MovieFilter: Medieval Civilization vs. Aliens From Outer Space
May 20, 2011 7:48 AM   Subscribe

Help me find movies that pit a medieval civilization against scary aliens from outer space.

For the past few weeks, my wife and I have been enjoying Game of Thrones. Last night, we watched the first two Alien movies. This morning, I woke up to a dream where Daenerys' dragon eggs hatched...and facehuggers emerged.

This led to an epic battle of swords, arrows, spears, armies on horseback, and, of course, aliens. Obviously, I woke up before a winner was decided, but the concept has stuck with me. I would like to watch some movies that combine the elements of a medieval human civilization with the body horror of an alien race similar to that found in the Alien series.

Any guns, lasers, motorized vehicles, etc, should only exist if brought by the aliens, but really, I think the fact that the aliens in the Alien series didn't need any of these to be horrific is part of what makes them so scary, as opposed to the Predator series, where the technology of the alien species is more of a focus. Regardless, I don't want the day to be saved by a steampunk scientist, but rather swords, arrows, catapults, burning oil, etc.

I'd prefer the alien or aliens be True Aliens From Outer Space, not simply demons that emerged from a cave or hell or something. Though I recognize that a less advanced race of people may see them as such.

I'd prefer the movie take its concept seriously, as the source material for this question does. That is not to say I wouldn't mind recommendations for comedy (unintentional or otherwise), but it's not really what I am looking for.

Bonus points if the movie is available on Netflix Instant, though this is by no means a requirement.
posted by mysterpigg to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
How about cowboys instead?

It looks like a ridiculous movie, but I'm still going to go see it. Don't hate.
posted by valkyryn at 7:51 AM on May 20, 2011

posted by compound eye at 7:52 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

I was also going to suggest Cowboys and Aliens as being "related to what you're looking for".

I've just done a search for this on Google (you'll be amused to know that this AskMe was one of the top results), and found this list of "medieval sci-fi". The only things that explicitly involves aliens and the Middle Ages that I can see are a Doctor Who episode, and a film called Star Knight; everything else seems to involve time-traveling humans.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:57 AM on May 20, 2011

Oh, and I am absolutely seeing Cowboys and Aliens as well because it does indeed look awesome.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:58 AM on May 20, 2011

I watch a lot of sci-fi and horror and I cannot think of anything that meets that description specifically, but on the rare chance you haven't seen ARMY OF DARKNESS, you've got a similar construct. While the movie version of BEOWULF has the creepy dead CGI eyes, the plot might also appeal to you.

Otherwise, I think you've got a good movie pitch on your hands.
posted by Gucky at 8:03 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Outlander, definitely. One of my favorite films.
posted by zombieApoc at 8:08 AM on May 20, 2011

Response by poster: Valkyryn: Cowboys and Aliens does look pretty awesome, and I have added it to my "must see" list, but it is not quite what I am looking for. I like the idea of a group of people fighting aliens with even more primitive weapons than that.

EmpressCallipygos: I did see that list before posting this, but as you mention, the list is more general sci-fi than alien-specific. I did look at the basic plot of both Star Knight (Keitel!) and Outlander, and added them to my DVD queue, but I am hoping the great anthive can provide more.

Gucky: Same here - I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and I can't think of anything that fits my description. I wish I was a writer because I think it would make a good movie pitch, too. :) And I've seen both Army of Darkness, which is awesome, and Beowulf, which is interesting, though I hate when movies add shots specifically to showcase their 3D technology.
posted by mysterpigg at 8:10 AM on May 20, 2011

The High Crusade
The book, by Poul Anderson, was a lot of fun, but I somehow doubt the movie (which I've never seen) lives up to it.
posted by notbuddha at 8:21 AM on May 20, 2011

Outlander is a little bit like The 13th Warrior, although if I remember rightly the latter movie has a supernatural rather than an extraterrestrial adversary.
posted by misteraitch at 8:23 AM on May 20, 2011

Dammit, notbuddha, you beat me to The High Crusade! I rented it for bad movie night once. It was... pretty bad. But it's exactly what the OP is asking for.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:24 AM on May 20, 2011

Not medieval, but the original Stargate film involves an ancient civilisation fighting aliens.
posted by jonnyploy at 8:27 AM on May 20, 2011

The 13th Warrior, although if I remember rightly the latter movie has a supernatural rather than an extraterrestrial adversary.

I hope it's not too spoilery to say that while the adversary in 13th Warrior is feared as supernatural, in the film it is clear that it is not.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:27 AM on May 20, 2011

Response by poster: notbuddha, Faint of Butt: I saw the High Crusade book on the list EmpressCallipygos linked to, but didn't realize it was a movie, too. The plot does sound interesting, but from the sounds of it, the movie might fall under unintentional comedy. That would be ok...just bad would be...well, bad.

jonnyploy: Forgot about Stargate. Not necessarily what I am looking for, but it is close to the basic idea.
posted by mysterpigg at 8:40 AM on May 20, 2011

Not exactly medieval culture, but you could say that in the Firefly/Serenity universe, the conflict is between low-tech populations on colonized planets and a centralized, high-tech, "alien" overlord.
posted by bricoleur at 9:18 AM on May 20, 2011

The original Stargate movie features an alien that interacted with and enslaved ancient Egyptians. With the help of Kurt Russell and James Spader, they rise up and fight back.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:30 AM on May 20, 2011

It really sucked, but the re-made Planet of the Apes is a bit along these lines.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:20 AM on May 20, 2011

Krull is sorta similar to what you are looking for.
posted by Carillon at 11:45 AM on May 20, 2011

Definitely see Outlander. My fiancée and I found it after running into some of the SFX people at Hollywood Bowl. It's cool, and about perfect for what you want. The IMDB-claimed fusion of alien future-tech and Viking weapons is overblown. It's consistent with the mood you're looking for.
posted by Hylas at 12:17 PM on May 20, 2011

I'm surprised that no one yet mentioned Avatar. Granted, the medieval civilization has flying mounts, and the aliens are humans, but it fits the bill in my mind.
posted by nobeagle at 12:54 PM on May 20, 2011

Response by poster: Some interesting answers so far, guys. Looks like I will definitely have to see Outlander now, as it looks (so far) like the closest to what I am looking for. I honestly didn't think this would be that obscure of a concept!

Thanks, and keep the suggestions coming!
posted by mysterpigg at 3:06 PM on May 20, 2011

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