Alien

For our tribute to the late, great British actor Ian Holm, we came around to his role as Ash in 1979's Alien. If you haven't seen Ridley Scott's original Alien by now...well, we can probably forgive you. After all, its intense and exciting sequel (Aliens) is where most of us have spent the majority of our Alien-watching hours. Nevertheless, there is nothing to criticize about this incredible film, which set the stage for a franchise that shows no signs of stopping today.

With one glance at the cast list, it should go without saying that this is an incredibly well-acted movie, and Ian Holm's powerful-yet-understated performance is among the top of the ensemble. We were sooo happy to finally have a good excuse to revisit this landmark film.

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Alien (1979)

Episode 221, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw.

Todd: Hello, and welcome to another episode of two guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd

Craig: and I’m Craig.

Todd: We’re taking a break from requests this week because we decided to do a tribute episode just a little while ago. The famous they’re very, very prolific actor. Ian Holm died. So as is usual, when a famous actor dies, we look back and say, ah, did, did he or she do any horror movies?

And it turns out Ian home did a couple horror movies. One of which very, very, very, very familiar to all of us. 1979’s, Alien, actually starring a bevy of famous performers or performers who would go on to be famous and directed by Ridley Scott, a fantastic director in one of his very first feature films that he has directed.

So this movie sent a whole bunch of people off to start him including it’s star Sigourney Weaver. So we’re going to have a lot, a lot to talk about. With this movie, Craig and I, as you probably well know, shy away a little bit from the more iconic and popular horror movies, because as we often say, what can we say about this movie that can’t already be said?

And there are a ton of things to say about this movie, which we will definitely not be able to cram into one hour podcast, but be that as it may. Uh, it’s worth talking about just to memorialize Ian home and his fantastic performance. I don’t know Craig, uh, I, I went into this movie thinking I’d probably seen it a dozen times.

Then I realized that what I had seen a dozen times was SQL aliens. Which, um, is a lot more action packed and arguably more iconic than this movie itself. But as I watched it, I figured maybe I’ve seen it once or twice. And I hadn’t seen this in a while and I was super happy to be watching this, this time around on a gigantic screen in my living room, in the dark.

Alone, uh, which I felt like a, is the perfect atmosphere to watch it and was quite taken by just the severe atmosphere and the dread of parent in this movie. And that stirred my memory reminded me. I liked it so much. So, um, yeah. Very happy to revisit this movie. How about you, Craig? What’s your history with it?

Craig: Very similar to yours. Uh, for whatever reason, I grew up watching aliens, uh, the cul, um, it was just one of those things where it was on a VHS tape at my house. My dad must have taped it on cable or, uh, dubbed the tape or something, but we had it and it was one of the ones that I popped in a lot. But like you, um, I didn’t watch the original.

As often, and I didn’t see the original until well, after I had seen, uh, the sequel the first sequel, um, And I agree with your assessment entirely, uh, aliens is far more action packed. It’s on a larger scale as implied by the titles in this film, there’s really only a one, um, alien that they have to deal with.

Whereas there’s a whole bevy of them in the cul. And like you said, Even though the sequel is perhaps more action packed. Revisiting this movie was just very impressed, um, at how much I enjoyed it and how good it was, especially considering the fact that I always take notes, more notes than is necessary really on plot details.

And I didn’t take it take nearly as many notes this time around as I usually do, because. As far as plotting is concerned. I don’t want to say not a whole lot happens cause that’s not really true. Um, but the plot is fairly direct, a fairly direct series of events. Um, but that really isn’t what was most impressive to me.

What was most impressive to me was, um, the atmosphere, like you said, um, the characters, the acting. And, um, the cinematography, I mean, I. This movie never gets boring. Cause it’s always so interesting just to look. Yeah. Uh, it’s just put together so well and it looks so good. Uh, and considering the fact that it was made in 1979, as far as quality is concerned.

And to be fair, we watched the director’s cut, which is different than the theatrical release. There are. Um, multiple scenes in the version that we watched that did not originally appear in the theatrical release and because this is the director’s cut, I’m sure that it’s been cleaned up real nice. Um, so it almost looks as though it could have been made today.

Uh, and it’s, I think that it’s held up really, really well.

Todd: Yeah. And the thing that makes it not look like it was made. Today is because it is so obvious that everything on this set, everything, they touch everything in this movie is 100% real and practical. Yeah. The sets are. Amazing. The sets are so good.

The, and they built these full size sets that took up a all sound stages of corridors when they go out onto the alien planet and they end up in this big alien ship, this gigantic room, uh, that has also just a very iconic shot from the movie where you have this. Uh, large sort of mummified, uh, other alien creature that’s there and gives you the sense that, you know, this ship has been abandoned for a very long time.

And then later on, they go and find these eggs. I mean, everybody should know this story and these scenes by now, all of this stuff was built. Full-size real. And then, you know, for the other kind of special effects shots incorporated with some fantastic miniature work, this movie comes right in the middle of the star Wars era.

So just a few years before this, when we were, when everybody was blown away, By the majesty and the special effects of star Wars and presenting a very different image of space than we had been accustomed to before that, you know what? I grew up watching star Wars, of course, but also, as I’ve said before on here, a lot of science fiction movies with my dad from the fifties and the sixties, uh, that he had on tape.

And a lot of them were super cheesy and super corny, but they all had this very gleaming. Crisp clean, nice futuristic type view of space, right? That everything, everything was polished and people were wearing these really pressed and bright, colorful uniforms, these bubbles over their heads, uh, going out on these fantastic planets and those movies are a joy to watch.

I love that vision. Of the future, but when star Wars came along, it gave us what we often call a very, lived in look of the future, right? Where, where we have all this advanced technology, but it’s a little worn, it’s a little analog at times it breaks it, it needs to be, be shaken and soldered and stuff like that.

And you get the feeling that a lot of stuff has been cobbled together. Over the centuries to make what people make. And then this movie comes along and it’s kind of like that, but in a different way, I feel like this world that this takes place in, in this, the ship that this takes place in is a, is a salvage ship.

It goes around and, and sort of salvaged this junk from space and then brings it back to earth. And so it’s enormous because it’s towing. A whole bunch of stuff. And every character in this movie, they’re not swash buckling, adventurers, traveling the galaxy they’re blue collar workers. They’re the, they’re the very solid blue collar workers of the future who are bitching about their job from day one, bitching about how much they’re going to get paid.

Are they going to get a cut? It’s like people standing around and complaining about the union. They all work for a company. That’s never named it’s named later. Uh, actually there are some words, uh, what is it? Yutani something

Craig: Waylon Yutani I think.

Todd: And in future movies that gets incorporated more in, but in tit, but in this movie, they just refer to it as their company.

And they’re, they’re bitching about the man and, uh, arguing that they’ve been woken up from this, this sleep to deal with some issue, something that, you know, has come up on this planet that they’ve got to explore, um, some distress signal. And the computer has taken them out of their deep sleep as they’re on their way back to earth, because it’s their obligation.

According to code section, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That anytime there is some. Strange transmission from an alien planet, they have to go explore it. It’s part of their contract, right? So they’re not out there, nobody exploring space. The they’re a bunch of blue collar workers on a salvage crew. They really don’t want to do it.

