Our last few episodes of ‘Zach On Film‘ have been in a fifties science-fiction vein, with several different takes on life from outer space, from brain-controlling seed pods to giant robots to flying manta-ray submarines.  There was even a semi-invisible energy creature who was pretty terrifying, perhaps equally terrifying to the spongiform monsters found inside the shell of a Doctor Who Dalek.  Still, there are few alien beings engender in me the gut-wrenching awfulness that I felt as a child when Doctor Who introduced us to the Terileptils.  These amphibious monsters from space had rows of razor-sharp teeth and a love of war that even a Dalek would admire, and while I can look at them today and see men in rubbery suits, 1982 me found them more terrifying than Cybermen or Klingons, which leads us to today’s extraterrestrial query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) never understood what my sister found so terrifying about E.T. as a child, but the nonetheless screamed in horror every time his pencil neck was in her eye line, asking: Which alien or alien species is the most terrifying to you?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. If you remember a few Questions of the Day back, I mentioned Ewok nightmares. I still find them pretty freakin scary now. I’m not even joking, they give me the willies in a way most monstrous aliens do not, which is why I keep a stuffed Ewok doll hanging on my wall by way of an arrow through it’s head.

    I can’t remember their species or if it was mentioned, but the aliens from “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” terrify me as well. Seriously, for such a cheesy movie, those things were pretty terrifying in appearance alone.

    And as someone who has arachnophobia, any spider based alien.

  2. I’m going to go with something a little obscure — the transcendent god-like entities in Vernor Vinge’s “A Fire Upon the Deep”. They are essentially gods, but because of the various ways they come into existence, they may or may not have any of the logic , morality, etc typically associated with gods of Greek/Roman mythology, and definitely none of the goodness of the Judeo/Christian God. The only good thing about them is that they typically get bored with the lower lifeforms and move on to the Transcend.

  3. Alien face hugger stage and the Gorillas from Planet of the Apes (I was very young when it came out and they scared the snot out of me).

  4. Necrons from Warhammer 40K. Seemingly unkillable robots from space that look like zombies and slaughter armies in complete silence. And that’s the PG version!

  5. I don’t know if you can really count them as Alien per se, but Reavers top the list for me. More terrifying than either Borg or Daleks. Just.. gha they freak me out ok?

    If I can’t use them, I think I’ve gotta go with the Dark Eldar from Warhammer 40k, mainly because of the Graham Macniel writings. They’re really creepy and evil and yeah..

    • The Reavers may have been human originally, but so were some versions of Cybermen, Borg and some other “alien” races/groups before being changed/assimilated or whatever. Plus, there are various settings where someone is counted as alien or non-human for either being born away from Earth (although still to human or mostly human parents) or by being mutated by anything from a virus to a radiation to a manufactured drug and so on. Heck, most versions of zombies were human, yet are pretty much considered a different species after the change in some settings. So personally, yeah, I think they would count.

  6. Horror, like humor, is in the eye of the beholder, and just like I don’t find a lot of stuff that is billed as humor funny, most “horror” movies bore me to tears. What really freaked me out, though, are the earwig creatures from Star Trek 2 – I know they have a name, but it escapes me – hey, I’m nearly sixty, I’m entitled to forget a lot of stuff! Those things creep me out so much that I have transferred my loathing for them to real earwigs, which I slay whenever I find them. Ugh! Calgon, take me away!!!

    • When I was a kid and my older brother and his best friend saw RotJ, my brother’s friend had a similar reaction (though he actually had to run to the bathroom to throw up). For years we teased each other about it since he got sick from that and I had Ewok nightmares.

  7. The Cybermen: Daleks just kill or enslave you followed by death. The Borg take you over, but quickly roboticize you. The Cybermen conquer you, then depending upon the rendition, slowly turn you into one of them or quickly control you while you can still silently scream in pain as your actions are watched by you from a brain that can not act. Trapped inside a prison from which you can never escape, cut off from emotion holding nothing but an empty sense of lose. Torture until deactivation.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.