Friday, October 15, 2010

Just Watched: ALIEN

Ash is a robo-douche.
(Glad I got that out of my system).

When I started watching Alien, I wasn't really all to thrilled about it.  In fact, I watched the first twenty minutes of so before I called it a night and went to sleep.  But, today...I realized that I misjudged the movie, and it was actually pretty good (and this is coming from someone who isn't a big alien person, although The Fourth Kind ruined my life for a little bit). However, before I started watched the movie, I wrote down what I thought was going to be the gist of the movie: 
  1. Crew initially gets along well, although there is one out of the group that is suspicious
  2. Operation is going well, until they make some type of contact
  3. Try to engage contact, accidentally bringing alien on board the ship
  4. Alien starts taking out people one by one
  5. Shady character in the beginning gets in the way
  6. Alien is supposedly killed, but in the end, comes back for revenge
Now for the most part, I hit it spot on, give or few a little hoops that I didn't jump through, and frankly this kind of pissed me off.  I hate that alien movies in general are so predictable, but the more I thought about it, so is a regular horror plot:
  1. Group of people are introduced: the slutty blond, the geeky brunette, the jock, the token black guy, and a few other random people
  2. A legend, or ghost story, or murder, or something gory happens to which sets off the plot, and all of the above people, or a least one of them is involved (or the killer) to which puts the rest of the group in danger
  3. The 'threat' starts taking them out one by one, always barely getting away
  4. After a few people die, they think up an elaborate plan and eventually think that they killed the bastard...but hello?  He/she ALWAYS comes back!
Ok, so that's a VERY generalized understatement for the genre, but you see my drift?  What makes the genres interesting though is naturally all the stuff in between that we don't expect.  For instance, when Cain was bent over looking at that egg, I knew that someone was going to attack him, but I certainly didn't think it was going to look like that, nor did I think that it was going to have that effect on Cain.  For instance, I was surprised that it latched on to his face, and stayed latched on all while giving him an constant air supply while it put him in a coma.  I thought the fact that the creature's blood was acid was a pretty neat touch because that made it all the harder to kill it because it put everyone else in danger.  Another thing that I thought was pretty cool was that this was all happening on the ship while they were soaring through space because I atomically assumed that they were going to be stuck on the planet -- leaving the atmosphere to be an unknown setting, thus making things harder.

But let me tell you, when that little creature jumped out of Cain's chest, I almost peed my pants from laughter.  Not because I thought the scene itself was funny, but rather because it reminded me of a spoof that they did on Star Wars, called Space Balls: check it out, you won't regret it

Needless to say, I was also pretty surprised when Ash ended up being a robot, because I wanted him to just be the classic know it all on the ship, so for me, that aspect didn't really work, however the graphics that they used to do it (the white slime down his face, how his head snapped back, and then how they put him back together on that table) that redeemed it for me.  But I'll be honest with you guys, I thought for SURE that something was up with that cat, haha.  I don't know why, but I just assumed that it was infected and when the girl ended up on the shuttle at the end, I thought the cat was going to carry the trait and turn into the alien -- I didn't really expect that huge creature to end up on the shuttle pod with her... I mean I did see it coming, but I wanted to be wrong. 

Now, from a feminist perspective, I was really excited to see a strong, female character take the ropes in this movie.  More often than not, it's normally taken over by a man, but this chick had some balls.  She wasn't afraid to express her opinions and flat out tell ash that she didn't trust him...and unlike the other girl in the movie, she didn't cry and automatically want to abandon ship....she was ready to go kill the alien.  Plus, she ended up being the only survivor which is pretty impressive...even though she  mainly stayed in the control room throughout the entire movie, until the end (but hey, give her some credit...she WAS running the operation!).  My only gripe with the portrayal of the female character was that she just HAD to take off her clothes in the very ending of the movie.  Now, somebody please explain to me why she had to fight the alien in her bra and underwear... ya ya ya I know sex sells, but she couldn't find that big, gooey, had while she still had her battle clothes on?  I mean I guess you argue that it puts her in an even more vulnerable position, but come on.  In this case, I'm not buying the nudity.

The other question that I wanted to explore was: who was the real monster?  Naturally the unknown, alien that goes on a killing spree seems like the logical answer, but when you think about it... it was the humans that landed on its land, disturbed its birth, and then willingly brought it on board knowing nothing about it, breaking protocol in the process.  Is it really the creatures fault for going along with its feeding habits?  I mean technically, it's not doing anything wrong, and if the crew hadn't brought it on board, none of this would have ever happened. So I'm going to back up the alien on this one, and say that it was the crew that was the monsters, and not it.

I am still curious about the creatures living conditions though.  Was it hiding out in the cooling ducts because it couldn't survive a hot and humid temperature?  Is that why it was curled into that little compartment at the end of the movie, and when it reached its hand out it immediately recoiled and cried out? Hmmm... if so, I wonder why know one thought to just turn up the heat on the ship, haha!


  1. It's nice to see that someone analyzed the plot of different genre's and to present them. it's one of those things you know but don't take the time to write it down. You deal with it during the film. I have to admit that I had a lot of questions about this film. Especially after not seeing it for thirty years. There are always the marketing tactics that get the audience in the door. The naked chick is one of them, do you know how many guys talked about that end scene? They forgot about the monster.
    this is a traditional film with new technology that was made to market to the typical audience, don't get me wrong, I liked it but the reality is that films are made to produce as much money as possible, this one did it's fair share.
    And you have to admit, the monster is pretty cool and I don't mean in the temperature sphere.

  2. The xenomorph (the fancy name for the Alien) can survive, as far as I can tell, pretty much anywhere. Even in the vacuum of space. So the queen they dumped into the water in AvP is most likely still alive and very very pissed off. It's biology is a real mystery, though it may be that way so that the filmmakers can put it anywhere they want. I kind of feel like it would be classified as an invasive parasitic species where ever it popped up. I think maybe one of the comics goes to the home world, but I can't be sure.

  3. I, too, noticed the fanservice moment when Sigourney took off her clothes at the end (It's a pretty popular photo! Try Googling images of alien). I laughed out loud, it was so blatant. If the writers had set things up that she was wearing something she needed to remove, or that she just happened to love to be naked (lol), then maybe it would have made more sense. As it was, her stripping down just made me giggle because it was clearly only intended to make her fans drool.