They hope they’re going to get paid for it and get their cut of whatever they might happen to find for the company. On their way home and what an interesting setting, you know, for a space movie that at the time, especially was totally unique.

Craig: Yeah. I, and that’s part of what makes watching the film so interesting too, is because they are.

Relatable characters. Um, and part of what makes them relatable is that their relationships, uh, seem realistic. You know, they, they have relationships with one on another. Uh, some of them positive, some of them tense. That’s not really the focus, it’s more in the background, but it paints and realistic. Isn’t the right word, but a believable.

Picture of this group of people. I just forgot something, man. Before we talk, I think we already discussed the bonus situation right now. We think we deserve full shares.

Todd: Right?

Craig: You see mr. Park and I feel that the bonus situation isn’t ever been on a,

Todd: an equitable level.

Craig: You get what? You can track it for,

Todd: like everybody else.

Craig: Yes. But everybody else gets more than mother wants to talk to you. And so I found the characters. I was, I was invested in them. Um, I was interested in them. I was interested in their motivations and it’s interesting to read. There is so much that you can read about the history of this film, the making of the movie, the different iterations that it went through, ideas that were thought of, but not used.

And, uh, relationships was one of those things. I mean, initially, There were going to be, I don’t know if romantic is the right word, but they were going to be romantic and sexual relationships. They wanted to explore that with the crew. They wanted to of suggest a casual sexual relationships between some of the crew members.

Because if you’re going to be confined with six other people for. Years or however long they’re going to be out there. Um, they thought that it would only be natural, that there would be some kind of sexual relationships between these people and as the franchise went on and grew. Some of the backstory of some of these characters was even adapted and added to yeah.

At one point in time on the extras for one of the films, um, a special edition of one of the films, the history of. The crew here, um, their, their biographies was explored and it was suggested that Tom’s Garrett’s character, Dallas and Veronica Cartwright’s character Lambert, um, had actually been born the opposite gender, but had gone through gender reassignment.

Um, really? Yeah. They kind of backpedaled on that after they were with some fan outcry. But, uh, I just think that it’s interesting that, you know, they’re thinking about all of these things and it comes through in the performances. And like you said, the, you know, these are people, some of them at the beginning of their careers, Most notably Sigourney Weaver, who was a young actress in this movie, this launched her to fame and she’s had an amazing career, um, and continues to have an amazing career.

Um, but others, you know, Tom Skerritt as Dallas, Veronica Cartwright, uh, Veronica Cartwright, I already mentioned as Lambert Harry Dean Stanton, um, as Brett John hurt his cane and home is Ash almost the entire. Ensemble cast went on to do great things, which I think speaks to their talent, which is on full display here.

Todd: Yeah. And most of them pretty much with the exception of Sigourney Weaver, honestly, and maybe Yaphet Kotto Parker. All of them actually were pretty well established before they came in. What’s kind of remarkable as this movie that started out as what was to be this. Fairly low budget, film that on its own face.

If you just re I suppose if you just read the script comes across as more or less another one of these. Low budget, Saifai alien and space, horror movies. Um, you know, we’ve done galaxy of terror, which did actually come after this, but not long after this. And, and, um, before this in 1974 was dark star, which was directed by John Carpenter on paper, this script, and the way that, just the plot, like you said, it’s so simple.

And so basic the dialogue. Fairly sparse to this movie could have gone either way, right? It could have just been another somewhat schlocky, scary stuff in space happens, movie or it because of the people attached and the money that was eventually poured into it, the budget was doubled and that’s when some of these other actors started getting interested in it.

When Ridley Scott was attached, when the budget was doubled, then they brought on HR, a guy. Would you say Geiger or Gieger? I’m not thinking it’s Geiger. It’s Geiger, right? Um, Oh, who was a famous artist at the time and is 100% responsible for the iconic look and design of the alien and the sets, which just becomes a part of the DNA.

Of this movie in the series, it’s just a whole convergence of talent that just elevated this into what you know, became the birth, the seed of an iconic series. And you can’t have an iconic series without coming from strong roots. It’s it’s kind of a miracle, really. I don’t want to sound like I’m playing it up, but no, read more about the movie and about what, you know, the process of making this movie.

It could have gone either way and it completely went in the other direction to become, like I said, the roots of a very. Very strong, very solid concept that we celebrate today. And we can watch a movie, like you said, like this today and holds up, it looks like it was made yesterday. It’s fantastic.

Craig: Right?

Yeah. And, and a lot of that is owed to star Wars, as you suggested earlier, because before the success of star Wars, nobody was interested in the script. Uh, not nobody. That’s not true. Roger Corman wanted to do it. And, uh, it would have been right up his alley and had he done it, you know, it would have been completely different.

I, you and I might still talk about it, but I don’t think that it would’ve had the kind of, uh, success that the movie ended up having as all of these different elements started to come together. I think that everybody involved started to realize, um, just how. Good. This could potentially be okay. In fact, I think it was Tom Skerritt, um, who was initially approached for a role and he turned it down.

But then after some rewrites and after some. Um, of the other people involved got on board, he went back and renegotiated and said that he would do it, but before the film even came out, he renegotiated or try to, I don’t remember if it was finalized, but he tried to renegotiate his salary. So instead of taking a set salary, he wanted to take a percentage of, um, the profits, which you have to have a lot of faith in a project if you’re willing to take that kind of risk and, and, uh, whether or not that worked out for him.

I don’t know. But it was a smart move. Like, yeah. I think the design is, uh, a big part of what makes it so interesting that being said. The monster itself, which in the franchise would eventually go on to become known as the Xenomorph it, you barely see it. Uh, I think it has like three or four minutes of screen time in that amount of screen time.

You very, very rarely see it, uh, in full, um, and hardly ever see it straight on from the front. It’s almost always in silhouette. The movie is, um, Fairly dark, but, uh, and the sets are fairly dark and you’ve got the industrial look of the no stroma, which is, is there ship, but then you’ve also got the alien ship.

And once the alien is loose on the no stromal, the alien starts to. Change the environment as well. And that’s something that always throughout the entirety of this series has been so interesting to me are the set pieces because Geiger’s design makes the interiors of these locations look almost organic.

The structures look like. Bones, um, and, and taught flesh. And so you almost feel like you’re in the belly of a beast a lot of the time and the, I just can’t. Praise it enough for how good it looks. The design is just, it’s kind of mind blowing. I can’t think really of anything to compare it to today that I’ve been as impressed by

Todd: it’s highly original.

Right. It’s super original. And you know, Geiger’s artwork is original. If you look at his stuff, uh, he’s German, it’s very, very sexual in. It explores the boundaries between, I mean, like you said, in the movie, the mechanical and the biological, it’s, it’s very much like a Saifai type of, um, David Cronenberg, right?

There’s, there’s a sort of sense of body horror about the environment itself. Uh, in this movie and that also plays to some of the jump scares and some of the shock in this movie where you’re seeing what you think is mechanical stuff. And then it turns out that the aliens there. Right. Right. And, and he’s been there in front of you the entire time because he blends and so well with the mechanical environment, just the design of his body.

So there’s a scene, I think is unique to the director’s cut, but. When, one of the characters, that’s Harry Dean, Stan’s character wanders in, and they’re looking for the alien, that’s loosened the ship. And there he’s in this very tall room with these chains hanging down and clanging together and water dripping down and he’s looking up and it’s, it’s eerie.

