So, I alluded to this last week, but the movie this week is Alien! I LOVE Alien. Seriously. It’s one of my favorite movies of ALL TIME and ALL GENRES. I mean, how can you beat Sigourney Weaver going up against one of the most badass villains in all of science fiction? Also, it’s the perfect representation for week 2 of Women in Horror month!
So, basically I just want to rave about this movie. If you haven’t seen it, really, go see it right now. It doesn’t have one slow part. The beginning may take a while to get to the INTENSE ACTION, but once it starts, it does NOT let up. Also, the tension just builds and builds from the first second of the first scene to the moment the “chest burster” scene happens.
First! A little history. The alien is based off of a character H.R. Giger created in his piece “Necronom IV,” which writer Dan O’Bannon and director Ridley Scott saw and fell in love with.
Also, the movie was originally called Star Beast, thus this post’s title. Anyway, the writer had worked on an aborted Dune adaptation together, which is how they ended up doing Alien together, along with Scott, who is an awesome director and really a great choice for the film. The movie actually ended up getting made because Star Wars came out a year or two before Alien, and the studio wanted to capitalize on the sudden popularity of science fiction films. So, y’all basically all have Star Wars to thank for this:
Anyway, enough fanservice. On to the movie! You WILL yell at the movie. You will yell and scream and jump and triumph and possibly get upset over the character death. And, even if the death of the xenomorph (the titular alien) is kinda one of those badass bitch, girl power moments, I was still a little sad to see her go. The ‘morph is such a cool, beautiful creature. Scary as hell, yes, but beautifully designed. I know, I know, the phallic thing. I mean, it is Giger. But, the chitinous shell and the double mouth and the lack of eyes and the whipping tail … I seriously could wax rhapsodic about the ‘morph.
Also, the super cool thing is that it’s a beautiful creature and it’s also not in any way modern/CG/whatever. It’s just classic movie effects greatness. All of the different creatures, from the face hugger to the baby ‘morph (aka “Chest Burster) to the fully grown bad mamajama, are so fully realized and beautifully conceptualized and I just … unf. I mean, seriously. Beautiful. Also, I totally recommend checking out some of Giger’s other work if you haven’t. He’s seriously fantastic.
Anyway, I also love love love Ripley, Sigourney Weaver’s character. She was originally written to be played by a male actor, but obviously that changed and lead to one of the most badass female protagonists in the history of movies. I am very comfortable making that statement because it’s Ripley. She’s beautiful, obviously fit, and manages to be the last person standing while still allowing the audience to not really think about her in terms of gender, as opposed to some of the other characters. Plus, I mean, it’s Ripley.
Anyway, seriously you guys, this movie is amazing. I love the characters, I love the ‘morph, I love the damn cat, even! I actually also love Aliens and I like Alien 3. Aliens is a pretty kickass sequel that I do recommend seeing. It doesn’t really fall into that terrible sequel category, but Alien 3 kinda does. At least, according to some people. I still think it’s pretty good, but a lot of people don’t appreciate the lack of guns. However, Sigourney was heavily involved in the third movie, and she is very against guns. So, she wanted to prove that guns aren’t necessary, even against the seemingly unbeatable ‘morphs.
So, the movie is a really cool example of female vs. female (I think the ‘morphs are female, anyway), and it’s one of the best modern Hollywood monster movies which I’ve seen. Admittedly, I haven’t seen every movie ever, but still, I’ve seen a lot and this one is definitely up there.
So, next week, I’m gonna explore the female vs. female theme in horror more thoroughly, so get ready for that! As always, if y’all have a movie you want me to see and/or review, please do let me know in the comments! I hope you enjoyed this edition of Move Madness Mondays.