The Culture Cast Presents:The Greatness of Alien or Why Alien is Great

The Culture Cast Presents:The Greatness of Alien or Why Alien is Great

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Released in ’79 before The Gorehound came into existence, H. R. Giger and Ridley Scott had a movie-baby and birthed this outstanding fictional species.  I love observing this particular alien in all seven films, and you should too. Not only is the storyline great, but the species, as a biological being, is fascinating.  Let’s not forget about Sigourney Weaver, Queen of the sci-fi world either.  For she is the proverbial cherry on top in this series.  Behold: four reasons why Alien in its entirety is great.

1. The alien is great. Ridley Scott and H. R. Giger are great couple. Giger, a Swedish surrealist, created the actual costuming and design while Scott directed the first film. It’s so beautiful.  As a veteran biological studies student in college, I can tell you just what the alien is. It’s the last man standing and overall winner of the game that is Survival of the Fittest.  If the alien came to earth, it would kick all of our butts and take over the world.  Beyond the physiology of the creature, I’m also impressed with all its other cute little quirks. You know, how it hisses and drools acidic slime. To me, it’s very pumpkinhead-esque. Furthermore, the metamorphosis, lifestory, and grotesqueness are all intense. To briefly describe: an egg is produced by a mother alien (like a queen bee), the facehugger erupts from the egg and attaches itself (parasitically and sexually) upon an organism (humans are not a requirement) and embeds itself within, making a fusion of an alien and of the organism in which it is attached. The baby alien then bursts from the host’s body and grows to be the alien. That’s some crazy stuff. This alien drips, has acidic fluids which burn through multiple layers of a spaceship, and is huge and dark.  I’d rather not delve into the sexual overtones of the alien species but that goes deep if that’s what you desire.

2. Sigourney Weaver (Ripley) is great. While she is everything short of the stereotypical hottie (No offense Siggy), I believe her to be the most attractive woman in action/sci-fi/horror films. Her ruggedness and toughness are hard to find today in anybody. Michelle Rodriguez or Milla Jovovich? Pssh. Their characters don’t go as deep as we see Siggy go. Indeed, in the original Alien, Ripley’s role was written bias-free, so that a man or woman could play. This started her off as tough. It does help that she has cat, Jonesy, that she loves as much as I love my cat, Peaches. In the sequel, we see Ripley develop and hold a more sensitive role, comforting the annoying Newt/Rebecca, and in the third she shaves her head and well, the director decides to plunge into the sexual tension between a colony of men and Ripley. Possibly the worst of the series but still has the same set and scenery to make it watchable. Regardless, as the series progresses we see Ripley take on a more mother/offspring role and the relationship digs deep to bring an all around synergy to the series. 3. Ridley Scott is great. He directed the first film, Alien, and the latest Prometheus (‘12) and while it may be a personal feeling, I feel that Scott really brings together everything . I don’t know if he’ll add more to the series but he started the legacy on the right foot. Scott also directed Blade Runner (‘82), my all-time favorite movie. His dark futuristic style enthralls me.  Scott and Giger together present a possible, and believable, vision of the future. While sci-fi movies rarely predict the future (though they have), they do offer insight as to our current projections.

4. The story is great and concludes why this film is great. This point fuses Ridley Scott’s vision with the alien’s way of life while Ripley provides the icing on the cake. Alien is just like any other organism on Earth. It is trying to live long and prosper, despite its unfavorable (yet necessary) method of parasitism for development. The storyline thrusts Survival of the Fittest into one spaceship.

Alien is great. But while there are seven films where the alien makes an appearance, I do have one bone to pick with the whole thing. I must say that not all the films are respectful to the poor alien. Alien is not a creature to be hunted. He is not to be cheaply recreated by computers for he truly is disgusting, dripping with slime, and holds a domineering presence. While he would love to enslave the entire human race and move onto the next galaxy to, again, live long and prosper, I believe that if we came across facehuggers on (soon to be discovered planet) LV-426, we could domesticate them and keep them as housepets so that my cat, Peaches, can finally have a friend.



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