We know something’s going on. He’s a little spooked by things. And when he looks up, he sees these chains swinging, and this shot is so good because it’s, it’s half in darkness as it’s mostly shadow, but it’s just a shot above of the chain swinging. And if you notice. And you almost can’t help but notice, but I think first time around, if you’d seen this movie for the first time, you might know, is it the aliens right there swinging with the chains, kind of curled up into a ball, covering half the screen, but it’s so subtle.

Cause the alien mixes in with the environment. So much that it’s quite possible, you could and would miss it in later on. Alien kind of comes, is hiding in a part of the shuttle and the camera lingers quite long on this particular shot of Ripley walking around and just doing mundane stuff. And it’s not until the alien starts to move and shift out of.

It’s positioned that you’re just like, Whoa, that that’s not the side of it inside of the, the corridor. That’s like the frickin aliens head right there among the pipes. And I think that the series all along really plays us to its advantage. It’s so great. Uh, this, this mingling and that creates a very uncomfortable feeling because this is very.

Unnatural for us. Right. Right. At this point, we probably got to talk a little bit about the, the writer of the movie, which is kind of shocking. Dan O’Bannon, who we’ve talked about. We’ve done several of his movies and he has, we probably, by the end of this podcast, we’ll have done every Dan O’Bannon movie that he’s made because he hasn’t made it.

Too many of them, but the ones that he’s made are worth talking about this was a second script. He did dark star before this in 1974, which was directed by John Carpenter, which he was very disappointed in because it was low budget. It kind of came across as a little shot schlocky, and he really wanted to amp up and try the alien concept again, but do it on a more visceral level.

That’s going to be. More pure horror. Uh, and he got together with a collaborator, his Ronald shoe set, and the two of them worked very, very hard at the story. And I, again, probably part of the secret sauce that makes this work is that O’Bannon and shoe sat were constantly involved. This movie from the beginning to the end, they were allowed on the set.

They gave opinions. They gave opinions that turned out to be very smart and, and iconic parts of the series. Like they were originally gonna make the face hugger alien painted green. And when Oban happened to be on the set and see it on painted, he really was taken by the. Flashy, almost human look of it when it was unpainted and said, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Let’s, let’s keep this, this sort of flesh tone color, which is beautiful choice. Yeah. And just adds to it that, so they were so intricately involved in the movie and into the point of bringing in Geiger, uh, and, and a lot of these other people. That, uh, I think that that just speaks to you need a vision.

You know, you need a vision to have a good movie and you can’t always make a really good movie by committee. Certain things happen because different people contribute. But if you don’t have sort of a singular vision of one or two people really pushing and driving the project through and making ultimate decisions and, and strong suggestions, You don’t always end up with such a strong artistic piece as you would when this passes through 15 different writers and then the writer never sees it again and people make changes and stuff.

And then at the end of the day, you know, you hear this awful all the time about movies is the writer looks at the movie and wants to disown it from it. Right. Because what they see on screen doesn’t seem to match what they had in mind when they were writing the script. But yeah, Daniel Bannon, right? I mean, he had a dark star.

He did dead and buried, which we did. Um, he did the, uh, original story for a portion of heavy metal, which is, uh, a scifi type animated movie. That’s a bit notorious. And then he returned to the living dead, which. It was hilarious zombie movie and that I, I love and is tonic, but totally out there schlocky right.

Life force, which we will probably do at some point and Toby Hooper, Saifai movie invaders from Mars, the remake, which we did, and then fricking total recall. Right. Which I still to this day think is one of the best movies out there. What a great career this guy had, even though he only did about a half, a dozen movies.

And to look back at. From the guy who did return to the living dead and say, Oh, by the way, he’s one of the singular minds behind alien. And the alien franchise is, is a bit mind blowing

Craig: is, but to an extent, you know, it is a movie made. By committee because, uh, as, as his story was ultimately, initially the concept was just an alien on a spaceship and it just grew from there.

And there were some elements of the story that. Ultimately ended up as part of the movie that O’Bannon, wasn’t a big fan of. And one of those, um, was the case, the introduction of the character Ash, which is Ian Holmes, a character in the movie, you know, as it turns out. So they are woken up mid journey, actually they’re on their way home.

And as you said, sent to this alien planet to check out what they initially think is a distress call, but what they ultimately. Realize as a warning to stay away. And that’s how the alien gets on board. After they explore that place. And the face hugger attaches itself to a John Hurt’s character cane, and they bring it onto the ship.

Initially, the idea was that the ship’s computer, which they call mother was the one who. Had a vested interest and that Vester it’s vested interest was just science for bringing the alien on board, um, that in some way the, the ship itself had motivation. Um, but they ultimately decided that that was too much like, um, 2001, a space Odyssey with how so they introduced this character of Ash to kind of be an intermediary between the science world and also the corporate world that he is a.

Had been placed there by, and O’Bannon, wasn’t a huge fan of it, but they went with the idea anyway. And I think that it, it worked out very well. You mentioned, uh, Geiger’s work, uh, being darkly sexual, uh, and it is, and I think that watching this, the last time I watched this, I had to have been in my twenties and I’m significantly older now.

And I think that some of the undertones that I hadn’t really. Considered before were kind of glaring to me this time. I didn’t realize how much sexuality there was, uh, in, in the movie, especially with the alien. It never had really occurred to me that the face hugger. Implanting the alien into Kane’s chest is really kind of a rape metaphor.

He’s impregnated basically. And I read in doing the research for this, that they very specifically wanted it to be a male character who was net position. Um, when these characters were written, they were written without gender and. Decisions were made about who would be a woman and who would be a man only later on when they started doing casting and Sigourney Weaver’s character, Ripley, most people who were involved had just, I expected that that would be played by a man.

Um, Sigourney Weaver went on. In her career, several times to play characters that were originally written for men. I think that it was Ridley Scott, who was insistent that it be a man who is violated in that way and impregnated in that way, because he specifically wanted to make his male audience feel that kind of discomfort.

When we usually see women in that kind of peril. And I had never thought of that. Before, and it’s really interesting. Initially the alien itself was going to be more sexual in nature. Um, there was a, the, a scene, a sex scene between Dallas and Ripley and in one iteration of that scene, which was scripted, but never shot.

The alien was supposed to observe them having sex and not attack them because it was in some way titillated or aroused in the film. Allie, um, Sigourney Weaver is the last woman standing and she ends up alone on a shuttle where she thinks that she’s safe. Um, and so she begins to disrobe. So that she can go into cryosleep the film got some criticism about that because they felt, uh, critics felt that it was just, you know, unnecessary groups  to have her disrobe.

But the initial concept was that the alien, which is on the ship with her, the knowns to her was again, going to see her undressed and was going to be sexually aroused. Right. They were going to deal with that in some way now, frankly. I think it was probably for the best that they ended up eliminating some of those elements, but there are still hints and suggestions of them there.

Uh, and I do think that that adds to kind of the little level of discomfort, intention that you feel throughout. Basically the course of the whole movie, or at least from the time that they land on the alien planet.

