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Ceris' 31 Days of Horror Challenge: Alien

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

I have seen this film several times before and the opening scene in space always reminds me of the clangers (for those who don’t know google them!)

Art by Adam Edwards

The crew of a spacecraft, Nostromo, intercept a distress signal from a planet and set out to investigate it. However, to their horror, they are attacked by an alien which later invades their ship.

We are shown into what looks like a padded cell from a mental institution, and several comatose half naked people wake up from weird looking pods. At this point I’m not sure how long they have been asleep for but I’m slightly concerned about who has been driving the ship if they’ve all been catching up on their beauty sleep. To be fair we find out later the computer has…but we all know they can’t be trusted!

Breakfast last 0.02 seconds because the ship needs them – but it’s been fine while they’ve been asleep! Oh wow, the engine room with the twinkling lights has the 70’s written all over it and the computer reminds me of teletex (again Google!) Its always worrying when the Captain and the pilots don’t know where Earth is – it’s no wonder an Alien gets on board. I do love how they question how they have managed to get to a part of space they weren’t expecting – but if someone had stayed awake and driven the ship maybe they wouldn’t be in this position.

Ohhh so they’ve found a UFO – well the ship’s computer has, and rather than running the opposite way they think let’s go see what it is. So, they follow the source of the beeping and everyone’s sweating, and the ship is clearly NOT coping with wherever they are heading and ultimately crash lands on a dark and windy planet. They dynamic duo in the engine room crack me up exaggerating how long it will take to fix everything cos they don’t get the same bonus as everyone else.

Three of the crew decide that rather than stay on the broken but safe ship, decide to venture out onto the new planet they have found. On board Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) tries deciphering the code that has apparently come from this planet. The boots on the ground come across what looks like two giant dicks sticking out of the ground – and you guessed it they go and investigate. I swear people just ask for trouble! I’m surprised any of them can see anything out of their helmets – have they not heard of a microfibre cloth.

Back on the ship, Mother, who’ve I learned is the ship’s computer, has worked out that the transmission from the planet isn’t an SOS for help but instead a warning to back the fuck off – which is what they should have done from the start. And yet the 3 musketeers are abseiling into the abyss for who knows what reason. Through the mist covering the floor he can see loads of eggs on the floor, and obviously he manages to slip and fall onto said eggs. After poking one a few times, the contents of it launches itself out of the egg and through his helmet, before attaching itself to his face.

Having made it back to the ship, Ripley tries to stop them coming back on due to quarantine restrictions, however Ash overrides her and takes Kane to the infirmary to try and prise off the thing suctioned to his face. Following a full body scan, they think the thing is feeding him oxygen to keep him alive for they are temporarily worried about taking it off his face. They tried to cut it off, but the alien bleeds acid that causes so much damage they decide to leave the poor man as he is.

The crew get back to work trying to fix the ship and get the hell off the creepy planet. The film slows right down at this point, and I would have quite happily switched off. The alien falls off Kane’s face – clearly decided it has had enough and appears to be dead. Luckily the ship is fixed, and they start heading home. Aww bless their happy smiling faces thinking they are home free.

They are all sat round together discussing what to do with Kane when Ash tells them his condition has changed and he is alive and awake and looks like he is wearing a corset. Happy to know they are on their way home, Kane asks if they can eat and so they are once again sat around the table. Suddenly Kane start choking and Shit. Goes. Down. Out of his chest bursts a cute little alien thing that suddenly races off the table. The team head off to look for it, but I think we can all guess how well this is going to end.

Having decided to let the guy back in with something weird attached to his face, the poor bastard now gets launched into outer space now the chestburster has brutally broken free from his chest cavity, killed him and escaped onto the ship. The team split up to search the ship and find Mr Alien and lob him out into outer space too.

Using their Alien detector piece of equipment, Ripley, Brett & Parker encounter Jones the cat but let him escape by accident. Brett goes after him to stop him setting off the tracker again, and we can all see where this is going. Yup you guessed it – after several unnecessary minutes of nothing much happening, Brett got attacked by a now fully grown alien. The team are back together, and think the Alien is in the air ducts and they plan to get it to an air lock, so they send Dallas up to catch it with a crudely home-made flamethrower to drive it to where they can get rid of it– something tells me this isn’t going to work.

Having located the Alien, Dallas heads straight towards it, when they lose the signal on it. Everyone is screaming at him to get out of there – I literally thought the point of him being in there was to find it. Well, that’s the end of him then… Everyone gathers around the table again to try and make up a plan. Lambert suggests they get into a shuttle and escape but there are too many of them. Ripley says they will go out in pairs and shut off every vent to corner it and then blast it into space – Ash isn’t being very helpful at the moment. Ripley takes control of mother and finds out that the crew were made to go and collect the alien and bring it back unharmed regardless of the outcome to the crew. Ripley tries to warn the others, but Ash tries to kill her by choking her while leaking some weird white substance from his head. Ash starts spewing some weird liquid and Parker whacks him over the head and decapitating him – as he is a robot. This is a pretty clever twist that still impresses me to be honest. You don’t really see it coming.

They decide to put Ash back together to try and find out what his mission was. Ripley asks how the Alien can be killed but Ash says they can’t kill it. Ash taunts them one last time by saying they have his sympathies, before they disconnect him for good and Parker melts him with a flame thrower. The team split up again, which seems stupid to me, but they only have 7 minutes before the ship blows up and they will be fucked.

Lambert and Parker get attacked and killed by the Alien while trying to get the supplies they need to escape the ship. Ripley goes running towards them- away from the shuttle to freedom but is too late. Ripley tries to reverse the self-destruct but it’s too late, and now she has the manic task of trying to get back to the shuttle.- where she already was – with an Alien in the way.

Having gotten to the shuttle thinking she is home and clear, she finds the Alien has gotten into the shuttle with her. Having managed to get into a space suit and strapping herself in, she opens the door in the hope the alien will get sucked out but that fails, so she shoots it. But that backfires when it ends up in the exhaust – so she turns the engine on and fires it into space. She is finally home free and speaks a depressing monologue about how everyone is dead and she is hoping to be found – at least she has Jones for company and her little tomb bed.

Re-watching it as reminded me I’m really not a fan of this film. Despite enjoying a few moments I just find it far too slow and you hardly see the alien, which I will admit is well designed but it’s painfully obvious in a few shots it’s just some guy in a suit. For me personally I don’t think it has aged well either, which I know a lot of will probably disagree with me on. Not in a huge rush to watch this one again anytime soon…it’s not one of my faves.


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