ALIEN (1979)

During its return to the earth, commercial spaceship Nostromo intercepts a distress signal from a distant planet. When a three-member team of the crew discovers a chamber containing thousands of eggs on the planet, a creature inside one of the eggs attacks an explorer. The entire crew is unaware of the impending nightmare set to descend upon them when the alien parasite planted inside its unfortunate host is birthed. Originally to be directed by Walter Hill, but he pulled out and gave the job to Ridley Scott. The front (face) part of the alien costume’s head is made from a cast of a real human skull. During production an attempt was made to make the alien character transparent or at least translucent. 130 alien eggs were made for the egg chamber inside the downed spacecraft. Many of the interior features of the Nostromo came from airplane graveyards. he chestbursting scene was filmed in one take with four cameras. Dallas’ pursuit of the alien down the ventilator shafts, and the intercut scenes of the rest of the crew urging him on, was shot in one day. The screen test that bagged Sigourney Weaver the role of Ripley was her speech from her final scene. The blue laser lights that were used in the alien ship’s egg chamber were borrowed from The Who. The band was testing out the lasers for their stage show in the soundstage next door. Dan O’Bannon requested that Ridley Scott and producer Walter Hill, both of whom had little knowledge of horror or science-fiction cinema, screen The Texas Chain Saw Massacre to prepare for shooting the more intense scenes. Scott and Hill were stunned by the horror film and admitted it motivated them to ratchet up the intensity of their own film. Walter Hill’s re-write included to make two of the characters female (and to add a romantic subplot that was deleted) and to alter much of the dialogue written by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett. The original dialogue has been described as poetic but Hill assessed it as pretentious and obscure.


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