Todd: You’re absolutely right about that. Whether you’re aware of it or not, even there was something that I noticed this time around because I was, again, I had this giant screen in front of me and I was quite taken in by it when they land on that alien planet to investigate the ship.

And they see this giant ship, which I guess they, they nicknamed the big croissant because it’s, it’s kind of U shaped. But again, this ends up. Coming back later, in fact, in the more recent movies Prometheus’s or we see whatever race created the ship, which is still, I think, a little unknown, the ship comes up again and again, anyway, as they’re walking towards the ship where they enter the ship are through these.

Openings in the sides that are clearly like vaginas, you know, they’re tall and a little narrow and have like kind of a little lip around them. And that of course totally blew by me when I was a kid watching this movie and then go into it. And like you said, they’re walking down these corridors, which seem very organic.

Uh they’re they’re long and they’re narrow and they’re round, but they have this. Texture to the inside and they’re slimy and they’re drippy and there’s a little bit like bones, but also sort of like rigid sets very much like a, kind of like a vaginal canal. And they go in again to this giant room where there’s that big mummified, whatever this race of aliens was that piloted that ship, which is obviously larger than a human sitting in.

Who knows some kind of control panel, observational thing in the middle of the room. And the, you know, this movie was so low budget that they were still trying. Was it, you know, they’re still trying to save money on this. And Ridley Scott had to fight to get these full size sets made for this giant room, which is a beautiful, beautiful part of the movie.

It ended up suing dual purpose. They made half of the room. Well, half of the wall, basically of this giant room and put this guy in the middle, who’s on kind of a swivel platform so that they could turn it around and, you know, they could swivel this guy around and film it from different angles and just make that one wall look like it was all of the wall in the room it’s kind of circular.

And then they removed that. Apparently part of the set, just that, that circular. Platform he was on and that same room became the egg room, which they repriced down into from there a funny bit of trivia, apparently, you know, there’s this really cool effect when they repel into this egg room that all of these little eggs are for.

They’re not little, but you know, knee-high eggs are down there in the bottom of this room and they’re covered with this kind of missed. That just seems to. Hang over them like a blanket.

Craig: It’s

Todd: a very odd effect.

Craig: It is completely enclosed and it’s full of leathery objects, like eggs or something.

A layer of mess, just covering the excellent.

Todd: Maybe the idea is that the penetration of this mist somehow wakes up the eggs a little bit, but they use the laser that they use to cut across the mist and the bottom it’s room to create that effect. They borrowed it from the soundstage next door where the, who. Yeah, putting together their show and they were lasers from their show that they literally borrowed, uh, to use for this movie to fantastic the stick effect.

But anyway, you know, you’ve got these eggs, eggs, and the eggs obviously are, are long and tall and very organic and gross, and he can see things moving inside of them. And that opens up in his face, hugger jumps out. And like you said, basically rapes this guy, shoves his. It’s it’s long per viscous down into his throat and lays this egg in, in his stomach, unbeknownst to everybody at the time with this hand over the face.

And I think, uh, everybody was trying to figure out, uh, well, Dan O’Bannon and Shu sat when they were talking about the script and trying to work out the elements of the story. How are we going to get the alien on the ship? And Shu said just. Came up with the idea. Well, if one of them,

I got developed into this face hugger thing, which the design of which is great and O’Bannon had a lot to do with the final design of this. A few designs went through it, but he ended up more or less drawing what ended up being it. And it looks fairly human. It has these long, they look like boney fingers.

Uh, grasping around both sides of this person’s face, you know, and it’s not going to let go until it’s done what it needs to do. It’s very violating and very unsettling when you see it. It’s very rapey, even though it’s just sitting there and this guy can’t move, they bring it on board the ship.

Craig: Yeah. And it’s like, both of us have said seeing this as younger people, that just didn’t really even cross my mind.

But now as an adult, it seems so apparent. Uh, and I think that that’s interesting that it can. It didn’t feel sexual or inappropriate to me, me as a kid, but as an adult, there’s just that extra added level of. Just comfort, um, when you consider it in that light. And, uh, you know, all of that that you’ve talked about is also interesting.

I E that the space jockey scene, which is the big alien scene, that was a huge set, but they also did interesting trickery. Um, it was built to scale and they didn’t. Film the wide shots with the actual actors. In fact, they used kids. Um, and I think one of the kids happened to be Christian bale and then the other two, uh, were Ridley Scott’s kids.

So they put these, so they put these kids in these spacesuits for the wide shots so that it would look. That much bigger. And it does. I mean, it just looks enormous and it’s so impressive to look at when they do go back. By the way I read the novelization of this and the novelization is quite good. And it includes not only all of the deleted scenes that were restored in the director’s cut, but there’s also some additional scenes that were never filmed.

Um, and one of those was how. Lambert and Dallas guy came back to the ship and then later on, when the alien is loosen in the ship and they have to figure out what they’re going to do about it, they devise these weapons and stuff. There was a lot more description of actually, you know, designing these weapons and designing the net that would hold this thing.

Um, if you’re a fan of this movie and you haven’t read the novelization, I would recommend it. It’s just got some. Cool little extra fill in the blank sort of stuff. But one of the things that struck me so much watching it this time around was how timely it was, was because. Or, or it is today because Dallas and Lambert bring cane back to the ship and he’s got this thing on his face and, and they are demanding to be let in, but Ripley refuses to let them them in because it goes against code.

Um, and she says, which I think. This time around had to be my favorite line from the movie. If we break quarantine, we could all die.

Todd: And I was like,

Craig: Holy shit.

Todd: Right, right here, we’re gonna

Craig: clean. Let us

Todd: say what happened to Kane. I

Craig: don’t think it was attached itself to him. We have to get him to the infirmary right away.

Todd: What kind of thing? I need a clear definition from the hatch.

Craig: Wait a minute. We let it in the ship could be infected. You know, the quarantine procedures for decontamination. It could die in 24 hours. Open the edge. Listen to me. If we break quarantine, we could all die. Huh? The job in the goddamn hatch, we have to get them inside.

No, I can’t do that. And if you wouldn’t want a position, you’d do the same thing hats

Todd: right now. It has a whole new meaning to us now, doesn’t it?

Craig: Yes. And she, and she says it more than once. Like they discuss it multiple times. How, you know, there are these protocols that for their own safety and preservation, they should not have allowed any of them back on the ship with this unknown.

Parasite or whatever it is. And I thought, wow, what a, what a timely issue.

Todd: Yeah. Well, and then it also becomes fairly timely because we’re right now, we’re talking about the influence of corporations and our first major conflict between the crew comes between Ripley and he Ian Holmes, character Ash, because Ash wall is down there by the airlock entrance and wall.

Ripley’s, she’s not going to let them on Nash. Finally just hits the button and opens the airlock. And this sets up a tension between them the whole time. And again, watching it as an adult now. A little more sophisticated realizing that there’s a nice bit of, and between her and Ash throughout this movie, from there on when she’s clearly a bit suspicious, his motives, not just, uh, you know, you did something you weren’t supposed to do and his argument to her as well.

If I didn’t let them in what was going to happen, you’re just going to let them die in there. Like, we don’t know what this is. Like they could die. It’s not just that. But then, then he’s also really interested of course his role on the ship. He’s like the scientist position or whatever, but he’s clearly extremely fascinated with, um, examining the alien and taking it apart, you know, um, while they’re on the ship, not putting it in a jar and waiting until they get back almost dispassionately.

