A lot of people have been doing an "A to Z" theme recently, talking about things which inspire them, or they think are awesome, or whatever pops into their head.
I'll stick with gaming, and try my hand...
A post a day! I'll be knackered after almost four weeks of this...
So, to start: A is for Alien.
The classic "modern" horror movie.
This movie has inspired a lot of my creative bits and pieces, for several reasons. It was one of the first movies that really brought the more sexual elements of horror to my attention - as a kid, my mind obviously never caught them, but really, the movie is about a huge insectoid rapist with a penis for a head.
The damn thing even looks repulsively phallic, and it's no wonder - H.R. Geiger is a strange man, presumably with some strange dreams, and a therapist's bill that would make Bill Gates wince.
I recently used 40k's Genestealers in our Rogue Trader game, and took a lot of influence on how to run them from Alien - it doesn't just pop out a closet shouting "BOOGABOOGA", it waits, slithers about, trails foul liquids and seeks nothing more than impregnating you (with the Genestealers, it's a "kiss", of the very French variety, that places and egg inside you, via an ovipositor in its tongue). I managed to make my player jumpy, in a full light cafe during the day, just by liberally lifting atmospheric elements from this movie.
Sadly, there's never been a "decent" Aliens RPG in my eyes - the only real one I've found (as in, not homebrewed) was done by Leading Edge Games, and it's very clunky. It uses te infamous Phoenix Command system, a name that will make grognards weep. The main thing about it isn't the guns, or tactics, or grittiness (though a system should help emphasise those), it's the claustrophobia, the terror, the atmosphere of the piece that's important. And that, sadly, is all up to the GM.