music swells and echo’s through the empty station our unnamed cosmonaut slowly succumbs to tears while watching his wife sleep with her chose suitor. He sketches the scene and the camera slowly pans around him, showing first his current drawing before pulling out to show a room covered in sketches of her deceit.
Bambi from Outer Space!
Actual Plot: Animated film about a young deer, Bambi, growing up in the wild after his mother is shot by hunters.
Space Plot: Animated film about a young deer, Bambi, growing up in the wild after his mother is shot by hunters before being reanimated by an alien virus that begins to spread through the forest.
Key Scene: Bambi struggles to save Thumper from a rabid pack of chipmunks as the infection begins to take hold of the forest.
That’s about the best we’ve come up with, why not share any ideas you have? What films could be tweaked if they were …from Outer Space and what plots do you see them having? Tell us in the comments!
All ‘Actual Plot’ details taken from IMDb.