So. I’m more interested in fascinated by the alien than he really cares so much about the people and their safety. And it doesn’t come across overblown. You know, I mean, in a, in a low budget film with less talented actors, they would probably play this up a bit, but it’s just so realistic and subtle the way that Ian Holmes plays it, you know, from the beginning, he’s this guy who, who just seems a little.

Off, maybe from the rest of them quieter, he’s a little more business. Like. I think in some of their earlier conversations, when there’s just sort of talking about the company, he’s making excuses for that. Well, this is the company, this is the company, what the company says, you know, this is what we do.

This is why we do it. And yet at this one moment, he’s the one to break the rules, to let these people in. It’s an interesting twist. And it makes you highly suspicious of his character, even though he’s not running around leering with one eyebrow raised the whole time.

Craig: Hmm. Well, as I said, I’m still.

Collapsing accident, but I have confirmed that he’s got an announcer later. Protein polysaccharides has a funny habit of shutting yourselves and replacing them with polarized. Silicon gives him a prolonged resistance to adverse environmental conditions. Is that enough? That’s funny. What does it mean, please?

Don’t do it.

Todd: Thank you. Sorry.

Craig: Well, it’s an interesting combination of elements, making them a tough little sort of a bitch. And you let him in being a director. I can remember Ash when Dallas and Cain are off the ship. I’m senior officer. I forgot. But if you do know, as I hope listeners, you do that, ultimately he is villainous and doesn’t care about.

Preserving the crew, they are expendable to him. If you know that watching the film, there are subtleties of Ian home’s performance that suggests just it just slight, slight looks. Um, and yeah, it’s really impressive if, you know, because I don’t think that it would give you pause at all. On a first viewing, if you didn’t know, you would just think he was another one of the crew.

And I don’t know that there would be any reason to have any suspicions about him. That’s played up more in the novelization as well. There are some additional scenes when the face hugger is on cane, they x-ray him. And you see that a little bit in the movie and the novelization, someone notices a dark spot on one of.

Uh, Kane’s lungs. Um, and Ash, Ian Holmes character says, Oh, it must just be a flaw in, in the machine. Of course we find out later that he knows that it’s actually an ovum or, or something that’s been deposited inside. Uh, Kane’s chest. There’s also another scene in the novelization where once the big alien.

You know, emerges. Um, and they’re trying to get rid of it. They have a rare opportunity at one point where they almost get it into the airlock, but at the very last second, an alarm is sounded and it startled the alien and yeah. He runs away. And, uh, Ripley realizes later that it had been Ash that had set off the alarm because he didn’t want the alien to escape, but, uh, all that intrigue it’s subtle.

But ultimately when it’s revealed what’s going on, if you go back, there are those subtle hints.

Todd: Yeah. And this time around, I appreciated it even more maybe because I’d seen the movie before, but there was this lingering question. I’m not sure if it occurred to me before, but it certainly did watching it this time.

They do this X Ray. And like you said, in the novelization, it’s a little more clear, but in the movie they don’t say anything about, you know, always. He’s doing something down there he’s LANSA mag or whatever, like nothing is said, then you get this impression during this dinner scene afterwards. So the face hugger leaves the, the guy eventually that’s just sort of disappeared.

Uh, yeah. And, um, dies. They do a dissection on it, whatever,

Craig: which is really cool. I mean, we don’t have to go into it, but like it’s all very organic and again, highly reminiscent of sex organs, but it looks really cool. Anyway,

Todd: they used like what, like, like real stuff, like sheep’s

Craig: bladders and Oregon’s

Todd: and oysters and stuff to make that happen.

I mean, it’s, it doesn’t look like plastic and latex for sure. No. And again, they kind of do stupid breaking quarantined stuff where, uh, which, which again is so understandable now, maybe more understandable now than it used to be like, you know, the guys woken up and they kind of want them to be better. And they kind of want to think that the, that the dangerous past, and even though some things are said about, we still need to keep them isolated, they kind of just don’t.

Right. They all end up in the room with them and they’re laughing and joking with him. And so then they have dinner. And during this dinner scene, you know, they’re all sitting around laughing and John Hurt’s character. Uh, what’s his name again?

Craig: Kane

Todd: Kane starts to kind of start choking and stand up. And he’s obviously, and at first they’re all like, Oh, you okay there, buddy?

And here is Ian home’s character. The doctor physician on the, on the ship. More watching with interest then jumping up to do anything. And that is not something I remembered, noticing so much the first time around, but, and it’s clear. Okay. He knew he knew them. There was something inside him and he’s probably just been waiting for this to happen.

And that was so chilling. Right. Uh, but again, Blink and you’ll miss it

Craig: really well. And then, and of course, everybody I think is familiar with this chest bursting scene. I mean, it’s absolutely iconic. We throw that word around quite a bit, but this one really is, it’s been parodied many times. It’s been copied many times, but, uh, it was very unique.

And of course the lore is that none of the actors knew what was going to happen. Well, that’s not entirely true. Of course, obviously John hurt knew what was going to happen. Um, as it turned out, Tom Skerritt was very interested in the process of filmmaking. So he had been following Ridley, Scott around.

And so he had been present during the discussions of the effects and how it was going to happen. But Ridley Scott also asked him. Not to say anything to anybody else. Um, Sigourney Weaver has said that they knew something was going to happen. They knew something was going to come out of his chest, but that’s pretty much all they knew.

And, um, she said that she started to get a little bit nervous when they arrived on set and the entire crew was wearing raincoats. But ultimately they didn’t really know what was going to happen. And th the, the scene, the chest bursts scene was shot in one take with four or five different cameras positioned at different angles.

Um, and they didn’t know that blood was going to erupt from Keynes, chest and Veronica Cartwright famously is. It’s splattered. Her face is splattered in blood and her reaction was her genuine reaction to that. And apparently, um, she was. Pretty distraught over it, uh, in the yeah. Aftermath. And yet that Kado who played Parker was, you know, according to the stories told by the case past upset by it too, and went home and kind of locked himself in a room and wouldn’t come out for half a day.

And it is, it’s such a great effect, but this, this, this little chest burster alien pops out and looks around and kind of snarls. And then it jumps out onto the table and runs away. But before it jumps out onto the table and runs away, somebody goes, I think it’s Parker goes, grab it. And Ash says, no, don’t touch it.

And then it runs away. Now there’s a logical reason why they would. Why he would say don’t touch it because when they had tried to remove the face hugger and they cut into it, it had bled acid, um, that had almost breached the hall, all of the ship. So logically they, you know, they don’t know anything about this alien.

It might be risky to touch it. But ultimately he doesn’t want it harmed his purpose as we find out is to preserve this creature and return it to earth for research, even if that’s at the expense of the current and just those, uh, subtleties, these I think are, are excellent. It’s excellent storytelling.

It’s excellent. Acting on Ian Holmes, heart. Um, it’s great direction. Uh, and it just worked so well. And then, then, you know, following that scene, They go out looking for what they expect to be a small thing that has just emerged from their friends chest, but apparently, um, it matures at an alarming rate and that’s when we’re then dealing with the big Zena morph.

