How could I not feature this legendary film, in light of this weekend’s theatrical premiere of PROMETHEUS. Today’s Flashback Friday is none other than the 1979 movie that gave people phantom chest pains for weeks – ALIEN. Ridley Scott‘s space horror that reinvented the meaning of space horror (or science fiction horror). Even though there were countless films up to that point which featured a man in a monster suit attacking people on some ship, none of them came close to the terror and feeling of being trapped that ALIEN did.
The crew of the mining ship Nostromo are ordered to check out a distress call on a strange planet. When they land, Kane, one of the members of the crew, is attacked by a parasitic organism which adheres to his face. They try to remove it, but the creature’s defenses make that a bad idea. After a while, the creature seems to die off, and Kane seems fine. Don’t believe that for one minute. The crew has to fight for their lives against a creature that is Alien to them in every respect.
When most of the films that came out in the 70′s and 80′s are dated and considered corny by the young folk, ALIEN (and it’s sequel ALIENS) still stands up to the test of time as one of the greatest space horror films. Actually, you would be hard pressed to find any space horror worth it’s salt in the last 20 years that had the same appreciation. There are a few, but not many.
Another reason that this was a classic was that it not only reinvented the concept of an alien monster, but it also reinvented the female hero. Ripley, played by a young Sigourney Weaver, replaced the damsel in distress with the Damsel with a big friggin’ gun! And she continued to be one of two women in science fiction that broke the mold for tough down and dirty heroines (the other being Sarah Conner of Terminator).
And one more thing, which is more personal opinion than widely accepted viewpoint: I think ALIEN has the GREATEST SPACESHIP EXPLOSION in any science fiction movie (yes, even better than The Death Star). Go ahead, click on the link and see if you agree with me.
I find it hard to believe that any geek worth his or her 20 sided die has never seen ALIEN, but if you haven’t, then rent it or buy it or stream it, and see what you have been missing all these years. Of course it might not have to same effect on you that it did on my 13-year-old self, but I’m sure you will like it enough.
Top Image: mattjhorn.wordpress.com