Horror villains typically have their usual haunts, but can end up in some strange places – military school, reality TV, Manhattan… but on occasion, they’ll go somewhere totally out of this world. That’s right, villains in space! How fancy.
Let’s take a look at 5 movies where a beloved horror villain has gone intergalactic.
This TV movie starring Casper Van Dien and Tommy “Tiny” Lister includes some character names from Bram Stoker’s Dracula – Van Helsing and Mina. But for a movie called Dracula 3000, you might be surprised to learn that the vampire on board is actually… Count Orlock? Wait, that can’t be right…
Captain Van Helsing’s crew finds an abandoned ship that is – for some ungodly reason – full of coffins. Of course, one of them happens to host a vampire. It’s similar to Bram Stoker’s version where Dracula comes to England in his coffin on an otherwise “abandoned” ship (spoiler: he killed the crew). Other than those references, there’s really no other tie-in to Dracula himself. But Dracula 3000 is a snappier title than “Vampires in Space”.
The film seems to greatly enjoy the sci-fi theme (embracing the “fashion of the future”, aka, leather pants). Characters set a course for the “Kessel run system” with the Captain’s command to “make it so”. It’s almost kinda cute. And if you want to see Coolio as a vampire, well, look no further.
Anyway, the only solution to the crew’s vampire problem is to blow up the ship. The ending is… totally fucking abrupt. I actually had to rewind it 3 times because I was convinced that it skipped a scene. But no. That’s just how it ends.
First off, can we acknowledge that David Cronenberg makes a cameo here? Okay thanks.
We open with a careening trip through the fiery pits of
Hell Jason’s insides. It’s a cute little way to acknowledge the former film, Jason Goes to Hell, but also ignore it completely. Because horror franchises are at their best when the writer says “Shhh, don’t worry about it”.
Jason Voorhees – frozen in a cryogenic pod in the early 21st century – is discovered in the year 2455 and brought on board the Grendel, a ship full of young
students future victims. Because naturally when you find a machete-wielding masked man in a cryogenic pod next to the body of a stabbed woman, you bring them on board and revive them. Sure.
Let the carnage begin!
Jason X is silly fun with lots of Jason rampage time. I should also note that this is Kane Hodder’s last performance as Jason. It’s just good ol’ fashioned entertainment, and it’s not overly complicated. Because it shouldn’t be. It’s Jason in space, dammit.
Leprechaun 4: In Space
Now, I’ve discussed this film before, but this bears repeating. The Leprechaun bursts fully formed from a guy’s dick! I can’t get over it. It’s such a ridiculously ballsy (pun!) way to get the character on board a spaceship.
The whole point of having the Leprechaun on the spaceship is that he wants to marry the rescued alien princess on board so he can become royalty. I don’t know how he got on an alien planet to begin with, but I’m fairly certain the caveat of the Leprechaun films is that you really can’t question them.
At any rate, he goes on to cause some mischief and mayhem – as he does – and the death toll rises. And that’s why we’re all here, right?
While the Critters are not from our world, this is the first film in the franchise that takes the action back to their turf. Space. The final frontier.
Charlie McFadden – who you may remember from every other Critters film – is back as a bounty hunter. He tracks down two Critter eggs and is about to do his thing when his alien friend Ug appears – via hologram – and warns him that he cannot destroy the eggs. They’re the last two Critters in existence and destroying them is against intergalactic law as that would cause their extinction. Seems legit.
He places the eggs in a preservation pod and accidentally gets locked inside. The pod is launched into space – along with Charlie – and picked up by a salvage ship in the year 2045. So that’s how they get back to space. In the future! Because it’s not a space adventure if it’s not set in the future.
Naturally, the eggs hatch, the Critters escape, they breed a whole bunch, and they attack the crew. Like Leprechaun 4, Critters 4 is weirdly plot heavy. My darlings, take a lesson from Jason X – just plain bloody carnage is fine.
To be fair, the whole thing is wrapped up thanks to a distraction provided by a juggling trick, so…
Finishing the list with another fourth segment of a franchise that takes place in space, we’ve got Hellraiser: Bloodline. Now, keep in mind that we only really see Pinhead causing intergalactic havoc for, like, the last 30 minutes of the damn movie. The rest is all preamble.
But there’s a method to the madness! Pinhead is actually in space for a reason which is meticulously explained through the rest of the film. There’s a long history, here.
An engineer locks himself in a room aboard a space station, but upon his apprehension, he agrees to explain why. Evidently, he’s an ancestor of the toymaker that created the Lament Configuration. Forever shame. The engineer aims to trap the Cenobites once and for all, destroying them and the gateway to Hell.
It’s a whole lot of setup for 30 minutes of bloody panic. But! We learn a lot about the whole gang in the process. So, really, the movie is both a prequel and a sequel. That’s some The Godfather Part II shit. But with more Cenobites.
Want more space horror? Check out our list of The Best Spacemen Outside of “Alien”
You can find more from Kelly on Instagram and Twitter @kellsmcnells
Featured image via IMDb