Here at Cinetropolis, we love the Alien movies (some of us even like Prometheus!). We feel there’s nothing better than quoting Hudson (“Game over man!”) or chewing our nails as Ripley races back through the decks of Nostromo to turn off the self-destruct (“Goddamnit, Mother!”). So without any further ado, here is my list, the first in our appreciation of the best Alien saga moments.
Drop ship crash (Aliens)
Gorman’s grunts have taken a hell of a beating. Rescued by Ripley, Newt and Burke, they anxiously await the dropship for pickup. As an alien stowaway eviscerates the crew, the craft clips a rock and and ploughs into the ground, sending the survivors scuttling for cover. Director James Cameron brilliantly fuses live action, front projection and model work, before Hudson memorably wails “We’re in some real pretty shit now. Now what are we gonna do?”
Ash attacks Ripley (Alien)
Like Sergio Leone, director Ridley Scott ignores reality for cinematic conceit, to reveal Ash has silently entered Mother’s computer chamber and is sitting unexpectedly beside Ripley. Determined to follow his programmed company orders and preserve the alien specimen, he overreacts by trying to suffocate her. As Parker fights him off and whacks him with a fire extinguisher, his head breaks free from his shoulders. Ash is an android, another monster, but in man’s clothing.
Newt and Ripley in Med-bay (Aliens)
Ripley has had to agree with surrogate daughter Newt that there are such things as monsters. Waking from her protective watch over the child, she finds they are locked in Med-bay with a face-hugger loose. Unable to break the window, she sets off the sprinkler to raise the alarm, just before the creature launches itself at her. As Newt screams, another critter creeps up between the bed and the wall…
Bishop drops in (Aliens)
Ripley races to the landing platform with Newt, the Alien Queen after them in the other elevator, as the power station breaks apart around them. To her dismay, Bishop and the second drop ship are nowhere in sight. All thy can do is wait for their fate. “Close your eyes, baby,” Ripley tells Newt, the Queen about to emerge. Just then, the drop ship dramatically rises up from behind them and James Horner’s music kicks in triumphantly. A classic reveal.
Removing Kane’s facehugger (Alien)
In Nostromo’s Med-bay, Dallas orders Ash to remove the obscenity covering Kane’s face. Trying to prise one of the “legs” free merely tightens the tails grip around his throat. As Ash makes a laser incision on one of the knuckles, “acid for blood” spits out and proceeds to eat through three decks, making it “a tough little son of a bitch” to kill.
Nostromo’s landing approach (Alien)
Influenced by 2001: A Space odyssey, the Nostromo’s approach to the planet surface to investigate the mysterious signal is a thing of beauty. Intercutting approach sequence graphics on the bridge, slowly turning model close-ups, long shots of the planet, and the final bumpy landing, all set to Jerry Goldsmith’s brilliantly swelling strings, it is a lovely slow tease before the horror begins.
Burke face-off (Aliens)
Creeping through the shattered colony of Hadley’s Hope, the Marines believe it’s all clear. In Med lab, a couple of facehuggers float in specimen jars. Venal company man Carter J Burke asks a question, then turns to one for a closer look. Suddenly, it instinctively leaps for his face against the jars impervious barrier, sending him reeling back. “He likes you, Burke,” Hicks grins. Simple, but shockingly effective.
Ripley’s chest pain (Aliens)
Recovering from hypersleep on an orbiting earth space station, Ripley can’t believe how long she has been out there, lost. As Burke carries on filling her in, his words drift away and she clutches her gown, then arches wildly, sending a glass of water flying. horrified, she looks down, knowing what’s happening, to see her abdomen slowly stretch and rip, before she wakes in a sheen of sweat. Only a bad dream, for now…
Ripley, globe trotter (Alien Resurrection)
Ripley is now a clone, a hybrid of herself and alien DNA she carried within her in Alien 3, a company freak. Released from lock up, she shoots baskets. Interrogated at the same time by the crew of the Betty (“What are you?”) she silently walks off, flipping the basketball over her shoulder from thirty feet away, straight into the basket. Score!
Bishop’s knife trick (Aliens)
The Marines joke around while eating after their hypersleep. Hudson eggs on Bishop to do his knife trick, but Hicks gets him to do it while pinning Hudson’s outsplayed hand beneath Bishop’s. The androids knife hand is a blur as it darts between their fingers, while Hudson’s eyes grow as big as saucers and he yells in alarm. “That ain’t funny, man, ” he moans afterwards. Yes it is, hudson. Yes it is!
Originally posted 2013-02-17 21:06:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter