Alien


Ripley: "How do we kill it, Ash? There's gotta be a way of killing it. How? How do we do it?"
Ash: "You can't."
Parker: "That's bullshit."
Ash: "You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? The perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility."
Lambert: "You admire it."
Ash: "I admire its purity. A survivor...unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality."



release year: 1979
genre: sci-fi/horror
viewing setting: home Bluray, 1/28/20 and 10/19/17 and 6/7/12 and 11/15/10 and theatrical re-release in IMAX, 10/29/03 and about a dozen other times since 1979

synopsis: In deep space, an ore freighter's crew investigates a distress signal, and finds something really nasty.

impressions: This may have been the first sci-fi/horror hybrid, and was undoubtedly the most successful. I still remember reading the HBO schedule in early 1980 and seeing that this movie was coming to my TV soon. I didn't know anything else about it, but I somehow knew I had to see it. And see it I did, a few months later. The movie hit me on a deep-down psychological level and it still does. This is without a doubt one of the greatest original mood/setting movies ever made. It's a sci-fi drama for the first half, then it evolves into a horror movie without you even realizing that the change is happening. This movie is always referred to as "atmospheric" and with good reason. I saw it most recently at a big IMAX theater for the "director's cut" re-release and the audio and video were top-notch. I wouldn't say that there were too many extra scenes though - the main one is Ripley's finding, late in the movie, of some cocooned shipmates. If you want to get a better idea of the total cut scenes, check out Alan Dean Foster's novelization of the movie - they're in there. Note: I watched this most recently as part of the newly-released Alien Blu-Ray box set, and this is absolutely the best picture and sound treatment this movie's ever had on home video!

things to watch for: Kane's wakeup dinner.

something this movie has that no other movie has: a gigantic dead fossilized alien entombed in a creepy wrecked ship

acting: This movie has a cast of only 7 people, and they all do great jobs portraying characters with different strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. I personally think Harry Dean Stanton and Yaphet Kotto did the best jobs, as the working grunts who complain and clown around constantly.

final word: A classic. This is one of those movies that you have to like to be counted as a true sci-fi fan.

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