Eight things you probably never knew about Ridley Scott’s classic Alien

This Friday, the Event Cinemas on George Street in Sydney will be screening the classic film Alien on the big screen in VMAX. To celebrate, we’re looking back at the film and bringing you ten things about the film you may have never known about it… Enjoy this list below! Oh and the screening comes at a great time: Scott’s prequel trilogy will be filming in Australia very soon.

1. With a small budget, the corridors of the ship were scavenged from parts found in aircraft graveyards, assembled like sculptures and then painted.

2. In order to distribute the smoke seen on the set, Screenwriter Dan O’Bannon has said that “people walked around with incense burners filling the area with smoke, then Scott himself waved cardboard around to distribute the smoke so it look like thickened air, not just billowing smoke. Finally, he lit it perfectly — elaborate and careful lighting, with blue gray tone.

3. Both Tom Skerritt (Dallas) and Veronica Cartwright (Lambert) have said that they nearly suffocated on set, as they didn’t have the technology nor the money to have air automatically pushing into their space suits. Will add some empathy to the characters the next time you watch the film, I’m sure…

4. O’Bannon needed a reason why the alien couldn’t be simply killed, that wasn’t “oh, it’s bullet proof”. Concept artist Ron Cobb came up with the idea that the alien bled acid that could burn through metal. That way, if the alien was killed, it would melt through everything, the ship would lose oxygen and they would all die. So, nothing was that simple…

5. Ridley Scott is reported to have wanted a much darker ending for the film. He originally planned on having the alien bite off Ripley’s head in the escape shuttle, sit in her chair, and then start speaking with her voice in a message to Earth. The idea was veto’d by executives, which was a good call for future instalments. However that original idea was pretty bad arse no?

6. H.R. Giger’s original designs for the Xenomorph were so disturbing that his sketches were help up in customs at Los Angeles International Airport. O’Bannon had to go to the airport and explain to customs that they were designed for a horror movie.

7. Bolajj Badejo, who plays the alien, was a graphic artist who was discovered in a pub by one of the casting directors. His tell stature (7 foot) and thin arms made him ideal for the costume (which he couldn’t sit down in). He had to learn Tai Chi and how to Mime in order to slow down his movements and play the part.

8. During early development, writers O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett couldn’t work out how the alien would get aboard the ship. Shussett came up with a pretty strange idea, asking, what if the alien “f*cked one of them” – which evolved into the “facehugger” concept. Since this invoked images of male rape and impregnation, they were insistent that the victim needed to be a man. It avoided clichés of the genre, was less inappropriate and made male viewers more uncomfortable. Indeed, it’s one of the most iconic moments in the film…

Don’t miss Alien on the big screen on Friday, February 19th at 7pm. You can win a double pass HERE and further details about the season are available HERE.


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