And I’m sure that all of you listening have seen it, you know, the Xenomorph, uh, changes appearance somewhat over the course of the series. Uh, Ridley Scott originally wanted it to be an animatronic. Uh, in this movie, but the technology wasn’t good enough. So they did have to go with a guy in a suit, which Scott had initially not wanted to do, but they hired this, uh, ver like seven foot tall guy , um, tall lanky guy to wear this suit.

And they were just careful about lighting and shooting so that it didn’t look silly. And there are times to be fair. Where you can tell, especially when it reaches out with its arms, they’re very human, like, and so it’s easy to, it’s easy to understand that it’s a guy in a suit, but it looks fantastic. Of course, as the series went on.

They played with the design and they had more that they could do with technology. And because this is a being that, that just States inside other living things they started to play with. Well, if it just States inside something that’s not human, will it take on characteristics of. Whatever it is that it did just date it.

And they experimented with that and stuff, which I think is very cool. But here the original, um, he’s, um, bipedal, he walks on two feet or can at least, um, but it’s the alien it’s it’s like you said, it’s, it’s virtually camouflaged in the environment. It’s incredibly stealthy. Um, that stealth is on display even more in the novelization.

Um, it can virtually be. Right. The side behind, underneath, or above someone at any given time, without that person, knowing that it’s there and you get that in the film too. And it just, it all comes together. The other, the way it was shot, the way it was lit believable, you believe that they could be in the presence of this thing and not be aware because you as the viewer, Are not aware, like it’s right there, but it’s only when it moves in a particular way that you think, Oh my gosh, it’s been there that whole,

Todd: yeah.

And this ship really needs more lights. Right.

Craig: When they were looking around for the face hugger, um, Dallas is looking around with like a pin light, like a, like a pin flashlight and like, dude, turn the lights on.

Todd: It’s true. And Ridley Scott, um, you know, he does such a good job of setting up the ship, the whole.

Opening scene of the movie is just slowly coming in onto the ship and slowly taking us into the ship and slowly taking us through the quarters of the ship, uh, into the control room where the computer wakes up the ship, you know, after it slumber and then slowly pans us into, as lights are coming on into their room where they’ve been in this cryogenic sleep.

And as things open up, it’s very 2001 in a way that it takes its time. But also that it really sets the environment of the ship as this dark chamber. Not cameras, like I said before, like tunnel.

Craig: Yeah. Or like a, like a boiler room. Yeah. Carrier of a, I don’t know. I don’t want to say fact, but I mean, it kind of looks like a ship, like a Naval ship or, or like interiors submarine, right?

Yeah. It as submarine. Exactly. Which makes perfect logical sense

Todd: and air shooting out of things randomly.

Craig: Yeah. It wouldn’t be pristine, you know, it wouldn’t be. The hallways of the death star, you know, like they’re, they’re basically a space tow truck. It’s not luxury. And I love it. It’s perfect for the story,

Todd: the scenes to where the two guys, you know, Parker and, um,

Craig: Parker and Brett, Brett, Harry Dean Stanton, his character,

Todd: you’re like the mechanical guys.

Right. You know, and they bitch about how, you know, nothing on the ship would get fixed. If, if it wasn’t for us, like, you know, we’re the ones keeping this place running and we should get more money and blah, blah, blah. And I love these scenes where they’re going off like this. You kind of imagine they’re gonna start talking about the union.

You know, they’re literally like fixing the ship, like you’d fix a car, you know, it’s just these very. Well, very mechanical type things on the ship. And even for the time that this was shot, there’s deliberately low-fi stuff. Yeah. You know, the computer screens and things in there are deliberately low-fi, it’s just a unique feel to it yet.

Also, there are times when, again, you’re going down these corridors it’s, it’s like a mirror image of. The bigger ship that they found the alien on. Again, these tunnels that seemed through the pipe work in their kind of organic, kind of a little alien, you know, which provides, like we said, the alien room to hide, but then, you know, like the name of the computer on the ship, his mother.

And when they go in to talk to the mother computer, it’s distinctly different. It looks like a little womb. They go into this little room and it’s, it almost looks like there’s maybe some cloth or some fabric, you know, stretched over the walls. It’s a little padded, their lights on in there. It’s very bright.

It looks extremely comfortable, like a comfortable padded room compared to the rest of the shift. You he’s he’s little touches are so. Interesting to dissect

Craig: well, and there’s a series of such great tense scenes that happen in over a short period of time, but where the characters start to get picked off and RET is the first two picked off by the big alien.

Um, And you never really see a lot. There’s a lot of suggestion of violence, but you, and a lot of really close up stuff, but it happens so quickly. You almost can’t see what happens, Ripley and, uh, Parker, I believe, uh, see him get pulled up into the ventilation system. So they know they’re dealing with something large and powerful and the only way that.

Because it’s working in the air vents. Um, they decide to try to trap it in there. There’s a great claustrophobic scene of, um, Dallas. In the air vents, um, and, and Lambert, Veronica Cartwright’s character is tracking the aliens movement and it’s moving closer and closer to Dallas until it’s really on top of him.

And, um, Veronica Cartwright’s performance. She’s so scared and she’s screaming at him to move and to get out and at the very last second. When he does start to move, she says, no, no, not that way. The other way, the other way. Then of course, the alien jumps out, uh, at, at Dallas and that us, the audience, and it’s a great scare.

Uh, eventually once Dallas is dead, they. Initially are going to try to continue his plan, even though Veronica Cartwright’s character wants them to try to just escape on the shuttle, but they can’t because it only holds it doesn’t hold four people and there’s four of them left. Um, and that’s when Ripley finally, because now that the first and second officers are both dead.

Or presumed dead. Ripley is now in charge and that when she goes to talk to mother and she overrides, um, a command and finds out what the true objective is, which is to return this, uh, alien for research, the crew is expendable. Um, and that’s when Ash reveals himself and there’s a big bite where he just picks her up and throws her all over the place.

Um, and it takes, uh, Parker and Lambert coming in and assisting her to get them off. And they struggle with that. And eventually Parker picks up something big and heavy and Knox ashes head completely off, which is when we fully realize, even though it’s been suggested. Briefly before that he is in fact an Android, um, and not, yeah, human, which I suppose makes sense that he really has no empathy that he’s just in it to do his job.

And in the interest of science. But it’s cool. I mean, it looks great. The effects, of course, aren’t seamless. Um, after his head comes off and is kind of dangling by his body, they get him down on the ground and they’re good. We’re gonna re animate his head to see if he can give them any additional information.

And, and it’s not seamless. You can clearly tell, um, when. Sigourney Weaver is working with a prop head and then there’s a quick cut. And all of a sudden, clearly Ian Holden’s head is up, you know, under a table in this prosthetic. Um, and yeah, it shows, but for the time it still looks fantastic.

Todd: Yeah. And as a kid, this shocked me too, because.

Once again, this Android, I was so used to these movies of the sixties, you know, in the fifties where robots and Androids, if they break they’re sparking and they’re wires and things jutting out from them. But again, like so much of the rest of this movie, this Android is very organic inside. Like the whole inside.

