British director Ridley Scott’s landmark 1979 sci-fi thriller Alien is about seven charmers stuck on a mining ship out in deep space with a creature that they unknowingly pick up while futzing around on some planetoid. So it’s your typical “monster in the house” formula, but the sets are so creepy, the soundtrack so disturbing, and the creature so evil, it’s heart-warming. Artist H. R. Giger apparently delved really deep somewhere in his brain and what he came up with is a cutie you’re not gonna forget. As for the hatchlings, you’ll love the Chestburster—YouTube has some adorable clips.
Not to be outdone by these delightful contenders is the android toting the company’s agenda. The crew ends up as lunch—all except for Sigourney Weaver, who made her mark on geeks everywhere with the panty scene… just kidding. It was her kickass leadership skills (the panties weren’t bad either). Her return to civilization in the escape pod spawned sequels that well… tried pretty hard. So check it out. I think you’ll see why folks willingly kiss Sir Scott’s knighted ass even though he’s A Bitch to Work for. Hey, awesomeness comes at a price. Just try asking Michael Bay to make a movie without CGI.
A female crew member of a space archaeology expedition mysteriously vanishes during a survey of a distant planet. When she is found she is discovered to be pregnant, and soon begins to act strangely. This gory sci-fi horror film directed by cult British director Norman J Warren was formerly banned on video under the 1984 Video Recordings Act but has since become a firm fan favourite.
A brilliant performance from Judy Geeson manages to elevate Inseminoidabove many of the other Alienrip-offs doing the rounds during the eighties. Add to this an interesting cast which includes Stephanie Beacham and Victoria Tennant, some fun over-the-top gore and a set of nasty alien twins and you end up with an entertaining bad movie “classic”!
In the 1970’s there were a few publications catering for sci-fi and horror fans in the UK (World of Horror, House of Hammer, Starburst) but none so prolific as the “poster magazine”. This unique format consisted of an A4-sized glossy colour magazine which folded out into a giant-sized poster; the reverse side was made up of the front cover and a few brief articles containing a large number of pictures and photographs. Every kid at school had at least one massive poster on their bedroom wall which was the centerpiece of a poster mag of one kind or the other, whether it be a pop star, a television series or the latest blockbuster movie.
Possibly the most fondly remembered poster mag of all was Dez Skinn’s Monster Mag which ran from 1973 – 1976 and relied heavily on extremely gory horror movie stills, usually (but not exclusively) from Hammer Films, Amicus and the like. The magazine also ran features on The Outer Limits, Grand Guignol theatre and The Exorcist but one of its main attractions was the “FOR SALE TO ADULTS ONLY” banner on the front cover which only made it even more attractive to it’s mostly under-age readership! Monster Mag ran for seventeen issues in total until Dez moved on and created House of Hammer magazine which offered a lot more scope for in-depth articles as well as comic-strip adaptations of Hammer’s horror and sci-fi movies.
Another collectible horror poster mag was Legend Horror Classics which also folded out into a gory poster but the remaining pages tended to be made up of a horror comic strip rather than articles on feature films. Due to its success in syndication during the seventies, Gene Roddenberry’s legendary science-fiction TV series Star Trek had its own long-running poster mag although other TV series didn’t fare so well; the Space:1999 poster magazine ran for only two issues and many more shows also had just one or two issues published. Doctor Who, The Six Million Dollar Man, Battlestar Galactica, Planet of the Apes and Kung Fu all had their own magazines but perhaps the biggest part of the market was the movie tie-in. It seemed like every blockbuster movie had its own poster mag – Jaws, King Kong, Star Wars, Superman, Alien, Buck Rogers…the list went on and on. But then, by the 1990’s, the poster mag format seemed to have all but disappeared and became a fond memory for film fans of a certain age…
Here at Space Monsters Magazine we’ve been playing around with the idea of reviving the iconic poster mag format perhaps with a series of one-offs or a continuing theme. If you think this is a good idea (or even if you don’t!) take part in our survey below and share with us your views and comments on poster magazines – we always love to hear your opinions!
Space Monsters Magazine is looking for readers to contribute to our brand new feature starting from issue number three: “Wanted! More Readers Like…” All you need to do is send us a photograph of yourself, your pets, a celebrity or an iconic space monster with an issue of Space Monsters Magazine and we will print a selection in the next issue as well as on the Space Monsters Magazine Facebook Page! Be the envy of all your fiends and become a true Space Cadet! Just email your pic to firstname.lastname@example.org and YOU could be one of the next stars featured in the galaxy’s greatest sci-fi and monster magazine!