Derelict and deadly spaceships in sci-fi films, books and videogames are usually not a welcoming place in which to hang your helmet and kick back. Many are distinctly marked as DO NOT APPROACH zones and equipped with clearly articulated warning messages to keep your distance, but that doesn't ever seem to stop scavengers, space pirates or evil industrial corporations from waving off these dangerous signs to board anyway. Others are apt to contain nasty alien hitchhikers or biological hazards not conducive to a pleasant star-trekking voyage.
Whether these nefarious, neglected craft have just reappeared from the other side of a black hole or have been lying dormant for eons on a hostile planetoid, visitors are infrequent. Here's a frightening fleet of vicious vessels you'd be better off bolting lightspeed away from to set the mood for a spirited Halloween season.
So ignore all distress beacons at your own peril and step into this armada of sinister sci-fi spaceships before their orbits decay. WARNING: Spoilery destinations ahead!
USG ISHIMURA - DEAD SPACE 2008
It's basically a perfectly good interstellar mining vessel if you forget about the vicious reanimated corpses found lurking on nearly every deck. The pesky Necromorphs are a resilient crop of creatures and are extermemely inhospitable when it comes to having guests, yet don't mind if you're staying for dinner. This plague of zombified corpses is a real drag, unless you happen to have a flaring plasma cutter in your pocket.
THE APACHE - JASON X 2001
Things would be a lot more peaceful on this ship if a notorious undead slasher named Jason Voorhees weren't stashed away in the cargo bay, but when scientific discovery is entered into the equation, many questionable choices are made. The Apache is a 25th-century ship on a field trip from hell to an overly polluted Earth where the frozen Jason is located at the Crystal Lake Research Facility and shipped back home to Earth 2 for cellular research. Once he's thawed, the ship becomes his private killing field, with an ample supple of student bodies until the fiery finale, when Jason becomes an inhuman meteor in the sky. Next time, take the school bus.
THE SCOPULI - LEVIATHAN WAKES (THE EXPANSE BOOK SERIES) 2014
Ignore that glistening brown protomolecular goo and come on in and sit a spell in the Scopuli, a light Martian freighter used by the Outer Planets Alliance for clandestine missions and ransacked by the evil security firm, Protogen, in an attempt to hijack its alien ooze cargo. Found moored to an asteroid by Holden and his Rocinante crew, the amber-brown mess discovered inside the ship is not to be trifled with, let alone inhaled, eaten or touched. Much wiser to get out and move along your merry way!
THE ENGINEER'S DERELICT - ALIEN 1979
Anything that looks like an organic hammer-headed horseshoe lying canted in a rocky ravine on an uncharted planetoid is best to avoid. Especially when its repeating SOS beacon is translated into its true message -- a dire warning to keep rubberneckers the hell away from it! Once its strange genital-like openings are penetrated, seeing fossilized giants and oceans of squishy egg pods in the cargo hold would make most reasonable people flee in terror. Better off leaving this sleeping nightmare in its resting place.
CHALLENGE 142 - IT, THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE 1956
One of the inspirations for Ridley Scott's Alien. this Golden Age classic brings us aboard the silver rescue rocketship, Challenge 142, and locks us inside after a bloodthirsty reptilian alien from Mars decides to snag a lift back to Earth with its new astronaut friends in the far flung future of...1973! Mute, clawed monsters with insatible appetites for human flesh are never good travel companions in the confines of a steel spacecraft. A wiser choice would have been to stay on Mars and use the Challenge 142 as a Red Planet potato farm.
ICARUS 1 - SUNSHINE 2007
Need a glowing golden suntan? This vessel was launched from Earth to detonate a nuclear payload within the sun's fury to keep its fusion furnace burning and was never heard from again. A sister rescue vessel, the Icarus 2, has been dispatched as a last resort and encounters this long-abandoned ship drifting near the scorching star. Inside the Icarus 1, its over-tanned Captain Pinback has been caught in an addictive ritual of basking in the sun's brilliant embrace and has gone insane. Back out quietly and toss him a bottle of aloe vera lotion.
THE EVENT HORIZON - EVENT HORIZON 1997
Lawrence Fishburne's Captain Miller thinks this place is a tomb! Well that's not a very polite way to describe what I think is one of the most ominous spaceships ever seen on screen. The fact that this foreboding vessel has appeared in Neptune's orbit following its disappearance after entering a black hole should be enough to keep the crew of the Lewis and Clark from steering anywhere close. Nothing good can be happening on that craft considering the seven-year absence. One second after discovering the craft punctured a route straight to hell and returned with some extra baggage, I'd be running for the exit hatch! The welcome mat is out but there's no need to knock on this airlock.
THE SHENANDOAH - CREATURE 1985
Bascally a total Alien ripoff, this low-budget cult sci-fi flick has its following, but only from those midnight runs to the video store in the '80s to grab the sci-fi flick with the craziest alien on the cover. The Shenandoah is a prospecting explorer sent by a ruthless corporation to claim an alien archaelogical site on Saturn's moon, Titan. Assorted chaos ensues with a rival West German spaceship discovered at the dig site with obvious signs of the slaughter of its crew. The carnivorous monster that creeps onto the Shenandoah suffers from little monster syndrome, but its bite is impressive. Best to have never touched the metallic pods in the subterranean cave and skipped this mission entirely.
RAMA - RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA 1973
This classic by 2001's legendary author, Arthur C. Clarke focuses on a massive alien spaceship entering Earth's neighborhood. The 34-mile long cylindrical spacecraft does not parallel park easily and is quite spacious inside, containing habitable cities and an inner ocean. A roving extraterrestrial vessel named after the Hindu god of excellence sounds a bit high and mighty, and as its depths are explored and its mysteries unraveled, unexplained secrets as to its origins and purpose slowly surface. You might want to downsize into a cozier drifitng mega-ship when one of these titanic interstellar vehicles ambles in our solar sytem again.