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Rated R; running time of 116 minutes
Written by: Dan O'Bannon
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Harry Dean Stanton, Veronica Cartwright, Yaphet Kotto
WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW.
Dallas (Tom Skerritt), Kane (John Hurt) Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), Brett (Harry Dean Stanton, Parker (Yaphet Kotto), Lambert (Veronica Cartwright), and Ash (Ian Holm) are the crew of the cargo ship Nostromos. This cargo ship has been on tour for months and they are thankfully going home… or so they think. They are ordered to check out a ship and distress signal in another solar system. Dallas, Kane and Lambert get off the ship and explore the downed ship. While they are there, they happen upon an alien life form. It attaches itself to Kane’s Helmet and in the 10 minutes it takes them to get back to their ship, it eats through his facemask and attaches itself to his face. Against Ripley's wishes they bring Kane into the medical bay in order to help him.
They try to cut the alien off of his face, but it bleeds acid that eat through 3 floors of the ship. They can do nothing but keep it on his face and make him as comfortable as possible. In about a day, Kane wakes up and the Alien is gone. They find it dead on the floor and all seems fine. Until they are eating in the mess hall and a different alien rips through Kane's chest. It would seem that the first Alien laid an egg within Kane's body and this little Alien becomes a very big and very deadly BIG alien, one that they lack the equipment to kill.
Since they can't kill it, they have to rely on their wits and try to outsmart the Alien and escape. Can they stay alive long enough to make it to the escape pod, or is the alien smarter than they think?
In 1979, this little 9-year old girl saw a movie poster with a big egg on it. The little girl was a fixture at the movie theater so no one batted an eyelash when she showed up with her lunch box and a ticket to The Muppet Movie. Except she walked right past The Muppet Movie and into Alien. The little girl figured she could handle it, after all, her older cousins were in there watching it, why couldn't she. She was able to hang, yes she was. She couldn't sleep for a week and couldn't tell her parents why she was having nightmares. She also learned her lesson. Never again would she watch a movie she wasn't supposed to... until The Thing came out 3 years later. The question is did it live up to the hype of her memories? Yes. While I have managed to sleep just fine, I was puuurty scared. Some of the special effects were a little hokie looking, but it is still a well-crafted movie. The casting is perfect. Ripley is still one of the molds from which kick-ass heroines are made. "Trinity", "Charley Baltimore", "Le Femme Nikita" - you name you can see Ripley (or Foxy Brown).
Props also have to go to Yaphet Kotto. His Parker epitomizes the "Brotha Rule", but he tears up the screen while he is on it and it is a pity that his character goes through what his does. You want him to survive as much as you want Ripley to make it.
This is still a great film and it should be seen on the big screen, BUT as far as new footage, there really isn't a whole lot. Watch for the joy of seeing it on the big screen, not to see the new goodies otherwise you will be disappointed.
And still, no one can hear you scream in space.
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Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2003