Alien.....

.... when I was six years old the movie "Alien" came out..... it hit the movie theaters in May, and by late that year it was already on television....... back in the day, that movie was a phenomenon....... absolutely everyone was talking about it...... and I can remember staying up late - just before my 7th birthday in October - and screaming through clenched eyelids as my Father and I watched it......

..... two weeks later my Godmother, Lucille, purchased a 12" plastic "Alien" action figure for me on the occasion of my birthday......

.... it was horrible..... there was a switch on the back of its heard that you could flick down that would make its jaw open and that crazy little 'inner-jaw' pop out..... it had the long, moveable - and deadly - tail.... the big scraggly feet.... the claw-like hands...... it was horrible.....

.... I remember that after Lucille had left, my Dad led me to bed, tucked me in, told me 'happy birthday', and sat that damn alien on my nightstand so that it was the first thing that I saw each time I opened my scared eyes to investigate each creak and moan of our old house's floorboards... I was mortified..... and after a tense twenty minutes of fidgeting, I called for my Momma to come through and put the horrible plastic personage somewhere AWAY from me.......

.... she laughed and tossed it into the closet with all of my other toys...... and I've never been able to look at a night-time closet the same way since..... and that is a fact......

.... it's kinda funny, really....... now, well, I am a huge fan of all the "Alien" genre of movies...... sure, you have to forgive a lot of plot screw-ups, but the overall feel of the movies is quite cool..... and they don't scare me in the least now.....

... but what I DO find so odd is how badly space travel was depicted back in 1979..... I mean, what is up with the lack of light bulbs in our far distant future?..... we can have a compelling, humanistic android that will pass as a human Science Officer, but 90% of our ship is shadows, abject darkness, and steadily dripping spigots?..... somehow I just don't imagine that there are a lot of dark corners OR leaky water valves in the International Space Station or the orbiting Shuttle...... then again, perhaps I'm completely wrong.... and our astronauts hang out up there on the ISS in dirty wife-beaters, dangling Marlboro ash, and searching for lost stuff in dimly lit corners when they get bored.....

.... I bring all of this up merely because I happened to wake up from a nap this afternoon and catch the middle bit of "Alien".... and perhaps it is because I have seen the other three movies AND the Alien vs.. Predator one, but it just seems so laughable to watch Sigourney Weaver and those two hammerheads wander around in the dark with a hemp net, a flashlight, and a cattle prod trying to catch a fully grown alien...... I mean, c'mon.... a cattle prod?.... and a net?......

.... what kind of futuristic space ship has a cattle prod on board instead of a damn laser gun?......

.... anyway, I managed to fall back asleep before Mr. Skerritt got munched - which was good.... but unfortunately for y'all, I woke up in time to post this...... which is bad if you guys are you.......

.... oh, and before I forget... what kind of idiot goes back into an alien infested spaceship with its self-destruct ticking to fetch a damned cat??....... surely by that point in the future you can just pick a few cat hairs off of your sweater and have some scientist whip you up a newly cloned one with very little trouble........

by Eric on June 06, 2008 | Bullshit (8) | TrackBack (0) | Ummm, Ok....
Bullshit So Far

I got talked into going to see the first Alien on LSD in the college town I was living in at the time.

Don't ever do that.........ever.

Bullshitted by bitterman on June 6, 2008 07:57 PM

The only ALIEN movie I really liked was the one with Winona Ryder in it. Only because of Winona Ryder. She has always stirred my gonads even though she's a real kook.

Bullshitted by Tbird on June 6, 2008 09:05 PM

Probably my favorite horror movie of all time. Basically they took a classic killer in the house script and put it into outer space (really, not too much different than Friday the 13th in space). Then they made great use of the atmosphere of dark shadows, dripping pipes, and clanking chains that might be found on an old spaceship to up the creep factor. Add some clueless space travelers who spend more time looking for lost cats alone (how many out there knew Harry Dean Stanton was a dead man the second he was told to go find the cat by himself?) and you've got a classic horror tale told in outer space. They even threw in a sort of "motive" for the killer's actions (remember Special Order 937?).

My favorite scene was not the "chest-burster" scene ("a quantum leap in grue" at the time, according to Stephen King), but the scene where Tom Skerritt is hunting the alien around the airshafts only to discover, too late, that the alien was hunting him. Great movie.

I really enjoyed the second movie, Aliens, as well, even though it focused a little more on action than horror. After that, IMHO, the series went downhill fast.

Bullshitted by diamond dave on June 7, 2008 08:32 AM

I saw Alien on opening night at the Eastwood Theater in Indianapolis, a wide-screen 70mm experience. Went with two friends and we all had to sit separate, all over the theater, as the show was sold out. I'll never forget the scene where that squid-looking thing jumped up out of the pod and attached itself to John Hurt's helmet. Jesus!

Bullshitted by Jerry on June 7, 2008 08:05 PM

"somehow I just don't imagine that there are a lot of dark corners OR leaky water valves in the International Space Station or the orbiting Shuttle"

Right now... not so much, but space travel is still new & overpriced.

Eventually it'll become as cheap a commodity as going by oceanliner.

And, as a Navy guy who traveled on an oceanliner that launched aircraft, I can tell you that there were plenty of dark & drippy places.

Bullshitted by Harvey on June 7, 2008 10:54 PM

If I recall, I saw it on television. I wasn't a big fan of horror type genre so it didn't do much for me. Like you I always thought it was ridiculous that there were no lights. However darkness can cover a multitude of sins and I'm thinking they did it so they didn't have to think too hard about the sets.

Oh and I was just reading headlines from one of my news readers talking about how they were having trouble fixing the toilets on the space station.... so maybe the dripping water wasn't too far off. *grin*

Bullshitted by Teresa on June 8, 2008 12:30 AM

I loved this movie and it scared the crap out of me. Just looking at a fork(reminds me of the Alien's teeth) can bring back the memories of watching this movie.

Bullshitted by LeeAnn on June 8, 2008 02:51 PM

A great jump-out-of-your-seat-horror flick.

Not only did the dark 'n' drippy atmosphere amp up the scare factor, it was a statement about how the Company was willing to cut corners on anything not absolutely essential. Cheap. If lighting up a corridor was not necessary, why waste the energy?

Despite the holes in the plot you could drive a Mack truck through, it works. And H. R. Giger's designs are a big part of it, from the Alien itself to the organic-mechanical E.T. spaceship. Creepy.

Your dad had an evil sense of humor, parking that Alien action figure ("Chest-Bursting Excitement!") by your bedside. He must've enjoyed fucking with your head.

Bullshitted by Elisson on June 9, 2008 06:29 AM