So, I waited a few days to post this to more or less commemorate the day I went to see ALIEN some 40 years ago. I was 15, and I took the day off from school to hoof it down to Times Square just to see this on a larger screen than was available in the Bronx. Or, I probably went downtown because I didn’t wan to be caught walking into or out of a theater there showing it. Or both. Anyway, it happened and as with Star Wars before that, I’d say my cinematic life took an upswing thanks to some fine film-making that recalled things I’d seen in the past. Ridley Scott’s direction was impressive, the cast was great and what more can be said about the production design and art direction that combined a few distinct art styles you’d think wouldn’t mesh together at all into something so… beautiful to look at?
(Thanks, Moviepilot Trailers!)
To me, the original film has held up so well that I can recall at various times over the years loaning out VHS and later, DVD versions to friends who’d never seen it before thinking it was made twenty years or so past its original premiere. Atmosphere carries more weight than plot here, as the story is your basic “Man meets monster, monster eats man” deal, but set in space (where despite the tagline, everyone in the theater sure heard or did a whole lot of screaming). As a total sci-fi geek back then raised on too many B-movie TV airings , I saw bits from The Thing From Another World, It! The Terror From Beyond Space, and Planet of the Vampires, among other influences, all of which made me appreciate the film even more.
I ended up seeing the sequels in a few different theaters and for the most part, the law of diminishing returns quelled somewhat my overall enjoyment of the franchise (a word I dislike for a few reasons). Sill, I believe I ended up with VHS copies of all four films (my tape library was sold off quite some time back to make room for more games as that collection expanded), and now I’m down to what’s in that photo below because it’s what I need when I need my ALIEN fix (although I only bought ALIEN Covenant because the pre-order price on it new was stupidly cheap thanks to what seemed like no one willing to buy it based on its critical drubbing in theaters and maybe too many copies being made). As for those AVP films? Nope of the hard variety for me. I saw them all a few times on cable and never liked a one other than some fun casting choices. The original Predator and its hilariously goofier sequel, though? Yeah, I could watch those two on a loop all day.
Hmmm… I may just do that this weekend, especially after this message from MOTHER (Hi, Mom!):
Oh, wait… it’s some other big deal sci-fi film’s kinda sorta faux anniversary as well? Damn. I’ll get to that tomorrow because I tend to roll like that.