As a 90s kid, the only movies I remembered watching besides animated flicks like The Lion King or the occasional live-action comedy such as Dr. Doolittle was sci-fi movies.
Here are the 5 movies that inspired me to write Syphons.
Men In Black 1
What is cooler than discovering that your world is surrounded by aliens? Learning that there’s a top secret government organization assigned to protect the world from said aliens.
MIB is one of my favorite movies because of the idea of having a complete novice like Agent J be introduced to races of aliens superior to his own intelligence. The movie made me feel small, in a way that humans aren’t the only ones living on this tiny planet.
MIB inspired my creation of Edge Labs in Syphons. Edge is the secret organization that seeks to gain more knowledge about the Mindstalkers by dealing with them one-on-one. I wanted to create an organization that not only tackled big-bad alien parasites, but also respected the fact that Mindstalkers are here to stay.
Originally, a book written by Stephen King, Dreamcatchers is the next movie on my list. When I first watched the movie on the SyFy Network, I was equally disgusted and enthralled by the premise of the story.
Evil alien parasites that infiltrated host bodies and lived in their digestive tract until it was time to move onto a next host was so gross! This movie felt more like horror than sci-fi (as to be expected of King), but it managed to hold my attention until the end.
Parasites in most science fiction flicks and movies always seemed to be the mind-controlling kind. I loved the idea of people being controlled by something as insignificant as a lowly parasite. Mindstalkers not only manipulate their host’s bodies and thoughts, but they can influence others without even infecting them!
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
There are many remakes of this particular movie. The trope is also a very common one used in most sci-fi flicks. Aliens invade the Earth, snatch the minds of human beings, and force them to do their bidding.
One thing that stood out in this movie for me was their hive-mind mentality. By forming a single entity using numerous individuals and host bodies, the aliens are able to form a powerful resistance against humanity.
When you think about it, what’s worse than having your best friend turn against you and become a total monster? That scenario is one of the things I explored with the relationship of Solstice and her bestie, Carmen, in Syphons.
If you live in Florida, you’ve probably heard of or watched the movie Cocoon. It was filmed in Saint Petersburg, FL.
Here’s the gist, elderly people are given youth and longevity by aliens that are pretty much semi-aquatic pod people living in a swimming pool.
In Syphons, the Mindstalkers are able to breathe underwater. And, yes, the location of the novel takes place in the Tampa Bay Area, which is about twenty minutes away from Saint Petersburg.
One day, a group of scientists create a gorgeous humanoid using the genetic information sent to them by aliens from another world. The next day, a violent alien breaks out of their lab, and wreaks havoc on their town searching for some poor sap to be her baby-daddy.
It’s not cinematic gold, but the monster design is pretty legit. It kind of reminds me of the chestburster-type alien queen from the 70s-80s classic Alien.
I wanted my human hosts in the novel to share some physical characteristics that mirrored that of the aliens in Species.
For instance, syphons are shaped like tentacles. Each host and gender have a different amount and function for their syphons. The host’s spine contains the syphons. And, they can “siphon” the brains of their victims through the hollow tubes of a syphon, like a straw (hence the name).
So there you have it, my inspirations for different parts of my novel, Syphons came from those movies, and the rest from my twisted imagination.