Don’t get detention.

When your substitute teacher is actually a killer alien from outer space, spending as little time alone with her as possible is probably highly recommended.

A crackling little thriller from Denmark, this flick, also known as The Substitute, pits a group of savvy but slightly overwhelmed sixth-graders against the perpetually-in-a-bad-mood woman claiming to be their new instructor.

Their parents don’t believe their wild-eyed tales (duh, it’s a movie), which leaves the preteens to defend themselves and save the universe.

You’re not gonna call the Ghostbusters, but you are going to call the alien busters this time around.

I Come in Peace

“You go in pieces!”

Deep it ain’t, but this early ’90s sci-fi blow-em-up is fast ‘n gritty fun, with Dolph Lundgren dropping body blows with a diabolically hungry alien invader.

Our outer space visitor tells everyone he meets that he’s here on a mission of peace, moments before sucking out their brains and all the good juice hiding inside.

The only man who can stop him? That would be He-Man himself.

Lundgren, the only action star with a real life master’s degree in chemical engineering, never gets the full respect he deserves.

He’s a man mountain with moxie.


The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

He comes in peace.

Unless you tick him off, and then maybe, just maybe, he might have his killer robot zap all of you lil’ twerps just to teach you a lesson.

Michael Rennis is a stoic alien invader traveling the galaxy with one mission — keep the warring factions on Earth at the height of the Cold War from ever thinking about taking their new nuclear power up, up, and away to space.

To do so would unleash a firestorm the humans couldn’t possibly win, he warns them.

Thoughtful sci-fi with a message — more Star Trek than Star Wars.


The Angry Red Planet

Tourists, go home.

The locals are less than friendly when Earth’s finest astronauts show up one day and start poking around the red planet in pursuit of Mars memorabilia.

Though maybe you can’t blame them.

Because if you look closely, most of the time the humans get zapped or chased or threatened in any way, it’s only after they’ve wandered where they shouldn’t have, and randomly started swinging machetes around.

You carve a chunk out of the local bat-rat-spider-crab creature, you can’t suddenly act surprised when it decides to try and eat you in revenge.

Just sayin’.



Simple and sweet.

Shaun the Sheep is a good-hearted scamp, and watching his claymation adventures are like having a nice cup of tea while shoulder-deep in a bubble bath.

Aimed at kids, I suppose, but still entertaining for us adults who refuse to act our age, they’re good, wholesome fun, sprinkled with a lot of clever touches.

In this tale of an unusual alien invader causing havoc, my favorite moment is when a farmer drops his dinner when surprised by a UFO — then sneaks back to try and get the steaming-hot chips.

Just a perfect lil’ grace note.