Men In Black (1997)
The Invasion: While certain aliens have already taken up peaceful residence on Earth (Michael Jackson included, bless his beamed-up soul), a malevolent bug-like species crashlands on our little blue corner of the ‘verse looking for, uh, the galaxy.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: If you’re going to steal a bloke’s skin to pass as a human, it’s probably best to study human behaviour a little better – even Onslow in Keeping Up Appearances isn’t this vulgar.
How They Should’ve Conquered: Nicking the US President’s skin would’ve worked far better.
Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956)
The Invasion: “Look! You fools! You’re in danger! Can’t you see? They’re after you! They’re after all of us! Our wives…our children… they’re here already! You’re next!” Aliens grow perfect simulacrums of existing humans to infiltrate our planet.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: Attempting to replace the human race one clone at a time merely causes widespread paranoia as peoples’ personalities suddenly change. Plus it's a time-consuming process.
How They Should’ve Conquered: Out with the simulacra, just frickin’ bomb the lot of them. Err, us…
The Invasion: Greedy intergalactic gremlins escape termination aboard an asteroid prison (!) and head to Earth, where they plan on eating their way through everything they can get their dainty little claws into.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: They came to eat. Instead of heading for the most populated area, these dumb tumble-weeders stick to a desolate farm where all that’s on the menu is a four-person family and a couple of chickens.
How They Should’ve Conquered: Somewhere like LA would be a veritable buffet for the critters. Best not go near anybody in Hollywood, though – far too stringy.
War Of The Worlds (2005)
The Invasion: Stupid humans fail to notice that aliens are already here on Earth, and have been hibernating/data gathering before finally awakening to wipe us all out with their gamma rays. Stomping robotic Tripods trample the Earth, collecting humans to use as fertiliser, as the aliens grow red vines across the globe. Or something.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: In all their many years observing the human race, the aliens never thought to inspect their viruses. Gorsh!
How They Should’ve Conquered: First crush Tom Cruise. Then think about immunisation.
Superman 2 (1980)
The Invasion: Kryptonian criminals General Zod, Ursa and Non escape the Phantom Zone and come calling on Earth. There (here?) they go straight to the big man otherwise known as the US President and demand he relinquish his oval office to them.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: All that crystal nonsense ended up confusing even the mighty Zod, as Superman tricks him into having his Krytonian powers erased.
How They Should’ve Conquered: The President part was a good idea, though Zod should really have utilised all the power that position comes with – namely the US and British armed forces – to corner and take down the Man of Steel.
The Faculty (1998)
The Invasion: Evil aliens decide to “sneak through the back door” by infiltrating an American high school in their quest for global domination. First they possess the teachers, who turn the students, who turn their families etc etc.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: Are high schools really the back door to civilisation? Also, the constant water drinking is a dead "I'm possessed!" giveaway.
How They Should’ve Conquered: The homeless surely see more people in one day than a whole school of teachers. Or shop attendants. Or bus drivers…
Independence Day (1996)
The Invasion: Giant spacecrafts descend on Earth and paralyse of each country’s capital city. Then blow everything to hell.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: Why are these ETs so fixated on high-profile landmarks? Sure their destruction might dent the world’s morale, but in the end they’re nothing more than expensive buildings.
How They Should’ve Conquered: Positioning spacecrafts over worldwide military bases would’ve gotten those stupid humans where it counts, crippling their resistance in mere minutes.
This Island Earth (1955)
The Invasion: Numerous invasions here. A band of super-intelligent ETs raid Earth for scientists to help them defend their planet Metaluna against evil invading Zagons. Those they don’t want, they kill.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: In their hurry to overtake Earth, the Metalunans reveal their plans for mind control and royally screw up negotiations with human scientists.
How They Should’ve Conquered: Don’t talk about taking away somebody’s free will while they still have it, talk to them about it after they’ve surrendered it.
The Invasion: Robo-aliens crash land on planet Earth when their own homeworld Cyberton is destroyed by the chaos-happy Decepticons. Questing the All Spark – a cube that gives sentient life to anything mechanical – the Decepticons face off against soldiers and everyday kids in their search.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: They want universal domination, but the robots think too logically. In the twisted Bayverse of Transformers , the Decepticons should’ve understood that they'd be confronted with giant explosions and epic smackdowns.
How They Should’ve Conquered: Release a pulse that kills all battery and electric-powered devices on Earth, then descend on the planet to wipe out the unarmed humans.
