"In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream!" But can they hear Jason smash computer generated teenagers zipped up in virtual sleeping bags into each other? Can they hear the Leprechaun turn on his green lightsaber? What about Pinhead? Hear him? Everybody loves critically acclaimed sci-fi/horror mash-up fare like Alien, a stone cold cinema classic. But let's not overlook those guilty pleasure slasher franchises, either. What else can we do with the Leprechaun? I know! Leprechaun in Space! Today, we look at 10 times horror movies went to space.
First and foremost we must acknowledge Alien, the 1979 sci-fi horror film directed by Ridley Scott. Dan O'Bannon was ready to throw in the towel after a grueling preproduction on a proposed Dune movie went nowhere. As a last ditch effort, he came up with a story called Star Beast, together with Ronald Shusett, who later returned for 2004's Alien vs. Predator. Alien, as Fox retitled the picture, set the tone for most of the movies we're going to talk about here. A creature terrorizes a ship. That's the simplest description of what's actually a brilliant and nuanced terror tale.
Dan O'Bannon was actually one of the writers who adapted the 1976 novel The Space Vampires into the dreadful critically panned disaster Lifeforce, which should have been better considering it was directed by Tobe Hooper, the man behind The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist, which earned three Oscar nominations. The sexy space vampires of this Cannon Films production was naturally the subject of an episode of the popular film podcast, How Did This Get Made?, in 2015.
Critters 4 (1992)
We've got to respect the Critters series for knowing what it does best. These little guys give us lots of laughs along with the blood, gore, and sci-fi origin story. The alien krites of the first movie, which even worked a bit of the Western genre into its multifaceted tone, helped earn the original Critters two thumbs up from the late Siskel and Ebert. The fourth and seemingly final installment is set in space, more than 50 years in the future, but still stars Don Keith Opper from the previous films.
Event Horizon (1997)
In the film world, there is of course renowned auteur Paul T. Anderson, the man responsible for esteemed dramas There Will Be Blood, The Master, Boogie Nights, and Magnolia. And there's Paul W.S. Anderson, who gave us Mortal Kombat, the Resident Evil franchise, and back in 1997, Event Horizon. Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Joely Richardson, and Jason Isaacs give it their best, but the only good thing that came out of this dreary box-office bomb was the popularization of the phrase "Liberate te ex Inferis," which the band Zao used as an album title.
Jason X (2001)
Jason "X," Jason "Ten," whatever you want to call it, the tenth installment of the Friday the 13th franchise went the only place left for the series after taking Jason to Manhattan and Hell: space! Jason X made the best use of the Drowning Pool song "Bodies" imaginable in its trailer. Jason wasn't even the killer till Friday the 13th Part 2 and didn't get his iconic hockey mask till Part III, but make no mistake, Mr. Vorhees was definitely the main character of these movies well before Jason X. The other characters are only there to get sliced and diced, this time onboard a spaceship in the future, where Jason is awakened from a frozen slumber. After this, it was finally time for Freddy vs. Jason, first hinted at in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. Of course, The Final Friday was released before Jason X and the 2009 Friday the 13th remake.
Leprechaun 4: In Space (1996)
Leprechaun 4: In Space
It took Jason ten movies to get to space, but the Leprechaun did it in four! Of course, the fourth Critters movie was set in space, but those little monsters came from space! Star Wars veteran Warwick Davis had already made three Leprechaun movies by the time this came around. Leprechaun 4 saw the former Ewok actor wielding a lightsaber, among many other great horror comedy moments. After this one came Leprechaun in the Hood and its own sequel, Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood.
Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)
No Halloween in space? No A Nightmare on Elm Street in Space? Well, while Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, and Leatherface have yet to make an interstellar voyage, the cenobites of the Hellraiser series got there in their fourth movie. Doug Bradley's Pinhead was the only remaining character from the original by this point. This was the last Hellraiser film to get a theatrical release and to have the significant involvement of creator Clive Barker. Of course, that hasn't stopped producers from cranking out several more movies, like 2017's Hellraiser: Judgment, which actually includes Heather Langenkamp from A Nightmare on Elm Street in its cast.
Pitch Black (2000)
Now we are getting back into smarter fare, even if Pitch Black is still certified "rotten" on the Tomatometer. Pitch Black pits the small crew of a crashed ship against terrifying underground monsters on a remote planet. These creatures are adverse to sunlight, but it just so happens the arrival of these castaways coincides with the total eclipse that engulfs the desert world every 22 years. Pitch Black included a star making turn from Vin Diesel as mysterious killer Riddick, a character audiences enjoyed so much, he was spun-off into two bigger budget sequels.
John Carpenter's Ghost of Mars (2001)
Ghosts of Mars
In 1974, future Alien co-creator Dan O'Bannon made sci-fi comedy Dark Star with one of his buddies at the University of Southern California's film school, John Carpenter. Four years later, Carpenter made Halloween, one of the greatest horror films of all time, kicking off a massively impressive run that gave us The Fog, Escape from New York, The Thing, Christine, Starman, Big Trouble in Little China, and They Live. But nobody's perfect. In one interview, Ice Cube confessed that he regretted turning down Menace II Society but agreeing to star in Ghosts of Mars, which also featured Natasha Henstridge and Jason Statham. "I don't like that movie. I'm a big fan of John Carpenter and the only reason I did it was because John Carpenter directed it but they really didn't have the money to pull the special effects off."
Dracula 3000 (2004)
"In Space, There is No Daylight." That's the actual tagline for Dracula 3000, also known as Dracula 3000: Infinite Darkness. Tiny Lister, who starred in the Friday movies as Deebo, played a character named Humvee. Casper Van Dien plays the hero who is actually called Captain Van Helsing. Coolio? His character is named 187. 187 definitely becomes a vampire in this movie. Deebo stakes him with a pool cue.