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Alien (1979)1979 UPD

During its return to the earth, commercial spaceship Nostromo intercepts a distress signal from a distant planet. When a three-member team of the crew discovers a chamber containing thousands of eggs on the planet, a creature inside one of the eggs attacks an explorer. The entire crew is unaware of the impending nightmare set to descend upon them when the alien parasite planted inside its unfortunate host is birthed.

Alien (1979)1979

scariest movie ever made. every single detail, every button and lever, every bulkhead and airshaft, every monitor readout and analog ka-chunk of a door closing contrasts with the insatiable, perfectly predatory destructive force of the alien. the immaculate study of every inch of design here versus the unknowable, only-in-the-dark awfulness of how inevitably this thing will kill you.

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A commercial spaceship is on its way back to Earth when its journey is interrupted by an unknown signal emanating from a nearby planet. The crew is revived from hyper-sleep to investigate. On the planet LV-426 they discover a mysterious alien spacecraft, and one of the crew is attacked by an spider-like organism that latches onto his face and puts him into a coma. With no choice but to return the man to their ship, alien attached, they unwittingly bring on board a monstrous predator that appears set to kill them all.

Dallas, Kane and Lambert discover that the transmission is coming from a bizarre derelict alien spacecraft. Inside, they find the remains of a large alien creature, whose ribs appear to have been exploded outward from the inside. Meanwhile, Nostromo's computer software partially deciphers the signal coming from the ship and Ripley determines that it is not a distress call as previously assumed, but rather some kind of warning. However, it is too late to contact her crewmates on the surface to warn them.

Kane awakens seemingly unharmed, but during a meal before re-entering stasis he begins to choke and convulse, until an alien creature bursts from his chest, killing him in the process before escaping into the ship. Lacking conventional weapons, the crew attempt to locate and capture the creature by fashioning motion detectors, electric prods and nets. During the search, Brett follows the crew's cat, Jones, into a large storage room where he encounters the Alien, which has now grown into a formidable being larger than a man. It swiftly mauls him and flees with his body into the ship's air shafts. Intending to flush the Alien from the shafts and into an airlock, Dallas arms himself with a flamethrower and heads into the vents, but the creature ambushes him and disappears with his body. Lambert implores the remaining crew members to escape in Nostromo's shuttle, but Ripley, now in command, explains that the shuttle will not support four people.

As he was working on this new concept, O'Bannon was contacted by fellow screenwriter Ronald Shusett, who had been impressed by Dark Star, and the two agreed to collaborate. At the time, Shusett was working on an early version of what would become Total Recall (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger), but the pair elected to pursue O'Bannon's concept first as they believed it would be the cheaper of the two to produce.[3] The project, at this point titled Memory,[5] would eventually form the first half of Alien: the crew of a spacecraft wake from stasis to find their journey home is not yet complete, and soon learn that they have been roused in response to a mysterious signal being received from an uninhabited planet. They set down to investigate and their ship malfunctions, stranding them there. However, O'Bannon did not yet have any ideas for the alien menace that would subsequently terrorize them.[3]

Work on Memory stalled while O'Bannon accepted an offer to work on a film adaptation of Dune. While the project ultimately fell through, it introduced O'Bannon to several artists who would influence Alien, not least of all H. R. Giger.[3] Inspired by Giger's disturbing yet beautiful artwork, O'Bannon resumed work on Memory.[4] At Shusett's suggestion, he combined the script with another he had written about gremlins infiltrating a B-17 bomber over Tokyo during World War II;[4] the location was simply switched to a spaceship, and O'Bannon had the second half of his story, now titled Star Beast.[3] Shusett is credited with the key concept of getting the alien creature on board the ship by having it implanted inside one of the crew, only to later burst out of him, an idea that came to him in a dream.[6] O'Bannon, meanwhile, was adamant that the titular creature be mortal, wanting to avoid the indestructible monster trope common in horror at the time, and as a result needed to find some way to prevent the crew from simply killing their tormentor. Help eventually came from Ron Cobb, who suggested giving the Alien acid blood. "That was Ron's idea and I want everyone to know it," O'Bannon later recalled. "I wanted the thing to be, in every respect, a natural animal, which means yes, if you shoot it, it'll die."[7] While he was thrilled with the story, O'Bannon disliked the title, and eventually changed it to Alien after noticing the number of times the word appeared in the screenplay. He and Shusett liked the new title's simplicity, as well as its double meaning as both a noun and an adjective.[3]

