Sci-fi cinema is filled with attempts by extraterrestrials to take over our leafy, mineral-rich planet. One or two of these gambits have proved successful, but the vast majority of them have ended in ignominious failure for the away side.
As Battle: Los Angeles menaces cinemas, we therefore offer a few timely words of advice for any aliens thinking of invading earth…IF YOU’RE ALLERGIC TO WATER, AVOID EARTHSigns
If water even so much as brings you out in hives, invading a planet that’s composed of approximately 70 percent of the stuff is probably a bad idea. If you’re the kind of extraterrestrial who dissolves like the witch in The Wizard Of Oz when Mel Gibson spills a glass of water on you, invading a place like Earth is tantamount to suicide.
If there’s something on Earth really worse risking life and limb for, then please take our advice: pack a pair of wellies and an umbrella before you leave and, for God’s sake, avoid England. Water drops precipitously from the sky almost constantly. You won’t stand a chance against our bullet-like rain.
ACT NATURALInvasion Of The Body Snatchers
Admittedly, your tactic of replicating human bodies is a brilliant one. Rather than show up in a vast metal armada and attempt to capture the planet through force of arms, you gradually work your way into Earthly society so slowly that, by the time we’ve noticed, it’s almost certainly too late to fight back.
One word of advice, though: study our ways closely. You may be able to physically replicate our friends and loved ones down to the last freckle, but your unnerving lack of personality, wit or bad habits can be noticed a mile away.
If you want to really fit in, you should learn to drink copious cups of tea and coffee, trip over broken paving slabs and tut at teenagers playing football in the street.
Alternatively, you could simply get a job as a presenter on daytime television, where everyone will think you’re perfectly normal.
AVOID ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER’S LOGSPredator
Okay, so you’re not an alien invader so much as a big game hunter with a penchant for jungles and laser guns. Nevertheless, you should approach our species with caution before you head Earthward for a sporting holiday. While most Homo sapiens, even the big ones with guns, will be powerless against your superior weapons and cloaking technology, there’s one chap in particular you should avoid.
We won’t tell you his name, because you probably won’t be able to pronounce it anyway, but he has geometric hair, shouts about choppers a lot, and has a tendency to wear red polo shirts. If you see a man fitting this description, and he’s standing within twelve feet of a log, take our advice: climb back into your flying saucer and get the hell out of there. Some close encounters just aren’t worth the hassle.
YOU’RE SAFER AS A DOGThe Thing
If you have the ability to mimic any living creature in the solar system, learn from the mistakes of the shape-shifting monster in the 1982 film, The Thing: stay as a dog.
If you’re patient enough to act like a canine for a few months (and trust us, you can get used to the taste of Pedigree Chum if you stick with it long enough), it’s likely that the unsuspecting humans around you will eventually leave the Antarctic and head somewhere more densely populated. Once there, you’re free to spread your hideousness all over the globe without having to worry about Kurt Russell getting all sweary and throwing explosives at you.
DON’T TRUST WHAT THE GOVERNMENT SAYSDistrict 9
The residents of Earth learned this lesson a long time ago. But if the authorities are giving you some guff about how they’re going to put you up in some kind of social housing, and make sure you’re treated right, then they’re clearly lying.
Also, if you end up in some kind of quarantine zone and you encounter a man you saw on the poster for that A-Team movie that you saw as you crash-landed on the planet, then you might just be in the shit.
LOOK OUT FOR THE OLD SWITCHEROOSuperman II
It doesn’t matter if you have all the power in the world, there are some old tricks in the human book that you’d do well to learn from.
Take, for instance, the critical error made by General Zod, a powerful alien tyrant who otherwise didn’t put a foot wrong. All he had to do was check that the chamber Superman was going into was working okay, and he’d still be running the world now.
But, what’s this? Superman switched things round, Zod and his gang lost their powers, and this particular group of invading aliens was eventually sent to Rebootland.
HAVE YOUR INOCCULATIONSWar Of The Worlds
Landing on a planet that is alien to you is likely to present threats that you never saw coming. Human beings, even if they’re just crossing a continent or two, have to be injected with all manner of stuff just so they can survive a change in climate.
Thus, if you’re changing world altogether, then a quick chat with your local alien GP is no bad plan. That way, something as simple as the bacteria on a planet won’t bring your otherwise foolproof invasion plan to its knees.
USE LINUXIndependence Day
Oh, alright. You knew this was coming.
Big fancy spaceships, massive space battles, a sizeable overpowering of the human race? It matters not a jot if you make your computers compatible with the ones they’re using down there on planet Earth.
Never underestimate your mortal enemy, the lazy scriptwriter. Such an adversary is a tricky customer, and it’s worth, just as a matter of course, ensuring you’re not using a Microsoft operating system. Else, you’ll be subject to what earthlings call a “silly ending”.
WATCH DARK CITYDark City
One of the best pieces of advice we can give, particularly to any invaders reading this who happen to have access to a DVD player (available from numerous terrestrial outlets), is to watch Alex Proyas’ excellent, hugely underrated sci-fi movie, Dark City.
Not only does it provide an exceptionally cunning way of subjugating the entire human race in a Matrix-like simulated reality, but it also happens to benefit from the fact that almost nobody on Earth bothered to watch it.
So, when you do trap us in a huge, noirish city in which no one ever gets to see the sun, most of us won’t even realise that an invasion’s taken place.
BEFRIEND CHILDRENE.T., Mac And Me, The Iron Giant
If you’re looking to survive for a long time on a planet and there’s only one of you that happens to invade, then ignore anyone over the age of about 10. Young humans are your best bet. They’ll hide you in a closet, use their ingenuity to keep the authorities away, and generally give you your best chance of holding out before the rest of your lot turn up.
Do note that this is a time limited plan, as there’s not a young person on the planet who doesn’t seem to know a nasty adult who likes killing aliens. Just saying.
Battle: Los Angeles is in cinemas from Friday.
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