“In space no one can hear you scream.”

So goes the tagline for Alien, one of the greatest (not to mention
scariest) science fiction movies ever made. Released in 1979 by
20th Century Fox, Alien was directed by the great auteur Ridley
Scott (from a screenplay by Dan O’Bannon), who would achieve
further fame in the ensuing years with such fantastic films as
Blade Runner (1982), Thelma & Louise (1991), and Gladiator
(2000). While certain science fiction purists of the day belittled
Alien for its many monster movie moments, the film did earn its
fair share of praise, including: an Oscar for Best Visual Effects; a
Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation; and Saturn Awards for BestDirector, Best Science Fiction Film, and Best Supporting Actress(Veronica Cartwright).

The story, which was influenced in part by the sci-fi B-movie classics It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958) and Planet of the Vampires (1965), centers around the space freighter Nostromo that, reacting to an apparent distress signal, lands on a dark, dreary, windswept planet, and the resulting chaos that ensues. Said chaos comes in the form of horrifying, acid-dripping, H.R. Geiger-designed monsters that go through several stages of increasingly scary metamorphoses, in-
cluding an incubation period inside the human body. Needless to say, things don’t turn out too well for most of the Nostromo crew members–the chest-bursting business is particularly gruesome.

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