HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Ferdinand
Buddhist Spell, The
Steel and Lace
Reivers, The
Angel Has Fallen
I Lost My Body
At First Light
Free Ride
Crawl
Transit
Blank Check
Mad Monk, The
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
   
 
Newest Articles
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
   
 
  Alien In Fact It's Cold As HellBuy this film here.
Year: 1979
Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto, Bolaji Badejo, Helen Horton
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction
Rating:  9 (from 4 votes)
Review: The spaceship Nostromo is travelling back to Earth with its cargo of twenty million tonnes of mineral ore, but has only reached the halfway point of its journey when there is a signal received from an unknown source. The small crew are awakened from their suspended animation and groggily make their way to the meeting room where they try to work out why they have been roused too early. The answer is that signal: apparently a distress call from the moon of a large planet not far from where they are; they are under instruction from the company bosses to investigate any possible alien life, so have no say in the matter - unfortunately...

The real unfortunate thing about Alien is that if you've heard of the film, and it is very famous, then you're probably all too aware of every surprise it contains, not something that audience of 1979 would have been afflicted with as they settled down to watch what was being rumoured by strong word of mouth to be one of the scariest movies of all time. Director Ridley Scott certainly tightened the screws of tension with incrementally impeccable care, and for those who prefer the sequel, Aliens, the original is simply too slow to reveal its secrets. But they are not really secrets now, when the details of the plot have been so extensively broadcast in the years since its release.

Yet even if you are familiar with the twists and turns Dan O'Bannon's basic script took - it underwent rewrites and the cast were encouraged to improvise their dialogue - there's no denying how exquisitely Alien was assembled. Much of the credit went to H.R. Giger's truly innovative design, both of the title creature and the various sets and whatnot associated with it, and although he was not alone in fashioning the distinctive look of the production, it undoubtedly raised his artistic standing, even more than those album covers he made his name with. What most viewers picked up on, even if they didn't quite catch on to it, was the atmosphere of dangerous sexuality that the Alien represented.

This means you can't read a review of the film without someone pointing out that the whole thing illustrates a kind of perverse take on reproduction, one of the most notorious subtexts in the movies. In fact, it's so blatant that it's difficult to miss it, as the creature represents a twisted variation on masculinity centred around rape, while the character who finally gets the better of it travels from the asexuality of the others to a more obvious femininity - that's why her nurturing side leads her to go back for the cat, and in case this battle of the sexes has not registered, she strips down to her underwear for the climax. It was so perfectly realised that it's little wonder it was so revered and actually reviled by some: the reaction was definitely split at the time, and it was by no means lauded as an instant classic at first.

But perhaps more than all the sexuality, what truly made its mark was the manner in which it showed the vast emptiness of space as something sub-zero cold, both physically and emotionally. Right before Alien happened along, a blockbuster called Star Wars had revitalised the science fiction movie, rendering the whole genre the epitome of fun for all the family, but with this it was strictly for the adults. The thought of an episode of Star Trek, for example, being too scary for kids was a potent one, and although that never happened the almost existential bleakness of tone here was something that made it all the more unnerving. Not to mention the clearest evidence of humanity in the story before Ripley (Sigourney Weaver became a star thanks to this) asserts herself is the profit-obsessed machinations of the company who run the space mining operation, another reason why there's an iciness to Alien that makes her triumph over it all the more satisfying. Music by Jerry Goldsmith.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3054 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Ridley Scott  (1937 - )

Talented, prolific British director whose background in set design and advertising always brings a stylised, visually stunning sheen to often mainstream projects. Scott made his debut in 1977 with the unusual The Duellists, but it was with his next two films - now-classic sci-fi thrillers Alien and Blade Runner - that he really made his mark. Slick fantasy Legend and excellent thriller Someone to Watch Over Me followed, while Thelma and Louise proved one of the most talked-about films of 1991. However, his subsequent movies - the mega-budget flop 1492, GI Jane and the hopeless White Squall failed to satisfy critics or find audiences.

Scott bounced back to the A-list in 2000 with the Oscar-winning epic Gladiator, and since then has had big hits with uneven Hannibal, savage war drama Black Hawk Down and his Robin Hood update. Prometheus, tentatively sold as a spin-off from Alien, created a huge buzz in 2012, then a lot of indignation. His Cormac McCarthy-penned thriller The Counselor didn't even get the buzz, flopping badly then turning cult movie. Exodus: Gods and Kings was a controversial Biblical epic, but a success at the box office, as was sci-fi survival tale The Martian. Alien Covenant was the second in his sci-fi prequel trilogy, but did not go down well with fans, while All the Money in the World was best known for the behind the scenes troubles it overcame. Brother to the more commercial, less cerebral Tony Scott.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: