Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by Dan O’Bannon
– Tom Skerritt as Dallas
– Sigourney Weaver as Ripley
– Veronica Cartwright as Lambert
– Harry Dean Stanton as Brett
– John Hurt as Kane
– Ian Holm as Ash
– Yaphet Kotto as Parker
– Bolaji Badejo as Alien
Every time I view AlienÂ I can’t help but to marvel at this timeless masterpiece horror classic,Â the best ever made. Ridley Scott, with the help of brilliant Alien design from Oscar-winner H.R. Giger,Â takes the viewer to the very end of the nightmare tunnel, and maybe a little farther. This movieÂ was made on a shoestring budget and the old fashioned way, withÂ imagination and talent. The end result is the absoluteÂ epitome of a horror movie that only gets better with age.
The Nostromo is a mining ship, a huge towing vessel, complete with dark, claustrophobic andÂ unforgiving sets. Most of these were made out of old airplaneÂ parts and the result was and still is a spectacular achievement inÂ horror. The flickering lights, gently swaying and clanking chains andÂ dripping water all providing a sinister environment for a mostÂ unwelcome guest.
The crew and cast are (or were) a blue-collarÂ lot of unknowns, but the chemistry and acting is superb andÂ believable — enhancing the absolutely real horror that awaits each oneÂ of them. There are no Superheros here, and they were in no way preparedÂ for what awaited them. They are scared, and rightfully so, and no oneÂ projects this better than Veronica Cartwright as Lambert, the veryÂ embodiment of a hysterical, sobbing woman scared out of her wits…andÂ for very good reason.
Alien is truly awesome from beginning to end as the hands on effort andÂ imagination of Ridley Scott is stunning, even in this day and age ofÂ special effects and CGI. The designs of Giger are wildly original and unforgettable and the editing by TerryÂ Rawlings was crisp, making for a perfect storm of aÂ horror flick. No one who has seen Alien will ever forget theÂ dinner scene, one of the most dramatic even to be presented to anÂ unwary viewer. Even the actors were unaware of what was coming down,Â maximizing the effect of the event.
Film monsters can never get any more terrifying than the Alien. Â It is almost always dangerous to project an absolute about anything,Â but as far as I am concerned, everyone else can just flush theirÂ so-called monsters Â down the sewer (Green Goblin in Spiderman?Â Yeah, right!) I’m sorry, there just can’t be anything in reality or theÂ human imagination that can top this creature that we barely get to seeÂ during most of this film. Â The metaphorically rich design of thisÂ snarling, biting, chomping, eviscerating and head-banging nightmare is terrifying.
If you think the PredatorÂ had a bad attitude, you will not believe the hostility thatÂ the Alien carries around. The Predator, as tough as heÂ was is about the equivalent of the Pillsbury Doughboy when compared to the Alien. Â Ash said it best, ÂIt’s structural perfection is onlyÂ matched by its hostility…Perfect organism…unclouded by conscience,Â remorse, or delusions of morality.Â
Every time IÂ watch this movie, I thoroughly enjoy the enormous rawÂ talent and creativity that made it possible. The ships are organic,Â almost alive as was terrifyingly demonstrated by the creepy, cavernousÂ spaceship that surrounded an even creepier Space Jockey. I cannot sayÂ enough about the use of lighting and sound, both of which complementedÂ Goldsmith’s wonderful musical score. Ridley Scott is a genius; hisÂ creativity with using ordinary objects and hands on attentionÂ to detail make this film what it is. The design of the Alien monster isÂ a feat that will probably never be duplicated. As far as violence goes,Â violent does not begin to describe his methodology, heart-stopping is more accurate.
From the terrifying sets to the even moreÂ terrifying Alien, with a very sinister elongated head replete with rowsÂ of smashing teeth, the viewer is scared shitless,Â time and time again. The movie literally oozes with organic evil as theÂ makers of Alien put on a horror show clinic. Â Ridley Scott shows you just enough to make your imagination and sensesÂ run wild as the viewer only gets a glimpse of this terror of all terrors.
ThereÂ are 3 scenes in this movie that really excel. First, of course isÂ the Last Supper chest-bursting scene. Much has been said and writtenÂ about this, you must see it to believe it, one of the most dramaticÂ scenes ever attempted on the screen. It was brilliant!
TheÂ second scene was when Brett went to retrieve the cat, Jones. You justÂ knew, you just knew that when Brett went through those double doorsÂ that something terrible was about to happen. The sets literally emanateÂ haunting malevolence as the aforementioned trio of inconsistentÂ lighting, the swaying, clanking chains, the dripping water and theÂ dirty, grimy mining machinery, are all poised to come alive at anyÂ moment! Here is where first Jones and then the doomed Brett get a firstÂ look at the monster and brother what a monster he is!
TheÂ third memorable scene employs what a great horror movie always employsÂ and that is the unexpected and ingenious plot twist. Ash is revealed asÂ a Company planted robot, charged with bringing the alien back to earthÂ in an ultra violent and equally terrifying reality check at Mother’sÂ console. That oozing milk-mouth, and the reverberating and superÂ chilling voice of the freshly decapitated Ash, did nothing to encourageÂ what was left of the Nostromo crew. He coldly let them have it betweenÂ the eyes as to what they were really up against.
Somehow it just didn’t seem right for Ripley to get the best of this Alien fromÂ Hell, even with the brilliant twist of the monster stowing awayÂ (again). My preferred ending is for the Alien to fall madly in loveÂ with Ripley, squick her, (an amorous adventure that she unfortunatelyÂ will not survive) and to direct the craft to The White House, where heÂ again falls madly in love with First Lady Rosalyn Carter.
Special Ruthless Ratings:
- The number of times I realized this movie was 27 years old : ZERO, only Mother’s computer console looked dated, no big deal
- The number of times the oppressive sound-track made you reach for your knife: ZERO, it was magnificent
- The number of times you freeze framed to try to see Ripley’s Camel-Toe when she was semi-naked in the Escape Pod: 198
- The number of times you realized you were watching the scariest movie ever made: 27
- Were you surprised when the sequel, Aliens was damn near as good as this one?: Yes
- Was this Ridley Scott’s best work ever?: Yes; Blade Runner is a close second, though
- Didn’t he make Hannibal too?: Don’t remind me
- Anything else?: Nope