You know the deal. When an unknown quantity suddenly becomes a surprise success, everyone is desperate to have a piece for themselves.
Previously, we took you down a dark, money-grabbing road of unwanted Jaws rip-offs and now, we're showing you the most obvious attempts to cash in on Ridley Scott's iconic sci-fi horror Alien.
In the video shop, no one can hear you getting ripped off.
Alien Contamination aka Contamination
The script for this attempt was originally called Alien Arrives on Earth because director Luigi Cozzi wanted to emulate Alien but couldn't afford to set it in space. But the elements are there: alien eggs, a large creature and a liquid that's dangerous to humans. An ultra-low-budget meant that the alien had to be moved around by stagehands meaning that fast jump cuts were utilised in the finale to hide any rogue humans.
Galaxy of Terror
Roger Corman, B-movie baron and king of the cash-in, took the bare essentials of Alien and went wild with this sci-fi extravaganza that was notable mainly for two things: firstly, a very young James Cameron was the Production Designer and Second Unit Director on the film and secondly, there was a notorious sex scene between a woman and a worm. It wasn't the only Alien rip-off that ran with the sexual nature of Ridley Scott's original that year...
Inseminoid aka Horror Planet
While Galaxy of Terror might have featured a strange worm rape scene along with many other odd moments, this British horror was even more obsessed with connecting other worldly beings to sexual invasion. This time, a woman gets impregnated by an alien and bad stuff happens. Premiering in The Midlands, it was promoted with misjudged circulars sent to random houses, picturing a woman screaming. The film achieved cult status, perhaps as a direct result of its awfulness.
Alien 2 aka Alien Terror
You've got to admire the nonsensical audacity of this one. Calling itself Alien 2, in the vague hope that audiences might understandably associate it with Ridley Scott's original, the title had to be changed to Alien Terror upon its initial release in the US. It's the ultra low budget story of an alien causing havoc in a cave that literally has nothing to do with Alien storywise. The eventual Blu-ray release reverted to the original title and even aped The Descent with its cover art.
Mutant aka Forbidden World
When it comes to actual rip-offs of HR Giger's original creature, this one really takes the biscuit and then bursts through your chest, still holding said biscuit. Based around a creature who is able to conveniently change its genetic structure, the most notable of which was rather familiar, it was yet another offering from Roger "cash-in" Corman. It even shared some of the sets of Galaxy of Terror (see above). Like many of the other films on the list, it used more sex to sell the film, including one particularly gratuitous shower scene with two women. Because, you know, water is scarce in space.
Creature aka Titan Find
One of the more incompetent rip-offs on the list, Creature followed a mining team who uncover a pod with some nasty toothy alien who has the ability to control its victims after death to make them do shitty things, like kill other people. The film is most notable for the performance of Klaus Kinski, the legendary German actor best known for Nosferatu the Vampyre, Doctor Zhivago and turning down a role in Raiders of the Lost Ark as he found the script "moronically shitty". That's Klaus Kinski, star of Creature aka Titan Find.
Another film that features an alien that bears more than a passing or "running away from" resemblance to the original xenomorph, this feeble attempt was so cheap that it used stock footage from another film to pad out the effects. If you want to see just how awful it looks then, with a grave warning, the trailer is here. It does get bonus points though for starring Joe Estevez, Martin Sheen's younger brother.
Alien Vs Hunter
Okay so strictly this is more of an Alien Vs Predator rip-off but given the utterly shameless title and cover art, we couldn't not include it here. Created by Asylum Films, who often piggyback on the success of other films (Atlantic Rim, anyone?), this highly original tale of an alien who has a battle with a predator, sorry hunter, on earth once had the pleasure of being in the bottom five films on the whole of IMDb. Which is something.