Life lessons I learned during my The Thing/Alien marathon

July 9, 2012 at 11:17 am (Top Ten) (, )

There are many important — nay, imperative — life lessons to be gleaned from horror/sci-fi movies featuring aliens that want to kill us all.

Here are 10 of them:

1. Always keep a backup flamethrower.

Barring a backup flamethrower, make certain your flamethrower has plenty of fuel, because they always, always, always run out at the most inconvenient time.

Also, if you can manage it, stick close to Kurt Russell, because he’s pretty badass.

2. Never freeze up in terror.

Predators never think motionless little rabbits are rocks, and the evil alien that is killing everything around you will likewise not think you are a rock. Your first inclination might be to hold very still and just hope it goes away, but that always ends in tragedy, except for the evil alien.

Dammit, Lambert, if you would’ve just moved, Yaphet Kotto mightn’t have needed to die!

3. Never NEVER split up.

I know this advice seems a bit counter-intuitive, because if you’re all sitting in one big group, you’re like a human buffet for the killer alien, but there is safety in numbers. As soon as you split up, people start getting eaten, or replicated, or cocooned, or some other godawful thing.

4. Learn how to say “That’s not a dog! It’s an evil shape-shifting alien that wants to kill us all!” in as many languages as possible, even that one that’s mostly tongue clicks.

If the Norwegians in The Thing had been able to spout off this phrase in English or, alternatively, if the Americans had been able to understand this phrase in Norwegian, the tragedy that later followed could easily have been avoided.

“Stupid Americans.”

5. Never trust androids.

I don’t care how Michael Fassbender-y they are, they have almost certainly been programmed to kill you for their masters’ nefarious whims.

You think you’re tough now, Ripley, but soon he’s going to try to murder you with a magazine somehow!

6. It’s never the most obvious guy.

Sure, Clark’s acting all shifty and weird, like he’s probably been replaced by some sort of shape-shifting alien bent on world domination, but did it occur to you that he’s always acted shifty and weird? It’s probably one of the hippies.

Maybe it’s ALL of the hippies.

7. It’s really cool when someone’s head turns into a spider.

Everything about that scene is win.

Pictorial evidence: The Thing is one of the best movies of all time, evah.

8. Don’t put off hunting the evil alien for a more convenient time.

This is a common mistake, apparently. You need to begin your indiscriminate slaughter as soon as possible, before the aliens have time to multiply, or get bigger, or whatever. DO NOT WAIT! EXTERMINATE!

Oh, sure, it’s relatively cute now, but give it an hour or so, and everyone you know is Alien chow.

9. Don’t leave the crazy guy alone, because he’ll almost certainly do something crazy and ruin everything for everybody.

That crazy thing could be releasing an alien face-hugger (see Aliens) or it could be as simple as getting replicated by the shape-shifting alien, trying to build some sort of craft and killing pretty much everybody who’s left.

Fear Wilford Brimley.

10. And, last but not least: For God’s sake, if you come across some sort of disgusting alien blob-thing, never stick your face up close to it.

This is a lesson not only for you, Kane, but also for everybody at that Antarctic base who was poking around in the alien autopsy. Sticking your face up close to the suspiciously maybe-dead-but-probably-not alien blob is always, always, always a bad idea. Never do it. Ever.

“Yup, nothing about this is a bad idea!”

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