It feels like his blood is very Milky. You know, he has this sort of Milky. Fluid like, like a, like a white Milky oil, that’s keeping them going. And it’s just very unclear, comfortable, little bits and pieces of bubbles and, and tubes. And that gets, they use pasta and fiber optics and little bladders and marbles and things just to create this very unique, original idea of like the inside of an Android and how it would work to make it not so much not so electronic.

But organic. Uh, and that really works. I mean, it’s hard to unpack exactly how it would literally work, but yeah, it works as a visual for the movie. It makes us seem very disturbing and unsettling. As in homeless sitting there talking to them, this severed head spitting out. This mill, you know, Milky white stuff out of his mouth.

Uh, I remember being so grossed out by this as a

Craig: kid

Todd: and, and I’ve got to go back. I’ve got to go back real quick to that fight scene between him and Ripley and get a little personal here, because I’m just gonna to tell the world, you know, my dad, uh, my, my parents are fantastic people and I feel like they just really raised me.

Right. And one thing that my dad did with me is I got a very. Real and honest and in-depth birds and bees discussion when was necessary. And interestingly enough, there was a point at which he was talking to me about, you know, now that you’re older and you’re, you know, you’re kind of seeing things differently and you’re having these different feelings.

You’re probably gonna notice things that are, over-sexualized like things in the movies and, and symbolic things and whatnot. That is there to sort of, you know, turn you on or hit you in these spots. And he used this scene from alien. This was his example to me. This scene where Ian Holmes character is fighting with Ripley and he has her pinned down on this bed.

And this bed is like, basically, I think it’s Parker’s bunk bed. And Parker has been like every now and then reading like porno magazines, or at least they’re implied they’re porno magazines. And in the fuzzy fuzzy in the background on the wall, you can see these pinups there, you know, of clearly nude centerfolds that are there.

And in the context of this. The way that he decides to try to dispatch Ripley is he rolls up one of these magazines and tries to force it down her

Craig: throat

Todd: again, it’s like, it’s like another rape, right? It’s it’s, it’s highly sexually suggestive that he’s shoving the cylinder down her throat. It’s so. Odd.

He’s not slapping around. He’s not beating her up. He could, he could be choking her. I got to give my dad a lot of credit for coming out of the woodwork with this example, from this movie that made total sense to me at the time, because we were both big fans of the film and that was the first time I was ever.

Aware to look for really like any kind of symbolism or subtleties in movies, you know, like what’s behind what they’re actually doing here and what’s there and this, this scene, again, it doesn’t draw extreme attention to itself, but it adds, it’s more of that, that we have in the whole movie of the penetration of the, the aliens little kind of like phallic, phallic, inner mouth that comes out and, you know, gets people.

It’s really interesting choice. And I guess they didn’t even tell. Her exactly Ridley Scott told her he’s going to try to push it in your Hooter. And she was confused because I, yeah, no, she’s like in America, like Hooters or like boobs, like what he’s going to try to shove it in my chest or, you know, whatever.

And so she was a little surprised when he started to try to put it in her mouth. So that performances is quite. Unsettling.

Craig: It is. It certainly is. They don’t really get any new information. Um, from Ash when they re animate him still don’t understand what you’re dealing with here. Perfect organism. It’s structural perfectionism, matched anybody’s house to that team.

My POS team, several of them.

Clouded consciousness and most morality. But the three remaining crew decide that they’re going to board the shuttle and take their chances in space and leave the alien behind, um, and the ship self-destruct the ship. So, uh, Ripley goes to prepare the shuttle while the other two go off to collect coolant.

Um, and they, uh, Lambert and Parker are then dispatched. And, and again, there’s some sexuality to the way or some, at least suggestive sexuality. Uh, the way that Veronica Cartwright’s character is taken out, which we actually don’t see. But what we do see is some appendage of the alien, um, making its way kind of sensuously up.

Uh, the inner part of her leg. And then we don’t really know what happens to her after that, but ultimately, ultimately it’s Ripley alone and there’s a lot of business with her, you know, starting the self-destruct. And then she goes back to the shuttle. There’s a cat on board and she had gotten the cat into a carrier and apparently the alien had been drawn by the cat, which was on the shuttle.

So now the alien is on the shuttle. So Ripley goes back and tries to stop the detonation, but she’s too late. And she runs back to the shuttle. The alien appears to be gone. And, and so she, uh, you know, launched the shuttle and it takes off and the big part of the ship that they were hauling explodes. And that’s when she thinks she’s safe again.

Um, and as I said before, she disrobed in these very, you know, small revealing undergarments, um, and. What I thought was interesting is I wasn’t really sure of what was going on here because she is kind of messing with some controls or something and not realizing that she is just inches from the creature.

And at one point it reaches its hand out and she retreats, but it doesn’t come out now. I’m still not certain of this, but is it supposed to be. Suggested that it’s hiding because it’s scared. Because of the explosions or because it’s just kind of odd to me. It’s been so aggressive throughout the rest of the movie and it really appears to be trying to hide itself in this moment.

Todd: Yeah, I think you’re right. I mean, I think there are a couple of ways you could look at it if you want to grant the alien a good degree of intelligence. And I think we can, maybe it kind of understands all along. What’s going on here and it’s trying to hide in the shuttle as well. So it knows it needs Ripley.

To take off into space and escape the, the ship that’s going to explode, or like you said, you was, it was drawn to the shuttle because it was a hiding from all of the noise and everything that’s going on during the self destruct. I mean, the ship is a as a mess while the self-destruct procedures going on, like it’s just blasting air everywhere.

And there can also be, like you said earlier, a little bit of this, uh, You know, he’s kind of leering at her a bit and not so willing to just go in and take her out. Like he did the rest of the crew, you know, presumably maybe this is what we didn’t see him do to, uh, you know, Lambert’s character, you know, with the appendage or I think it’s also been suggested maybe he was a little injured or just tired.

Yeah. Yeah. So it could be any one of those things. In any case, re Ripley is able to slowly and very tensely slip into one of these space suits.

Craig: I love it. I don’t know why I love that scene so much. Like she just finds herself backed into a closet and she kind of happens to turn to her side and realizes that there’s a space suit and she, so covertly just slips herself into it.

And I remember even as a. Kid thinking how smart she was then to move. So slowly cautiously. So as not to draw attention to herself or to startle the alien, um, I just thought. Very very clever. And then the ending is really interesting. The, the ending that we get is very interesting, but it’s also interesting in the context of what it was initially conceived as initially the ending was conceived that Ripley would escape on the shuttle and the alien would be killed in the explosion on.

The bigger part of the ship and she would just get away. I don’t remember who it was that didn’t like that, but I think, I think the next suggestion from Ridley, Scott. And I’m getting the mix mixed up. I think that the writer, Dan O’Bannon and Ridley Scott had conflicting views. One of them wanted the alien to get on the shuttle with her and they would have a big battle which would come home and ate in the alien.

Decapitating her and she would be dead. And then the alien would get on, on the airwaves or the recording or whatever. And it was going to be mimic Dallas’s voice as though it were pretending to be him to re you know, go back to earth or whatever. Um, that was rejected, I think, by the studio because they thought that it was too bleak.

And so they ended up going with the ending that. We see, which I think is exciting and satisfying for the audience because, um, basically it’s not terribly complicated. Um, Ripley gets herself into a space suit and then she opens the, the airlock. And I feel like the, the alien charges her, but what does she.

