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Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Directed by Ridley Scott

There are many reasons to sing the praises of this movie but the big kudos goes to Swiss artist H.R. Giger for designing the menacing monster in the many m anifestations of it's growth and the nightmarish world it inhabits. No monster on this list can match Giger's creation in sheer nastiness. It's appropriate that his art first gained widespread acclaim with an H.P. Lovecraft inspired collection of paintings called "H.R. Giger's Necronomicon" and the snapping and slimy creature from deep space in "Alien" certainly has it's Lovecraftian appeal. There aren't many movies that got my heart thumping as hard as this one did the first time I saw it and recent viewings have also had a noticeable effect on my pulse. While the outer space setting is certainly the domain of science fiction this is a bona fide horror movie on every level. The fear escalates and the insinuations are as dark as they come. No matter where our ingenuity and science takes us in the universe it's a guarantee that, being mere mortals powerless against an unforeseen legion of hostilities, we will find horror. In fact our further explorations seem to guarantee these encounters and it's hard to imagine anything more hostile than the windblown gothic planet of darkness where the crew of the Nostromo ends up. Sigourney Weaver survived the acid dripping alien to star in the sequels but they didn't match the impact and claustrophobic isolation of the original. Very grim, very good.


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