Top 10 Moments: Alien
If there was a Mount Rushmore of the greatest science fiction movies of all time, “Alien” would definitely be on it. Premiering in 1979, director Ridley Scott successfully created the ultimate horror/science fiction film.
With stories of audiences fighting to get seats further back from the screen and people vomiting in the bathrooms in reaction to what they had seen, it’s safe to say Scott had married the two genres perfectly. With a tremendous cast giving outstanding performances and wonderfully disturbing creature designs from H.R. Giger, “Alien” is a classic in every sense of the word. It’s definitely one of my favorite movies of all time.
Here are the Top 10 Moments from “Alien”. (SPOILERS AHEAD! Save yourself!!)
10. Space Jockey
Who – or what – is that thing?? Dallas, Kane and Lambert are exploring the downed ship, and come across what appears to be an original member of the crew, albeit long dead. While only appearing in “Alien” for a short period of time, there was enough intrigue into the space jockey that 33 years later Ridley Scott returned to that character and tried to explain its origins in “Prometheus” – to a mixed reaction from audiences.
It has NOT been a good day and tensions are running high. After a failed attempt to kill the Alien, the crew regroups and discusses their options. This scene is so enjoyable because of the rising hostilities not only towards the creature but between the crew as well.
What added to the genuine feel of this scene is what was happening behind the scenes. The relationship between Ripley and Parker wasn’t exactly peachy and that is a credit to Ridley Scott and Yaphet Kotto. Scott would encourage Kotto to annoy Sigourney Weaver in real life on the set. That way Weaver’s frustration with Kotto would show up on screen and it’s perhaps never more evident than in this scene.
Travel in pairs. If you’re EVER on a ship in deep space and are being stalked by a malevolent alien creature, for the love of all things sacred TRAVEL IN PAIRS!
Unfortunately that isn’t the case here, as Brett goes off in search of Jonesy, the resident cat on the ship. Why Ripley and Parker didn’t go with him I’ll never know. Amongst all the suspense and terror, this is a brief quiet moment before things ramp up not only to the climax of this scene but all the way to the end of the movie.
So you thought you were safe and sound, eh Ripley? After all the effort to finally escape the ship, saving Jonesy…and it’s still not over.
The moment the Alien’s hand sticks out is one of the biggest startles of the entire movie.
Well then. Kane is in a bit of trouble. The “facehugger” truly is just that. A creature that completely covers it’s victim’s face and tightens if it senses it’s being messed or interfered with. The organic way in which this thing interacts with their “prey” is what makes it truly spooky and disturbing and the acid blood is a pretty effective defense mechanism. Amidst the nastiness it’s almost a little fun watching the crew go deck by deck trying to determine just how powerful this acid is at it eats its way through the hull.
Ripley catching Ash leering over her shoulder as she consults the computer is a little “jump in your seat” moment. When it is revealed that Ash is not human, nor has he been looking out for the best interest of the crew this entire time, it’s an even bigger “woah” moment. The decision to have him spewing a white milky substance is such a creepy idea and the conversation with his severed head is some pretty darned good visual effects for 1979.
What a great scene. As some of the crew investigates a mysterious downed ship, they come across rows and rows of what appear to be “eggs”. One of them opens up, perhaps aware of Kane’s proximity, revealing what’s inside. As Kane slowly looks in, the suspense rises. Next thing you know everything is happening so fast and – did something just come out of the egg and launch itself at Kane’s face??
Oh, what a sequence. Captain Dallas has taken it upon himself to go into the air ducts and try and flush this intruder out so that the crew can put it out of its misery. A nice plan, but they’ve underestimated the intelligence of the Xenomorph. Once again the tension is palpable as the crew monitors Dallas’ progress, attempting to advise him as he goes along. With the aid of Jerry Goldsmith’s fantastic score, this scene is a beauty as you can only watch and hope that Dallas gets out of there unscathed.
2. Self Destruct/Dash to the Shuttle
Alarms are going off, the Alien has blocked off Ripley’s escape route and the ship is about to explode. This sequence is dripping with anxiety, just like the sticky goo coming out of the Alien’s mouth. There is so much chaos going on around Ripley it is amazing she is able to keep her concentration, much less come up with a plan.
As if there was any doubt.
The chestbursting scene is a legendary scene that has been imitated but not duplicated so many times over the years. The idea by Ridley Scott to inform none of the cast with the exception of John Hurt who played Kane was genius, that way he was able to get the most genuine reactions out of the rest of his actors. Veronica Cartwright’s reaction especially is what drove that scene, as her pure disgust and horror at what was going on and the amount of blood used was quite evident. Having the “newborn” alien let out a scream and then scurry off the table was an outstanding exclamation mark on the entire event.