Alien The Director's Cut 1979 film review | Book Addicts

Alien the Director’s Cut (film)

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Alien is a 1979 science fiction film by Ridley Scott.  The Director’s Cut is a special edition that includes extra footage of the alien planet.

10 out of 10 stars.  Love the extra footage.  Now on HBO.  In fact, it’s about the only good thing on HBO.

The Nostromo is a commercial cargo ship on its way back to Earth from deep space salvage.  The crew consists of seven people:

  1. Captain Dallas played by Tom Skerritt
  2. First Officer Kane played by John Hurt
  3. Second Officer Ripley played by Sigourney Weaver
  4. Navigator Lambert played by Veronica Cartwright
  5. Science Officer Ash played by Ian Holm
  6. Chief Engineer Parker played by Yaphet Kotto
  7. Engineering Technician Brett played by Harry Dean Stanton

All of the crew are in hypersleep, but the computer, called Mother, wakes them early to answer a call for help.  Dallas, Kane, and Lambert go to investigate the source of the distress signal while Ripley and Ash stay on board and Parker and Brett make repairs to the ship that occurred during landing.  In the original Alien film we never see the inside of the alien ship.  In the Director’s Cut version, we do.  The three venture into the ship and find a dead alien who is absolutely huge, at least 40 times the size of a human.  The ship is also massive and has a cargo hold full of some type of eggs.  There’s a layer of fog over the eggs that Kane triggers when he falls into the cargo hold among the eggs.  He gets too curious, leans over one that opens, and has an alien thing attach to his face (which fans call face huggers).  Terrified, Dallas and Lambert immediately bring Kane back to the ship and demand that Ripley open the door, ignoring the quarantine fail safes.  When she refuses, Ash opens the door anyway.  This is our first indication that Ash is not who he appears to be.

The face hugger that has attached itself to Kane’s face is feeding him oxygen.  It’s also laid some kind of egg inside of him which they don’t seem to know yet.  At first they attempt to cut off the “fingers” of the face hugger to get it it off of Kane, but each cut results in liquid acid blood dripping through the floor, the deck below, and the deck below that, making holes in the hull along the way.  So they realize they can’t afford to kill this thing as it will completely eat through the hull.  In less than 24 hours, the face hugger drops off and appears dead.  They all sit around to eat and in the middle of the meal, a baby alien bursts through Kane’s chest and flees the room.

That little baby alien grows exponentially in the next 24 hours until it is at least 4 times the size of a human being.  It sheds its skin and blends in with the machinery.  In fact it folds itself up among the machinery so you could walk right by it and not even know its there.

At first they separate into teams and attempt to find and kill it, not realizing that it has grown larger.  There’s an orange tabby cat on board named Jones and Ripley, Parker, and Brett almost kill Jones by accident when they come across him.  So Brett runs after Jones and encounters the alien, now fully grown and massive.  And, of course, the alien kills Brett.  Now that they know the alien is huge, they decide to get real weapons to fight it, namely a flame thrower.  Dallas goes into the air ducts with the flame thrower and the rest of them use motion detectors to track the alien, closing air ducts behind Dallas as he searches for the alien.  When they finally realize the alien’s dot on the tracker is closing in on Dallas’s dot on the tracker, he panics and descends a level, landing right in the alien’s lap.  Now we’re down two crew members.

One by one the crew members are killed off and Ripley discovers that Ash is not human, but an android sent by the company on this trip solely for the purpose of finding the aliens on that planet and bringing a specimen back, crew expendable.  :0

Yes, the cat lives and so does Ripley.  She goes on to make three sequels.

10 out of 10 stars.  The Director’s Cut has never before seen footage of the alien ship and inside the Nostromo.  The original Alien is 1 hour 56 minutes and the Director’s Cut is 1 hour 55 minutes, so they obviously cut some footage from the original to make room for the extra footage.  I didn’t miss it.


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