This weekend in space, no one can hear you scream…
This Saturday at midnight, the Capitol Theater is screening what some may call the greatest sci-fi/horror hybrid of all time, Alien. The 1979 masterpiece, directed by Ridley Scott, takes audiences on an absolutely terrifying thrill ride aboard the earth-bound spaceship Nostromo, whose crew makes the fatal mistake of exploring a mysterious transmission on a small planet. (Note to self: never follow up on a random distress signal in deep space.) Soon after they land on the planet, a gremlin-esque “facehugger” creature attaches itself to one of the crew members and before long, all hell breaks loose.
There are so many amazing elements to this movie, but for starters, it’s visually stunning. The alien design, created by famed Swiss artist H.R. Giger, is absolutely rad, as are all of the Oscar-winning special effects. The flick pulls no punches when it comes to on screen brutality—when you have a creature with that many teeth bleeding acid, it’s gonna get a little gory. An A-list cast makes up the short-lived Nostromo crew, including Tom Skerritt, Harry Dean Stanton, Ian Holm, John Hurt, Yaphet Kotto, Veronica Cartwright, and of course, Sigourney Weaver.
Perhaps the greatest part of Alien, and all three of its direct sequels, is Sigourney Weaver and her portrayal of Ellen Ripley. Despite being at odds with both humans and aliens throughout the series, Ripley always comes out on top. When I think of the most badass woman in film, Ripley is hands down number one (with Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor a close second). Many revere Alien for Weaver’s groundbreaking portrayal of a strong female lead speaking her mind, kicking ass, and surviving. In the ’70s, such a character was definitely not the norm, but then again, Alien is hardly the norm. It’s a rowdy, hardcore film ahead of it’s time.
Check out Alien this weekend at the Capitol. And don’t fret Predator fans—you’ll have your chance next month.