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Dominic Kulcsar (a long-time friend of The Nostromo Files) created a single image of the very spooky panning shot from Alien as we are introduced to the undercarriage room as Brett seeks to find Jones.
Back in the 1990s, the film was released on video cassette (VHS, anybody?), allowing me to watch it repeatedly and take a closer look at the sets. Prior to that, I’d only seen it in theaters a half-dozen times, and then from behind hands splayed over my eyes like some crazy imitation of the face-hugger.
(I remember quite fondly how I used to joke that they should send Lambert after the alien. The fear and panic etched so grotesquely on her face certainly scared me; surely it would have a Medusa-like effect on he creature. It was a lame joke, but at that point in the film, I was looking for any relief from the relentless pressure…
With the VHS, I could get a longer look at things. I mistakenly thought this was some kind of drilling rig, the footpads some drill-head. (For you pre-interwebs kiddies, there was no search engine, no fan site, no bulletin board with which to solve these mysteries.)
At the time I had the idea the Nostromo might have had the capability of actually finding and retrieving its own cargo for the refinery… (yes, I know there are many unformed ideas colliding there…)
But like the modelers out there who (so creatively) illustrate with their works the set plans and how the sets (and ship, in my mind) might have “fit together,” this shot helps build a credible representation of a functioning vehicle used perhaps close to the end of its planned lifetime.
By the way, I’ve been doing some research into the merchant marine and have found some very interesting details that will inform my on-going project to flesh out the pages on this site that are currently under construction.
Meantime, enjoy the photo…(with special thanks to Dominic who composited it! Read his very interesting article, Alien: Brett’s death in the Claw Room – Temple Environment, over at his blog, Alien Explorations.)
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