Alien (1979) / Aliens (1986) Or How The Jumpin' Jesus Did He Get So Big?! * Top Pick *

 

If you wanna make an omlette...
It's true, see cause there's a vacuum in space, see, and sound can't exist in a vacuum... nope.

Genre: Sci-Fi Horror Thriller / Sci-Fi Action Thriller

Starring: Alien: Sigourney Weaver (Gorillas In The Mist Snow White: A Tale of Terror), Tom Skerritt (The Dead Zone Top Gun)
Aliens: Sigourney Weaver
(Gorillas In The Mist Snow White: A Tale of Terror), Paul Riser ("Mad About You" "My Two Dads")

Directed By: Alien: Ridley Scott (American GangsterGladiator)
Aliens: James Cameron
(Titanic Terminator 2: Judgment Day)

Overview: During their voyage back home, the team on the mining ship Nostromo are awakened from cryosleep to investigate a signal being transmitted by a nearby moon. What they find is anything but friendly.

Though the films' details are not really discussed, this whole post assumes you've seen Alien and Aliens. Though not full of spoliers per se, it's more for people who've seen them or read the franchise's comics or roleplayed a marine for the Aliens game or something geeky like that.

From perverse pic to classic content
From perverse pic to classic content

It has many names: AlienXenomorphRipley's Alien, The Giger Alien, The Aliens Alien... Peckerhead...ok that's mine... then there's the really hardcore names like Linguafoeda acheronsis ("foul tongue from Acheron") and Internecivus raptus ("deadly abduction").

Rather than blathering on about how utterly perfect this film is, I thought I'd instead talk about something you might actually not know and delve into the background of the many permutations of the parasitoid creature we've all come to love.  Let us begin at the beginning. The inspiration: The Giger Alien.

Writer Dan O'Bannon worked with Swiss artist HR Giger on an adaptation of Dune that was never completed. When the go-ahead was given for Alien, Dan immediately thought of Giger for his designs. He presented director Ridley Scott with Necronimicon, a book of Giger's illustrations. Ridley Scott found the designs inspirational and chose Necronom IV, the psychosexual photo above, as the foundation for the antagonist of his moving picture.

Ridley Scott wanted the actor who would be in the Xenomorph suit to look as inhuman as possible and found the ideal candidate while sitting at a bar. A 7' 2" Nigerian named Bolaji Badejo. I wonder what his pick-up line was?

Let's explore the phases our little chum goes through. First the Facehugger, courtesy of the alien egg chamber on an alien ship. The alien ship the crew of the Nostromo visits was most likely a bomber, intended to drop eggs on planets in order to return later to reap the rewards of a clean dead planet. Nice biological warfare, however the alien race clearly suffered their own fate, given the condition of the deceased crew.

In the early stages of the script writing, the question of getting the creature on board the Nostromo was answered with... well... rape. Adding a frightening element like having a creature forcefully impregnate their victim then burst out of their chest was both original and terrifying. John Hurt got the great honour of being faceporked - and kicking off his career into high gear. 

Huggy the Host-maker!
Huggy the Host-maker!

But what about the physiology of the thing? Acid blood? What kind of monster predator would this thing have to necessitate having pressurized acid blood in its veins? It's never explained. How quickly does the creature grow? It's never truly explained either, but every time we see the old skin of the thing, we only see one, and it's really tiny. Then a 7-foot tall thing caves your head open two days after you saw a 12-inch long burster.  Either way, there really isn't much film canon to explain the rates of growth backstory. Another interesting tidbit about our friendly neighborhood Xenomorph is that it's eyeless - hence blind - and not actually ever eating anyone. It captures people as hosts to more Alien Xenomorphs. The geek's theory is that these things are in fact carrion eaters, suited for dark dank undergrounds.    

Bursty the Flesh-maker!
Bursty the Flesh-maker!

You know, in the grand scheme of things I think there's a couple plot holes left to be filled in regards to the Xenomorph physiology, but the look of every permutation is undoubtedly iconic awesomeness.

I'd like to give special praise to Chest Burster here.  Every baby, even baby crocodiles are cute when they're born. Bursty here is no exception. So adorable!

Performance: 9 Cinematography: 9 Script: 10 Plot: 9 Mood: 10

Overall Rating: 94% (Or Cause Good Movies Don't MAKE People Scream...)

I'll hug him and squeeze him and name him George
I'll hug him and squeeze him and name him George

Aftertaste:

Let me finish with a rant. For anyone who hasn't seen every Alien film ever made let me do you a favour as I explain the mental retardation happening in Hollywood. 

Alien is set in the year 2122. It's the future. It's very much implied that the Nostromo's crew are the first humans to have a direct encounter with such a race as either the xenomorph bad-ass or the alien ship they found it in.

Fifty seven years later, we have Aliens, the sequel, set in 2179, ever more futuristic. Same planet, same alien, only more of them. Later still, we have Alien³, at this point retardedly futuristic when 200 years later, Alien: Resurrection shows us some stupid stuff having to do with the creatures.

Why in the name of Christ is Alien Versus Predator set in 2004? A better question: why does Alien Versus Predator: Requiem not even mention Bishop Weylan, or any of the canon set up by Alien and its sequels? Why does a xenomorph need to drop a plethora of eggs into a host, instead of the established singular facehugger? More CGI aliens bursting out of a person isn't scarier, it just turns the fight into a retarded abstract with no possible conclusion but the obvious one we see coming a mile away.

Requiem is the most apt title I think I've ever heard to represent the death knell of a serial as good as the Alien franchise. The further we get from the original the more warped it gets...

What a humiliating joke.

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