Thursday, 10 November 2011

Alien (1979) Review

Alien (1979) movie poster
A horror, sci-fi film made in 1979, directed by Ridley Scott and stars Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, Tom Skerritt and John Hurt as members of the a deep space mining ship, Nostromo awakens from hyper sleep to investigate a strange signal from a nearby planet only to discover that the signal is not an SOS call but a warning.

The Nostromo interior

The film’s setting is set in a high tech futuristic spaceship similar to the style from Star Wars, neat and white with brightly coloured buttons, voice activation mechanics and automated doors and other bits of machinery like the hyper sleep telepods ( which at the beginning, gives the idea of new age or new beginning). There is a central computer that most characters go and “talk” to it, even going into the idea of calling it “mother” (possibly short for “mother ship” or a codename) to ask for help and advice.  In particular the scene where the crew go out and explore the planet to which they received the SOS call looks rather grey with smoke and steam resembling the planet’s gaseous atmosphere. 
Most of the Alien ship interior is based on the works of H.R Giger, whose works is mostly humans fused with industrial items giving it a special look as well as works on animal skeletons. The look of Alien is also created by Giger, originally the design was more disturbing  to the point that it had to be altered. “Spacesuit drawings by French comic book legend Moebius, Nostromo interiors by Cobb, and airbrushed alien designs by H.R. Giger. It was Giger who cracked Alien, not just with the creature itself (rarely seen in full anyway), but with the organic innards of the derelict ship and its ghostly egg chamber. It's no surprise to learn that Giger works surrounded by animal skeletons.” (Newman, 2008)

The idea of having an alien monster roaming around the spaceship gives the feeling more of a haunted house style due to long tunnels, dark lighting and shadows, but the film is also known as “spam in a can” or a sci fi/ horror hybrid  film due to the scientific horror that’s within in the film. The alien is played by Bolaji Badejo, a student which Scott believed that due to his slender frame, he could portray the antagonist alien which looked like it’s arms and legs were too long to be real making the viewer’s question whether if it was a man in a suit or not. With the rest of the cast acting, especially Sigourney Weaver who plays Ripley “a Hawksian woman rarely develop beyond her resourceful reaction to jeopardy” (PT, 2009), and a twist halfway between the film where one of the space crew is in fact an android who’s following orders from the ship helps add the feel of haunted house in space as each character gets eliminated, as described by Film4 “superb performances add to Scott's stylish direction.” (Film4, 1979)

Alien with some changes from Giger's design

List of Illustrations:
Scott, R (1979) Alien (1979) movie poster (online):

Gaboury, J (2010) The Nostromo interior (online):

Enk, B (2009) Alien with some changes from Giger's design (online): – (accessed on 3/11/11)

Newman, K (2008) Alien (online):

PT (2009), Alien 1979 (online):

Film4, (1979), Alien (online): – (accessed on 3/11/11)

1 comment :

  1. Hey Joe,

    "which at the beginning, quite gives"

    you dont need quite here

    "The scene where the crew go out and explore the nearby planet where they received an SOS call, the scene looked grey, which lots of smoke and steam to resemble the planet’s gaseous atmosphere"

    But of a wobbly here

    "In particular the scene where the crew go out and explore the planet to which they received the SOS call looks rather grey with smoke and stream resembling a gaseous atmosphere"

    try that

    "Most of the Alien interior"

    just add ship here Alien ship

    "though originally the design of it was a bit disturbing that it had to be changed in some ways."

    this sounds a little iffy try

    "originally the design was more distrubing to the point that it had to be altered"

    Other then that all good Joe.

    P.S. sorry to be correcting grammer, if you would like me to stop I can... wasnt sure if this was part of the remit for partnership.

    I dont mind either way, plenty of my reviews have grammatics I dont doubt lol.

    This review was satisfying though Joe :) good job