Alien

AlienNetflix IMDb
Ridley Scott starts the Alien franchise rolling with Alien, the story of a humble xenomorph born into a hostile world full of potential hosts that he must struggle to maim and prepare for embryo impregnation. But there is a spunky gal in a space panties that has it out for him!

Join me as I dissect this alien. I discuss the structure and pulp origins of the film, the similarities between Ridley Scott and Stanley Kubrick, and the mysterious connections between Gunsmoke and American science fiction. I compare the film to WW2 submarine movies, Star Wars, Mission Impossible (for which I drop a spoiler), and teenage slasher films. I suggest that Veronica Cartwright’s career might have been derailed by snot. I complain about Star Trek: First Contact. I say that Dallas portrays alien characteristics when I mean hero characteristics. I say that we’re “still in the third act” when I mean the second act.

Start the film before the 20th Century Fox title at the same time you start the commentary. (54 MB)

4 thoughts on “Alien”

  1. So, have you seen Dark Star yet? Worth a look, especially the scene with O’Bannon being hunted by the Beach Ball Xenomorph… There’s a scene with the “knife trick” from “Aliens”…

    Also, AVP Requiem has a character named Dallas in it… Maybe with cryogenic stasis it could be the same one?? Kind of a stand-up guy with a questionable past and would imply pre-knowledge of the aliens…

    Commentary at 37mins just in case you cover this later…

  2. When you mention the score at 41mins it’s cool that you notice that it’s out of place, because it’s actually music from another movie – the music in the potential hull breach sequence and many other places in the film are actually also by Jerry Goldsmith but are from the movie “Freud”. The original score has harpsichord in it, so it’s been tweaked. Goldsmith was not happy, but they had apparently “temped” the scenes with that music and the director/producer/editors liked it better. They were able to credit one composer by including the same composer’s work from other films…

  3. That rough cut of Ash at 1:23ish kills me… the entrance of R2-D2 in every version of episode 4 is similarly jarring…

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