The human race is fairly good at fighting amongst itself, but what happens when the threat comes from further afield? Not all extra-terrestrials come in peace, and from the icy dread of 1951’s The Thing from Another World to the blockbuster thrills of Will Smith in Independence Day, cinema has no shortage of alien invaders and heroes, both valiant and reluctant, ready to step up to combat them.
This April, genre specialists Grimmfest plan their own takeover, with a one-night dedication to intergalactic menace: an Alien Invasion double-bill at the fabulous Stockport Plaza. The programming team take us from Ohio to South London, where the defence of planet earth isn’t in the hands of military leaders or beefy action heroes, but everyday teenagers.
In Robert Rodriguez’s (From Dusk Till Dawn, Sin City) cult 1998 artefact The Faculty, we’re taken to past-its-prime Herrington High, Ohio where there is something off about the teachers…they are inhabited by aliens. A sci-fi horror with more than a hint of Invasion of the Body Snatchers about it, this isn’t your typical John Hughes joint. As a bonus, Grimmfest have secured a 35mm print for a proper nineties experience.
Second, Grimmfest present a screening of Joe Cornish’s 2011 hit Attack the Block, wherein a bunch of ferocious beasties from space make the mistake of launching their attack in a South London estate. Featuring a star-making turn from soon-to-be Star Wars hero John Boyega amongst a cast of teenagers tasked with defending their turf, this witty, kinetic comedy-actioner earned plaudits left and right on release.