Starting life as a "B" genre of the 1950s, sci-fi horror films eventually graduated to "A" stars and budgets as the Spielberg-Lucas wave of blockbuster escapism transformed the country's moviegoing habits in the late 1970s. Early examples of the type were cheaply made drive-in fare, such as 1954's It Came From Outer Space. But in the public's taste for gorier, more explicit horror films -- fed by such flicks as Night of the Living Dead (1968), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), and aloween (1978) -- combined with the fantastic visual effects pioneered by Lucas in the Star Wars series, gave birth to a type of horror film most prominently typified by Ridley Scott's blockbuster Alien (1979). In these films, malicious aliens and paranormal entities took the place of serial killers and slashers, and audiences turned out in droves. Countless examples followed in the '80s and '90s, each more pulse-pounding and elaborate than the last, including John Carpenter's remake of The Thing (1982), Poltergeist (1982), and the numerous installments in the Alien series.