Cast: 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 thee one and only “Alien” and Helen Horton as the spaceship called “Mother” (voice).
Basic movie facts: Did you know the whole idea of the Alien laying its eggs in the chest cavity of humans was inspired by ichneumon wasps? Ichneumon wasps carefully put their eggs inside of beetle larvae or caterpillars only to see the eggs hatch similar to the one shown in this movie. The script writers, O’Bannon and Shusett, made sure some of the main characters had “unisex” names which allowed casting easy, albeit the character “Ripley” originally was supposed to be played by a male. The front part of Alien was developed from a cast of a human skull. Bolaji Badejo, who played “Alien”, hails from Nigeria (specifically from the Yoruba tribe) and is 7’2″ feet tall! One of the golden nuggets about this movie is that the cast did not know the exact details of the birth of the alien extracting itself from the chest cavity. The reactions displayed are real at that moment. Simulations of the spaceship taking off with the actors inside sitting in their seats were done by crew members who had to physically move each actor’s seat back and forth. The only way to make Jonesy, the cat, stand in fear of the Alien during a scene, was to bring in a German Shepard. The cat was not afraid of the alien, just the dog. Ridley Scott made sure the audience never got a full frontal face view of the alien as he believe it would lessen the horror effect of the Alien. Which sounds more menacing? “Star Beast” or “Alien”. Star Beast was the original movie title for Alien. So glad they went with the latter. Star Beast sounds like a villain from the village of My Little Pony. The spaceship’s name was changed three times. The original name was “Snark” which to me sounds like a spaceship with major attitude. Lastly, the face hugger props had a hard time getting through customs because they were so grotesque.
Pros: I enjoyed the lack of music score in several scenes. This clever move of not using a score only heightened my already paranoid tension of something jumping out at me. Movies shot in the late 70’s and early 80’s have a character of their own and I enjoyed the grit feeling of this movie. There weren’t a lot of digital effects, so the feeling was authentic and organic. I found more suspense in this movie than the Predator movies which had more action (I’m an action girl), which isn’t a bad thing. Just when I thought the Alien had gone away, there was a twist and the Alien returned. I like twists and turns in movies. It was fun to be introduced to Jones, the cat, who had 30000 lives due to never being killed by the Alien during the entire movie. I enjoyed the hypersleep chambers, very Avatarish.
Cons: After the alien hatched from the chest, it ran away from camera view; I could have sworn it was Beaker from The Muppets making a quick cameo. I found it hilarious and Adventure Boy and I laughed nonstop for a good 2 minutes. That quick scene was too fake in our eyes, but it made for good entertainment. Other than that, I didn’t find too much to complain about.
Cinematography: Director of Photography was Derek Vanlint. He also filmed X-Men and The Spreading Ground. There were several long angle shots and slow movements of the camera to add to the creepiness of the film. Overall, it was good filming.
Music score: Jerry Goldsmith produced the music score for Alien and has an astonishing resume of 129 scores or conduction towards his musical talents. Jerry’s score would feed one’s imagination of something or someone tiptoeing through some dark chamber using oboes and clarinets. The score was decent and imaginative.
[Ripley has tried in vain to disengage the Nostromo’s self-destruct]
Ripley: Mother! I’ve turned the cooling unit back on. Mother!
Mother: The ship will automatically destruct in “T” minus five minutes.
Ripley: You… B***H!
[smashes computer monitor with flamethrower]
Quote provided by IMDb
Audience reaction: Adventure Boy and I watched this together and had many laughs throughout the movie. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the movie and Adventure Boy couldn’t wait to see the next one in the series. My own hands were my face huggers. I had to see some scenes between my hands that were plastered against my face. It made the movie all too real for me. Just kidding.
Relatability: There is no way I could relate to this movie.
**You can read Adventure Boy’s Kid Movie Review here of : Alien vs Predator (2004) Movie Review by a kid!**