Unlike most pop culture superstars, author Stephenie Meyer is not on Twitter. Well, she is, but she’s only tweeted twice, both times on April 16, 2009. Still, she has almost 100,000 followers eager to hear any pronouncement from the woman who gave us eternal lovers Bella Swan, Edward Cullen and the Twilight universe.
She had time to tap out the two tweets because at the time her world “had not been affected by the movies as it is now.”
Currently the five Twilight films have grossed over $2 billion and a new film sits poised to create another Meyer franchise. It’s unlikely she’ll have time to tweet anytime soon.
The Host, starring Saoirse Ronan, is a science fiction romance based on Meyer’s 2008 novel.
“When I came up with the idea I was driving between Phoenix and Salt Lake City,” she says.
“Through the desert there really is nothing for hours and hours and I didn’t have anyone to talk to, so I was entertaining myself and in the middle of that came the idea of two people, in one body, in love with the same person, and that conflict. I thought, ‘That’s not a bad idea’ and I started working on it, just in my head, until I could get to where I could start typing.”
Her love of science fiction dates back to early childhood when her father would read the stories of Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card and others aloud to the family.“I remember he read us Dune. The first one gave me nightmares.”
The home readings, she says, were “great for a growing imagination. I also had a real affinity for that kind of reading so I don’t think it was an accident that the second world I created was a science fiction world.”
She’s quick to point out, however, that The Host is suitable for people who don’t necessarily like sci fi.
“It’s in our world and it looks the same and people are in our bodies, so it feels the same.
“You don’t have to try and immerse yourself in something that is completely alien to you.
“I think that takes away one of the hurdles for people who aren’t sure about science fiction.”
As a fan, however, she sees the tantalizing possibilities in the genre.
“Science fiction lets us experience something that we haven’t yet,” she says, “but we might.”
In The Host, the hotly anticipated new film written by Twilight scribe Stephenie Meyer, a parasitic alien is injected into the body of Melanie Stryder, played by Saoirse Ronan.
Sounds grim, but remember, this is from the lady who gave us sparkly vampires and undying love, so the alien inside is kind of a lovesick creature who helps the host body find her loved ones.
That’s a lot more benign than other parasitic alien movies.
The most famous alien organism — in the movie Alien, naturally — literally burst on the screen, poking its horrible head through the chest of John Hurt in one of cinema’s most indelibly creepy moments.
To get a natural reaction from his actors, director Ridley Scott didn’t fully explain what was about to happen as they shot the scene.
“Everyone (on the crew) was wearing raincoats,” said Sigourney Weaver. “We should have been a little suspicious.”
When the alien came careening out of Hurt’s body the actors were genuinely surprised.
Blood oozed all over the set and the shock was so intense it’s alleged that Veronica Cartwright passed out and Yaphet Kotto was so freaked out he went to his room and wouldn’t talk to anyone.
Much less bloody is The Puppet Masters, which sees the earth invaded by alien “slugs” that piggyback on people’s backs, controlling their minds.
Based on the Robert A. Heinlein 1951 novel, the film starred Donald Sutherland, who also appeared in one of the genre’s classics, Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
The original movie of the story, taken from Jack Finney’s classic novel The Body Snatchers, dates from 1956 and has been declared by the Library of Congress as “culturally, historically, or esthetically significant,” but it is the Sutherland version, from 1978, that is truly chilling.
The story of alien infiltration — humans are being replaced one by one by emotionless ETs — was called “the best film of its kind ever made” by The New Yorker’s Pauline Kael and a movie that “validates the entire concept of remakes,” according to Variety.
The strangest movie parasite wasn’t an alien, but a bug that feeds on fear.
In the Tingler, these parasites attach themselves to their host’s spine and tingle when the host is frightened or scared.
In its original 1959 run it was shown with the Percepto! gimmick that gave some of the theatre seats a small electrical jolt — or tingle — during the movie’s climax.