Strange things afoot in Stephenville, plus my Top Alien/UFO movie picks

For those of you that don’t live in North Texas, you may never have heard of Stephenville. Stephenville is a small town of 17,000 people about an hour SW of Fort Worth (as a side note: great cycling in Stephenville). This little town has become the “UFO Center of the World” over the last week after numerous residents spotted something in the skies. They all have claimed to have seen a UFO, or an ‘unidentified flying object’. Many of the witnesses are very credible people, including the constable for Erath County. You can watch a CNN International report on the story here
One thing that hurt witnesses credibility is the fact that most of them claimed to have also seen military jet fighters in pursuit of the UFO. However, the Air Force said that they had no planes in the vicinity on the date in question.
This story took an intriguing twist yesterday when the Air Force changed it’s statement and said that it actually did have F-16s in the area on the date and time in question.
I’m no conspiracy theorist, but this change of events is sure to keep the tabloids and UFO fans focused on Stephenville for some time.
In honor of these events I present my expert Top 10 Alien/UFO movies of all time.
  • How am I an “expert”
    • I spent 6 years of my life working for Blockbuster (in stores as a teenager and later, launching and serving as the head of marketing for Blockbuster)
    • I “grew-up” in video stores (my parents owned some for 5+ years)
    • I used to catch the $2 double-feature at The Lake Cinema in Lake Oswego, OR every weekend with my friends.

So, in no particular order:

war of 

War of the Worlds

One of the original alien movies that’s still considered one of the best. 

Based on H.G. Wells novel of the same name, Earth gets invaded by Martians. 

You never really see the aliens, but just the thought of them in their spacecraft gives this movie 

it’s suspense – don’t expect to be wowed by the special effects (special effects weren’t very “special” in 1953). 

This movie should not be confused with the crappy Tom Cruise remake of 2005. 


E.T. The Extraterrestrial

A different twist on the alien flick. This time the character is a love-able alien that easily tugs on your heart strings.   If you haven’t seen it yet, or haven’t re-watched this movie  for years, do so now, you’ll be surprised how good it was. This movie was also the start of the “product placement wars” in major motion pictures. Can’t remember the product – it was Reese’s Pieces! They were E.T.s favorite treat and the bait Elliot used to bring him out of hiding. I actually got an “E.T.” filled Christmas stocking in 1982 – a small plush E.T. doll and a bag of Reese’s Pieces. See – product placement works!



The Blob

Both versions of the Blob, both the originals 50’s version and the updated 80’s version have a lot to offer.  One a personal note, the 80’s version was filmed in my wife’s hometown of Abbeville, LA. The 80’s version is also one of the few lead movie roles for Kevin Dillon, Johnny Drama of HBO’s “Entourage” (best show on TV). The alien in this case is just that – a blob. It’s hard to imagine being scared by anything that moves so slowly, but this giant Jell-O mold eats anything in it’s path.

. killer

Killer Klowns From Outerspace

The title alone should get your attention. This movie is as bad as it sounds. It makes the list for the obsurdity of the plot and special effects. Alien Clowns come from outer space that shoot ray guns turning people into cotton candy wrapped treats that the clowns later feed on through silly straws (I’m not making this up).  The one thing you’ll learn from this movie is to always shoot or hit an alien clown in the nose (it makes them explode).


The Last Starfighter

Great movie. The graphics were way ahead of it’s time (1984) and it actually features a rare combination – a good plot and good actors. This movie gave every trailer-park-video-game-playing-kid the dream that they could save the universe. As a kid, this movie made me wish I had my own “Beta-unit” to do my chores while I joined Star-Command to save the universe.



Flight of the Navigator

A 12-year-old boy, is mysteriously abducted by an alien ship and returns to Earth eight years later, still only 12. He now possesses great navigational powers that enable him to fly his space ship anywhere he desires. Along with the help of robotic Commander Max (voiced by Paul Reubens, aka Pee Wee Herman) he “takes off” on adventure. I know it sounds a little corny, but this is actually a really entertaining movie that has stood the test of time. It’s the kind of film you wish Disney still made more of.

4 responses to “Strange things afoot in Stephenville, plus my Top Alien/UFO movie picks

  1. Sterling Cully

    I have a interest about UFO movies, and am in search of a movies that begins with some guys going to the lake to fish and encounter a UFO abduction. Upon their release they found out that their fire has gone out and some time has disappeared from their memories. Do you know this movie?

  2. I think the movie is “Fire In the Sky” starring DB Sweeney.

  3. the flight of the navigator was really good aswell

  4. Sterling Cully

    It has been four years since I posted my question about the UFO movie that begins with 4 or 5 guys on a fishing trip who encounters a UFO while fishing. They lose some time because before the began fishing they built a fire and when they come too the fire is burned out…someone please tell me the name of this movie

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