Kick it out or something like that.

Todd: Plus the air lock being open kind of sucks it out towards the, the opening as well. And she’s able to, I think she hooks onto something to, to keep herself from, from going that far out.

Craig: I had forgotten that at first, the alien just clings to the outside of the ship and that she sees that and it crawls into the thrusters.

And then she turns the thrusters on which propels the alien out into, um, Space and she is safe and she records her final log, uh, which in itself is also, uh, iconic. And that’s how it ends. And of course, you know, that was perfect because then it allowed for SQL, which came and was amazing and did incredibly well.

Um, and I loved it and, and the franchise continued. It continued in video games. It continued in films. It continued in crossover films with. Predator, uh, um, comic books, all kinds of things. And I certainly believe that it is alive and well. The third movie was really controversial. A lot of people hated it and I understand why, because it, it kind of, um, ruined the happy ending of the second movie.

Ultimately, I enjoyed the third movie. I thought it was very stylistic and interesting, and I liked it.

Todd: So did I? I liked it. I like the fourth movie too

Craig: liked the fourth one to the fourth one is very different and they take it in a different direction. Um, but I enjoyed it also. Um, I was really excited. Uh, I think his name is Neil blond camp.

Uh, the guy, yeah. He wrote a treatment that would kind of retcon the series and it would be more of a direct sequel to, um, aliens, um, and would bring back the characters of Newt and the other. Guy who was revealed to be dead at the beginning of alien three. And so Bernie Weaver was on board for that and I was really excited about it.

But then Ridley, Scott went ahead with Prometheus’s and so that was scrapped and I have really mixed feelings about really Scott’s promethium trilogy. I’ve seen them both. I remember very little about either. I just didn’t particularly care for them. Apparently. There is a script for alien five, which would see the return of Sigourney Weaver.

I guess Ridley Scott is on board for it, but in interviews, Sigourney Weaver has been very skeptical and said maybe it’s time to let Ellen Ripley rest. Um, she is in her seat seventies. Now I believe early seventies, I think. Um, maybe late sixties. I don’t remember, but she’s getting up there. She’s a vibrant woman.

She still works all the time and she’s fantastic. Um, but I’m sure that it would be a challenge for her with the physical demands. I’m I’m confident that she could do it, but whether or not she chooses to, I don’t know. I don’t know. As a fan, I’d love to see her return one more time and maybe get some closure to her story.

But, uh, if she doesn’t, I understand and respect that decision and I hope that we get, um, some good. Alien Xenomorph movies moving forward because the alien vs predator movies are kind of fun, popcorn movies, but they’re not great quality in terms of scripts and whatnot. Um, it’d be good to see another really good alien movie, but who knows?

I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Todd: Yeah, well let’s hope, right. I mean, this movie has just spawned, like you said, a franchise that is. Live and well, I mean, I can’t, I can’t name a number, the number of video games. Yeah. They have directly really stolen. I mean, this whole idea of the alien going through the vents, you know, I mean, how many times have we seen that in horror movies now, scifi movies.

It’s a trope, you know, now it really started with this movie and then so many connections to so many movies we’ve done and we will do. We already talked about all the people we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that the person who designed the head of the alien and put all those special effects together was one of our favorite Italian special effects.

Artists, Carlo rom Baldy did a possession a little while ago. So, uh, where he did the tentacled. A rape creature in that one. Uh, and then of course he was doing E T and close encounters of the third kind and had a bit, quite a relationship with Spielberg around this time. But again, highly responsible for the effects in this movie.

And I read that alien head. They put so much time and energy and it had about 900 points of articulation.

Craig: Wow.

Todd: And it’s almost hard for me to believe because it doesn’t seem like it. I mean, there’s nothing that looks fake about this. I just don’t see the head that much, you know, but I was actually actually surprised this time around watching this movie.

How little blood there really isn’t it. Yeah. I remembered it being gorier and bloodier, particularly that chest burster scene. It’s really not that bloody at all.

Craig: Not really,

Todd: even though we see like the aftermath, so the blood splash on the middle, everything happens so fast that it did not match my memory, which I think just goes to show how much the implication of things.

And just showing you a little bit can help your mind to fill in the blanks with something that’s much worse. But apparently they, the whole movie was a bit bloodier all around and Ridley Scott did have to trim back a number of the Gore scenes and blood in order to avoid getting an X rating at the time.

So, um, it would be interested to see the, the director’s cut to, you know, the full blood version or something. I’d be curious to see what those effects were like, but it definitely doesn’t mean that

Craig: the last thing that I think is worthy of mentioning, um, is the score. I, I know there was some. Conflict about the score, but what we ended up with and I, I particularly noticed it in the somewhat long opening credit sequence.

Um, the score is, is beautiful.

Todd: Oh, and the sound design

Craig: and the sound design,

Todd: Jerry Jerry Goldsmith. The score. Yep.

Craig: It’s great. And it makes me nostalgic for the day when, so much thought and effort. And I’m not saying that that’s not the case in some films today, but it just seems like, like score was something that was given more attention back in.

Those days. Uh, and I appreciate it as I always do when there’s a strong score, because it just does so much to add to the atmosphere. And I, I really enjoyed it here as well.

Todd: Yeah. And, uh, and once again, Ian Holmes performance really great. Excellent. Clearly, right, right. Comfortable in the middle of his game here, he has 137 credits to his name, uh, before he passed away on June 19th of this year at age 88,

Craig: you know, he’s highly decorated.

He’s one. Tons of prestigious awards, film awards, Tony awards. Um, he’s a member of the Royal Shakespeare company, just universally respected and considered one of the great actors of his time here. Kind of a chameleon, just, just an excellent, excellent performer and bias, all accounts, everything that I read, I only read glowing things about him as a performer and as a man.

And I guess we should. You know, we have him to thank for making us finally get around to this movie, which we probably should’ve done a long time ago.

Todd: Yeah. Thank you, mr. Home, rest in peace. Well, thanks again for listening to another episode. If you enjoy, please share it with a friend. You can search us on Google, two guys in a chainsaw, and you’ll find our Facebook page and our page and our Twitter feed.

Reach out to us on any one of those channels to let us know what you thought of this episode and give us some request for some movie you’d like us to do in the future. Also, please be sure to visit our YouTube channel and subscribe there. So ask your requests and subscribe to us so we can build our numbers there and find a wider audience on that medium until next time.

I’m Todd and I’m Craig with Two Guys and a Chainsaw.


2 Replies to “Alien”

  1. Kyle Harris

    Todd/Craig,

    Great episode and in depth discussion of Alien and the late Ian Holm. Lots of fun as always. I always compare Alien and Aliens with The Terminator and T2 not only a James Cameron connection but also the similarities in that the first film in the series is more horror centric and the sequel is bigger and more action driven. Although I have my preferences, all are so great and well executed I couldn’t really argue which is better with someone..the first film or the sequel. Hope you guys are doing well during these times and look forward to the next episode!

    • toddkuhns

      Hi Kyle! Thanks for the comment. Yeah, I agree that the first and second films inhabit almost completely different genres. I preferred the sequel when I was a kid, but now I kind of relish the slow-burning dread of the first one as well. Especially with the director’s cut. It’s such a beautiful and well-acted movie.

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