10 things you might not know about the Alien movies
In space no-one can hear you scream
When the movie Alien was released way back in 1979 I was in high school, and I remember seeing the advertisement for the movie in the newspaper, reading the tagline 'In space no-one can hear you scream' and thinking: 'I want to see this!' And when I did, I was hooked. It became my all-time favourite film on the spot and it still is.
I watched it (yet again) with my two boys recently and they thought it was funny that I knew practically every word of dialogue.
Alien fun facts.
You never know, this stuff could come in handy at a trivia contest.
1. Hans Rudolf Giger, who specialises in artwork he describes as 'biomechanical', is Swiss and was part of the team who came up with the Alien design. They won an Oscar for their efforts. Not hard to see why.
2. The cast of Alien knew about the creature bursting out of Kane's chest but didn't know they'd be splattered with blood. Veronica Cartwright's reaction is the real deal. And totally understandable.
3. The role of Ripley was originally written for a man. No surprise there. But in the end it was decided that all the men would die and the lone survivor would be Ripley, a woman. This was groundbreaking.
4. The creature's physiology changes in accordance with each host it incubates in and bursts out of. The creature that is 'born' at the end of Prometheus is very different from the one that splits open a rottweiler in Alien 3.
Some light-hearted, uplifting viewing. Not.
The whole story and nothing but the story.
How it was done.
A cute ornament for the bookcase.
The prequel to Alien.
Let me know what you think.
Do you like the Alien movie franchise?
Back from the dead!
5. In a scene in the fourth installment of the Alien franchise, Sigourney Weaver, as Ripley, lands a basketball in the hoop behind her back. This came after two weeks of training by a basketball coach. During that two-week period she averaged one shot in every six.
When the day came to shoot the scene the director wanted to have the ball dropped in from overhead because he thought Sigourney would need about 200 takes to sink it herself.
Sigourney said she could do it so he let her try. She did it on the first take, even though she was 6 feet past the three-point line. One of her co-stars, Ron Perlman, was so impressed by this that he broke character and said, 'Oh my God!'
The director thought people would think the scene was faked and wanted to cut it but Sigourney insisted that it stay. She later described this as one of the best moments of her life, along with getting married and the birth of her daughter.
Don't mess with this version of Ellen Ripley! Actually don't mess with any Ellen Ripleys. The name means badass.
That's always good.
6. Carrie Henn, who played Newt in Aliens, was an American girl living in England at the time. The boy who played her brother in the film was her real-life brother, Christopher. It did not end well for him. As it turned out, things did not end well for Newt either.
7. Alien: Resurrection is the only movie in the franchise not to be shot in England. This was because of Sigourney Weaver's refusal to travel. Her daughter, Charlotte, was only seven at the time and Sigourney refused to uproot her from school or leave her.
8. David Fincher directed Alien 3, his first feature film, but he pretty much disowned it. Apparently he had a lot of problems with studio interference, which can give a director a sour taste in the mouth, I guess (I can't say for sure since I'm not a film director). I don't think it's that bad, but I do think the franchise should have stopped there, just for the sake of dignity.
9. Prometheus. Here is my penultimate fact about the Alien movies and I am not going to lie to you, my crush on Idris Elba notwithstanding, Prometheus is a mess of a movie that makes very little sense, even when bearing in mind that, as with all sci-fi films, you have to leave your sense of disbelief at the Play button. I was so excited when I heard that a prequel to Alien was being made and I was so disappointed when I saw it. But watch it and make your own mind up. It does have some good scenes and there are some genuine OMG moments.
And the answer.
My younger son (14) said to me, 'If Prometheus is set in time way before the first Alien movie, how come the space travellers in Prometheus have more advanced technology than the space travellers in Alien?'
I said, 'Um.'
Eloquent, I know.
This point has to be made.
I don't want to but I must.
10. At the end of Aliens, the second movie, the alien queen rips herself free of her reproductive system to pursue Ripley and the child, Newt, because Ripley has just turned her flame-thrower on her nest of alien eggs. Ripley and Newt get on the dropship, piloted by the android Bishop, and are transported, along with the injured Corporal Dwayne Hicks, to the mother ship, the Sulaco.
However, the alien queen emerges from the dropship's landing gear, tears the android apart and sets her sights on Newt. Ripley suits up in what's called an exosuit cargo-loader and takes on the alien queen. After a short battle to the death in the loading bay, Ripley ejects the alien into space through an airlock.
Alien 3, the third movie, opens with a fire breaking out in the Sulaco and Ripley, Hicks, Newt and the remains of the android, Bishop (his head), being evacuated in an escape pod in cryonic stasis - with an alien on board. However, the way the second movie ends means this is impossible. Not only did the alien queen not have the means by which to lay an egg, she did not have access to the Sulaco or the escape pod.
Yeah, it's just a movie. But still . . . continuity.
Giger stuff. - Freaky but kinda cool.
The Alien's original artist.
Some dark thoughts and imaginings here.