Updated: Nov 11, 2019
There are few more compelling action scenes on screen than one-to-one combat. But one-to-one combat between human and alien takes it to the next level.
Predator (1987) was one of the best. The movie does a great job of setting up how skewed the odds are, with the Predator possessing skills, technology, weapons and strength far beyond the human. But then we’re not talking about any ordinary human here - we’re talking Arnold Schwarzenegger playing Dutch the leader of the squad tracking the predator. The Predator ends up tracking them and killing them off one by one, setting us up for the final salivation- worthy battle - Arnie vs the Predator.
The battle begins with Dutch being given a royal thrashing in the first few rounds until finally using brains ( yes he has those too) and brawn Dutch gets his own back. The battle also unmasks the Predator and the audience gets to see the ‘ugly m*****f****r’. The Predator also knows this is one is unlike the earlier ones he’s fought, this one is a worthy opponent and decides to get rid of some of his advantages - mask gone, weapons dropped and it’s hand to hand.
Only problem is the Predator hadn’t seen the Terminator!
Aliens (1986) gave us another memorable battle when Sergeant Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) takes on the Alien Queen. The scene is brilliantly set on the battleship Sulaco with little Newt screaming her head off as the Queen pursues her, ripping the floor apart.
Ripley emerges in battle gear suited up within the forklift power loader she uses to even the battle. They circle like warriors, Ripley using the fork lift’s arms to keep the Queen’s claws and teeth at bay. That gives us the you-didn’t-see-that-coming head within the head scene as the Queen snaps inches away from Ripley’s face. The airlock opening adds chaos to the scene, with everything being tossed around including Newt who is grabbed by what’s left of Bishop ( the Android) and eventually Ripley sends the Queen into space. The whole battle is filled with tension, the visual effects and sound effects combining to give us a classic.
They circle like warriors, Ripley using the fork lift’s arms to keep the Queen’s claws and teeth at bay. That gives us the you-didn’t-see-that-coming head within the head scene as the Queen snaps inches away from Ripley’s face.
Riddick vs the Raptor creature also gives us a worthy battle. The 2010 version of Predators had a cool battle between Hanzo and the Predator and finally, 2017’s Beyond Skyline gave us a jaw-dropping aliens vs humans combat with Frank Grillo and Iko Uwais and Yayan Rahin (of The Raid fame) showing off their martial art skills.
While we have several memorable scenes from alien movies, there are few that come close to the kick of seeing human and alien go against each other solo combat. Bring it on!