Ever since that first baby Alien exploded from John Hurt’s chest, the shiny black creature with acid for blood has been a horror favorite. I think the best of the four films were clearly I and II. After that the Alien just wasn’t the same and reached rock bottom when the poor Alien was put into the Alien vs. Predator films. A move for which acid spewing Aliens everywhere should start a class action lawsuit.
The first film, Alien, was the tightest and even though all movie goers know not to answer distress calls from mysterious unknown ships we accept that fictional crews of space ships will never learn. It’s the equivalent of the bad guy explaining himself for ten minutes giving the good guy time to grab a vase and knock the gun out of his hand.
But the plot device, along with a great cast lead by Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, worked in Alien. Ridley Scott kept the film lean and spare, the tension high and what the audience didn’t see was almost as scary as what they did see. And to top it all, a female warrior, a character that has become an icon, was born.
James Cameron built on the first film with Aliens, adding a child in distress to bring out the mommy instincts of Ellen “A life spanning the centuries” Ripley. And as the title clearly indicated there wasn’t just one Alien but a whole lot of Aliens including quite literally, the mother of them all.
Alien 3 was to me, pretty thin and hey, sorry guys but you just cannot get away with an Alien bursting out of a dog; humans, sure, but a dog, nope.
Alien Resurrection went a bit off the charts of Alien weirdness with Ripley not only cloned back to life but miraculously with all of her memories intact. There was also a bit of a DNA mixture which produced Baby Ripley Alien, not to mention scores of unsuccessful clones. There was the famous hoops scene with Ripley sinking the long shot. Too bad the real villain wasn’t the NBA looking to add Alien DNA into basketball players.
Now once again the big word is sequel. But according to Sigourney Weaver in an interview on MTV Movies Blog this could be a Ripley movie sans Alien. How would that work? The Alien is, excuse the foray into Eastern philosophy, the Yin to Ripley’s Yang. Alien is the darkness to Ripley’s light; the evil versus the good. They’re two opposing forces entwined. Is there a point to Ripley without Alien and vice versa? How about this for a title? The Tao of Alien.
How about a look into the Alien mind? If I remember correctly one of the better parts of number 3 was the Alien view during the big climactic chase sequence. But what is the Why of the Aliens? Until now they’ve been like a nest of really big insects. But I want to know what Aliens do on their down time when they’re not killing humans in film sequels. Are they hanging out watching cable? Would they go for Dexter? The Sopranos? True Blood? Or are they watching ESPN?
I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the Alien powers that be come up with. The good news is Ridley Scott is interested in teaming up with Weaver for another go at the saga of Ripley. Still, I just think somehow there has to be an Alien in the mix. Maybe Ripley could become the good will ambassador to the Alien civilization, an olive branch in one hand, a flame thrower in the other.