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Dominic Kulcsar (Alien Explorations) updated his article that explores Dan O’Bannon’s thoughts as he imaged the new horror he wanted to unleash in his script, the horror that became the Alien in its various forms.
The first dozen times I saw ALIEN, I watched it with a science fiction fan’s excitement: A new spaceship! A different kind of crew! New graphics and sounds!
Yes, that was all well and good, until time index 1:04:15*.
From that point forward, I would slouch back into the thick vinyl padding of my theater seat, hoping my friends wouldn’t notice. My popcorn and Coca-Cola untouched…
The dread worsened at the 1:16:23 mark…
…until full-blown panic swept over me at the 1:32:07 mark!
I have come to realize, over these long years, that the distinct sense of dread that gripped me was due to something much more frightening than a vicious, slime-drooling monster; it was because the alien creature was endowed with qualities dredged up that dark well of imagination that O’Bannon and H. R. Giger both plumbed as they worked on their respective parts of this movie.
When I read Dominic’s article and its citations, I wondered if re-visiting such a dark psychological and mythological pit for inspiration might help avoid the “cooked beast” (as that Ridley Scott so aptly called it) monster movie format and return ALIEN to its Lovecraftian beginnings?
You may wish to read Dominic’s article with the lights on…
*Of course, I did not know these precise time references back in 1979! These are from the theatrical version of the film.
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