Starship Invasions is a Canadian science fiction movie from 1977, written, directed and produced by Ed Hunt. Originally intended to be called War of the Aliens, and later Alien Encounters, the title had to be changed to avoid confusion with other, significantly more famous alien-themed films that came out in the same year. Notable for drawing several elements from actual cases of alien encounter and having an ufologist as the main hero, UFO Lore: The Movie could have been just as appropriate as a title.
In this story, a group of rogue aliens known as the Legion of the Winged Serpent, from the Orion Constellation, lead by Captain Rameses (played by Christopher Lee), plan to colonize Earth fleeing from their home system, whose sun is about to explode. They plan to exterminate mankind in the process, using a device that affects the human mind from distance, causing people to become homicidal and suicidal. But first they must eliminate the Intergalactic League of Races, led by different aliens from Zeta Reticuli, which vow to protect less developed species. Meanwhile, the film follows the life of astronomer and UFO expert Prof. Allen Duncan (played by Robert Vaughn), who is shocked to find that his work may be alienating him (no pun intended) from his friends and family.
It is interesting to note that all alien characters here communicate solely by telepathy, meaning that Chistopher Lee and company never actually open their mouths the entire film, but we hear their voices nonetheless.
Starship Invasions provides examples of:
- Agent Mulder: Prof. Allen Duncan.
- Alien Abduction: At the beginning of the film, people are abducted so the aliens can study them. Sometime after being returned the subjects become unexplainably suicidal: the first victims of the eventual "suicide epidemic".
- Alien Invasion: The basic plot.
- Alien Non-Interference Clause: The Galactic Treaty states that aliens are welcome to study Earth but it's illegal for them to make official contact with its inhabitants.
- Ancient Astronauts: The Zeta Reticulans reveal that they built the great pyramid of Giza, but cannot yet reveal all the implications of it, as humanity will have to figure it all on their own.
- Big Bad: Rameses.
- Boldly Coming: Sagnac in her first scene has sex with an Earth abductee.
- The Dragon: Sagnac.
- The Federation: The Intergalactic League of Races.
- Fanservice: When they abduct a family of three -husband, considerably more attractive wife, young son - we don't see what happens to the father and boy, but the aliens feel the need to have the mother take off most of her clothes while they examine her.
- Flying Saucer: All aliens travel in these, in space, atmosphere and underwater.
- Food Pills: Is what the aliens eat during their travels. Described as similar to a vitamin pill, but more effective. Malcolm seems to enjoy them.
- Good Colors, Evil Colors: The bad aliens wear black, the good aliens wear white (or blue).
- Human Aliens: The Legion. Justified when they find out that their species actually descends from mankind. But this is never explained further, so it actually raises more questions than it answers...
- Humans Are Psychic in the Future: It doesn't take place in the future, but as stated above, Rameses' people are descendants of mankind and they're psychic.
- Humans Need Aliens: At first, it seems that they're going for this approach, with the undersea base of peaceful aliens who are here to protect mankind from being contacted too soon and all. Then it's completely and poetically inverted when the aliens realize they're powerless against Rameses and need to get help from Duncan and Malcolm.
- Just Before the End: The homeworld of the Legion is about to be destroyed when their sun explodes, explaining why they want to colonize Earth. Also Earth itself was at risk of becoming an example of this had the suicide epidemic gone longer...
- My Brain Is Big: The Reticulans from the League of Races.
- 90% of Your Brain: The aliens give Malcolm, the computer expert, a device which allows him to achieve this. They tell him to be careful, as up to that point he has never used more than... 1% of his brain. Seriously, whether or not you believe the "we only use 10% of our brains" thing, saying 1% just feels like an insult...
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Psychic Assisted Genocide, really. The aliens mind control humans to kill themselves and each other.
- Shown Their Work: The movie is notable for basing nearly every element of its premise on things actually reported by alien abductees and ufologists, including the black uniform of the invaders, their winged serpent logo, the design of the ship and the android.
- Space Battle: At the end. Full of red plasma weapons disintegrating targets and making an awful lot of noise.
- Space Clothes: Appropriately space-y and pocket-less.
- Technobabble: According to the robot: "The pulsing lights you see are the result of adjusting our magnetic force field from positive to negative. Without this protection, the tremendous pressure of the ocean would crush us immediately". This is further "explained" later on in regard to the ship: "This ship is powered through reversible electromagnetism. Reversing electric and magnetic energy allows us to control and overcome gravity".
- Telepathic Spacemen: All aliens are telepaths, regardless of species. Somewhat uncommonly for film depictions of such things, the movie is actually consistent about this - whenever alien characters talk with each other the scene has the actors just emoting silently, with their voices dubbed in.
- Underwater Base: The League of Races has an operations base shaped like a pyramid on the bottom of the ocean.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Captain Rameses believes exterminating earthlings is the only way to assure the survival of his people.