O'Bannon drew inspiration for his script from various sources, later stating, "I didn't steal Alien from anybody. I stole it from everybody!"[8] The Thing from Another World (1951) inspired the idea of professional men being pursued by a deadly alien creature through a claustrophobic environment[8] (Dark Star director John Carpenter would later direct a film version of this story in 1982, titled The Thing). Forbidden Planet (1956) gave O'Bannon the idea of a ship being warned not to land, and then the crew being killed one by one by a mysterious creature when they defy the warning.[8] Planet of the Vampires (1965) contains a scene in which the heroes discover a giant alien skeleton; this influenced the Nostromo crew's discovery of the alien creature in the derelict spacecraft. It! The Terror From Beyond Space and the works of H. P. Lovecraft have also been cited as likely influences.[4]

Aside from changing the names of the characters, Hill and Giler sought to remove many of the extraterrestrial aspects from the story. For example, the original alien stone pyramid where the Eggs were to be found was replaced by a man-made military facility containing biological weapons. "They wanted that to be an army bunker for some reason," said Shusett. "I guess they just went, 'Okay this will give it realism,' and that's boring."[4] These alterations were later vetoed by director Ridley Scott at O'Bannon and Shusett's behest, and the origins of the creature again became extraterrestrial.[4] Other more outlandish ideas were likewise blocked, including appearances by characters such as Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun and Jack the Ripper.[4] Despite the rejection of these alterations, some significant changes stuck. Most notably, Hill and Giler came up with the character of Ash and the subplot of his being an android acting on secret company orders. O'Bannon was dismissive of the idea, while Shusett was more amiable, describing Ash as "one of the best things in the movie... That whole idea and scenario was theirs."[3] Another key change came from Fox's then-President Alan Ladd, Jr., who is credited with suggesting the character of Ripley be turned into a woman in order to make the film stand out from its contemporaries.[9]

Initial concept work for the film was carried out by Ron Cobb and Chris Foss. The production was keen to ensure the sets of Alien had a unique look. According to production designer Michael Seymour, "We were very concerned about avoiding any direct influence from previous space productions. We took the trouble to show ourselves Star Wars, Close Encounters [of the Third Kind], Silent Running and 2001: A Space Odyssey a couple of times. Our objective? To avoid any clear reference to any of them!"[10] Originally, Giger was only to design the titular Alien, but as time went on it was decided to have the Swiss artist work on all of the film's alien environments, including the planetoid and the derelict spacecraft. In this way, the extraterrestrial aspects were guaranteed to contrast with the look of the human spacecraft Nostromo, designed by Cobb.

H. R. Giger designed and worked on all of the alien aspects of the film, including the derelict, which he designed to appear organic and biomechanical in contrast to the industrial look of the Nostromo and its human elements. For the interior of the derelict and the Egg chamber he used dried bones together with plaster to sculpt much of the scenery and elements. Veronica Cartwright described Giger's sets as "so erotic... It's big vaginas and penises... The whole thing is like you're going inside of some sort of womb or whatever... It's sort of visceral".[3] The set with the deceased Engineer Pilot, nicknamed the "Space Jockey" by the production team, proved especially problematic, as 20th Century Fox did not want to spend the money for such an expensive set when it would only be used for one scene. Scott described the set as the cockpit or driving deck of the mysterious ship, and the production team was able to convince the studio that the scene was important to impress the audience and make them aware that this was not a B-movie. To save money only one wall of the set was created, and the Pilot sat atop a disc that could be rotated to facilitate shots from different angles in relation to the actors. Giger airbrushed the entire set and the Pilot by hand. 041b061a72


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