Mars Attacks! (1996)
The Invasion: Martians make contact with Earth. Pretend to be friendly. Actually are marauding murderers with ray guns and a weird barking language. They do experiments on us, and kill, like, loads of people.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: For fellas with brains that big, it’s surprising these guys didn’t come up with every single possible means of resistance that could be used against them. Then again, the aliens probably didn’t reckon on something as innocuous and head-splitting as country music ever existing.
How They Should’ve Conquered: Wearing earplugs would’ve been a good start, lads…
Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)
The Invasion: Aliens try to stop humans from creating a devastating doomsday device by, uh, resurrecting zombies and sending them as an undead army to take out the world’s capital cities. No-one ever says Ed Wood’s film made sense…
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: It all comes down to Officers Kelton and Larry attempting to kill a zombie with, uh, a stick, which (somehow) forces alien Eros to turn off the zombie-making ray. Yeah, it still doesn’t make any sense…
How They Should’ve Conquered: Turn everyone into zombies. Watch from space as the humans eat each other. Don't meddle. Where’s the problem, here?
The Invasion: An intergalactic hunter seizes control of a Guatemala jungle and targets a group of mercenaries, among them Mr Arnold Schwarzenegger. Why? ‘Cos it’s fun.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: Thinking anybody could better Arnie was a clear error in judgement.
How They Should’ve Conquered: Predator’s not necessarily bothered about conquering, but he could’ve at least won this fight if he’d adapted that infrared camera to cope with mud. Clearly the species still hasn’t learned this when it encounters Adrien Brody…
The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
The Invasion: A sort of threatened destruction more than an actual all-out assault on the human race, as alien Klaatu arrives on Earth and warns us that if we don’t play nice, his robot Gort will rip us to shreds. We don’t play nice, so Klaatu leaves saying Gort will rip us to shreds if we get violent in space. Way to change your priorities.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: Klaatu underestimates just how suspicious/pro-guns the human race are, as government officials shoot him before he can even say a word.
How They Should’ve Conquered: We may have only just got Skype in the past few years, but they had TVs in the ‘50s, meaning futuristic Klaatu could have spoken to us through our screens rather than endangering himself physically.
The Invasion: A crop circle appears in a corn field, announcing the arrival of creepy naked aliens who aren’t very nice. Namely: they pretty much want us dead. Also, a preacher loses his faith.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: The aliens are allergic to water. Yes, water.
How They Should’ve Conquered: Why bother? Water covers 70% of our planet, meaning it’s pretty much everywhere. Try Mars, ain’t no water there (that we know of).
The Invasion: Squirmy little alien things try to take over the human race by sucking onto human hosts and using them as fleshy puppets. All of the possessed people communicate via a hive mind, and turn into walking zombies.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: Pretty hard to pass yourself off as normal when your body’s erupting with vicious tumours. Just take a look at that girl above – does she look normal to you?
How They Should’ve Conquered: By posing as worms and calling on all soft-bodied invertebrate animals for an uprising.
They Live (1988)
The Invasion: They’re here already, having infiltrated the entire planet with subliminal messaging and clever disguises.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: The fact that the aliens can be revealed for their true selves using special sunglasses is a pretty major defect in their quest for world domination.
How They Should’ve Conquered: Not leaving boxes full of expose-o sunnies lying around would be a good start.
Teenagers From Outer Space (1959)
The Invasion: Spacemen discover that Earth is the perfect place for them to rear their herd of gargons, a creature that’s a mealtime favourite on their planet. Sadly, they have no time for humans.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: Discounting humans as inferior “foreign beings” is where these guys go wrong, not counting on our territorial instincts.
How They Should’ve Conquered: By cleverly negotiating with earthlings and setting up a trade environment that meant they could raise their gargons without trouble.
The Thing (1982)
The Invasion: An alien entity takes over an isolated, frosty Norwegian camp. With the ability to infect human bodies, it works its way through a set of scientists, and anybody else that crosses its gooey path.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: Does The Thing have a plan? Though it’s overarching goal is clearly to infect the entire human race (check out Blair’s flying apparatus), it’s more of an elemental force of nature that destroys anything in its path.
How They Should’ve Conquered: By not getting caught. Damn those pesky humans.
The Invasion: More taking over the planet courtesy of a fellow called Mr Gray, who lets lamprey-like aliens loose in the water to leech onto human hosts.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: Those lamprey things are just too squishy and easy to kill.
How They Should’ve Conquered: The leech vs human host thing’s failed a thousand times already (just look at this list). Time for a different tact: come in peace, get elected President, then nobody can stop you.
The Invasion: It’s Viking time! Soldier Kainan and alien monster Moorwen land on Earth during the reign of those Scandinavian horn-blowers. When Moorwen gets loose, it starts slaying Norwegians left, right and centre.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: The crash-landing-on-Earth-and-setting-a-monster-loose-on-the-Vikings part.
How They Should’ve Conquered: Kainan conquers in the end, becoming King, but there must’ve been a less ham-fisted, violent way of going about it.
Killer Clowns From Outer Space (1988)
The Invasion: “All we want to do is kill you” pretty much sums up the game plan of this bunch of fools. Rampaging across the universe, these, yes, killer clowns do their worst to the human race when they land on Earth and set about using cops as dummies and wrapping people in candyfloss.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: It’s completely and utterly idiotic!
How They Should’ve Conquered: They don’t deserve to, idiot clowns.
Night Of The Creeps (1986)
The Invasion: Oh, look, more host action! Alien brain parasites, the result of an ET experiment gone badly wrong, slither onto Earth and lodge themselves in human brains. The possessed humans are turned into walking, hacking, slicing zombies…
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: Like most zombies, these can be easily stopped by a shotgun blast to the head.
How They Should’ve Conquered: Donning firefighter helmets would definitely help protect those vital soft tissues.
The Invasion: A craven race known as ‘Homo sapiens’ raid peaceful planet Pandora, wanting to get their mitts on ‘unobtanium’, a super-precious mineral. Problem is, said substance is right under the home of the planet’s existing residents, a race called Na’vi.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: Machine guns vs arrows? Pah! Except the Homo sapiens didn’t bargain on the planet’s natural wildlife fighting back alongside the Na’vi. Also drinking coffee while bombing clearly crippled Colonel Quaritch’s judgement.
How They Should’ve Conquered: Set some deadly Earth wildlife loose in Pandora’s jungle and watch as everything tears everything else apart.
Earth Girls Are Easy (1988)
The Invasion: Alright, this can’t really be classed as an on-the-nose invasion, but by virtue of its crash-landing aliens (and glorious, spellbinding shitness), it just had to be on the list. Three primary-colour befluffed aliens come looking to get laid on Earth, get a shave courtesy of Geena Davis, turn out to be “hot”.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: The fact that they don’t have one beyond wanting to get their alien disco sticks taken care of.
How They Should’ve Conquered: By wooing far more superior women.
The Blob (1958)
The Invasion: An asteroid plummets to Earth, carrying with it an amorphous, amoebic thing that lives only to envelop and destroy everything in its path.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: Without a reason to exist other than for mindless destruction, the amoebic Blob is sorely lacking in smarts. If only there had been a crazy scientist to help it out.
How They Should’ve Conquered: By being smuggled in little jelly pots and conquering the Earth one lunch box at a time.
The Invasion: Vampiric aliens with an aversion to clothing chew their way through the human race, absorbing their precious lifeforce.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: Unfortunately, the space vamps hadn’t reckoned on vampire lore being so well known on Earth, and are easily dispatched with the use of legendary methods.
How They Should’ve Conquered: Is a trip back through time too much to ask for? If the vamps could erase all literary and filmic reference to vampires, they might just conquer.
The Invasion: An ‘accumulator’ robot called Kronos is sent by an alien race to absorb all of Earth’s power, and return to invigorate the race’s depleted power stores. Even an Atomic bomb can’t stop it – until scientists find a way to re-programme Kronos.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: Being a robotic device, Kronos is in no way immune to re-programming. Major glitch, there.
How They Should’ve Conquered: Get yourself a nice sturdy force field.
Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
The Invasion: The Borg seize control of Earth (again), this time using time travel to change the past, transforming the entire human race into Borg as they prevent humanity from making first contact with other alien life.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: Though they think cybernetically, the Borg are unable to think emotionally, meaning they can’t predict that Captain Picard will sacrifice his own ship to rescue the human race.
How They Should’ve Conquered: When Picard’s involved, they never will.
Invasion Of The Saucer Men (1957)
The Invasion: Hypodermic-fingernailed ETs kill people by injecting alcohol directly into their bloodstream (sounds like a good way to go).
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: Know your weaknesses. When teenagers (of all people) discover the aliens can’t stand headlights, they use them to shoo them off the planet.
How They Should’ve Conquered: By nicking those sunnies from the aliens in They Live.
Battlefield Earth (2000)
The Invasion: Alien Psychlos invade Earth and enslave the human race to do their bidding. A few ragtag humans have evaded capture, and live on the outskirts in remote areas.
Fatal Flaw In The Plan: Don’t turn unwilling subjects into miners, which enrages humans to such an extend that they enact a belated uprising.
How They Should’ve Conquered: The Psychlos managed to conquer for around a thousand years, which is good innings. But they could’ve kept it that way if they'd been more canny in their use of slave labour.