Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

Reblogging one of my favorite pieces by my colleague christian on one of the seminal films of the late 70s. Timely, too ;-).

Technicolor Dreams


If the release of STAR WARS on May 25, 1977 altered the esthetic course of my life, filling my impressionable mind with a sense of universal myth, action, wonder and destiny, the release of ALIEN on May 25 in 1979 transmogrified my vision to include the dark underbelly of the universe. I first heard about the film in 21st CENTURY FOSS, an incredible monograph of science fiction illustrator, Chris Foss. He was one of the original artists hired for the film and the book presented some of his unused pre-production designs. Then I read about ALIEN in the pages of STARLOG and CINEFANTASTIQUE as the buzz started to build. The teaser ads were genuinely scary and unnerving in an age where nobody knew nothin’ about the film. I was aware the script, originally titled STAR BEAST, had been written by Dan O’Bannon, who I was already a fan of…

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4 Responses to “”

  1. jackdeth72

    Hi, Michael and company:

    I had read the first parts of the serialized story in ‘Heavy Metal’ before seeing the film. And was overwhelmed by the dark, dirty, shadowy look and mood of the film. Until the Chest Burster made the scene.

    From then on, I kept flashing back to the 1950s Sci-Fi B- Movie, ‘It! The Terror from Beyond Space’. Which in several ways is better and leaner than Scott’s overblown Magnum Opus.

    Scott can squeeze creepy mood, tension and foreboding without coming close to breaking a sweat. Excellent Geiger monster and exquisite uses of shadow and dust hanging in shafts of light.


    • le0pard13

      Always glad to hear from and have you chime in on these posts, Kevin. ‘It! The Terror from Beyond Space’ remains one of the great unsung and under appreciated 50s monster classics. It has some great atmosphere and shocks (for its day). It certainly scared the crap out me when I saw this on the Saturday Monster program from my youth. There is an influence, no doubt, in this ’79 film. However, like christian (and certainly my friend and author John Kenneth Muir in his appreciative piece from last Thursday), I do feel Ridley Scott’s film was revolutionary to the sci-fi and horror genres it straddled. It struck a chord with many in the late 70s (and beyond) that’s still reverberating to this day, as witnessed by anticipation for ‘Prometheus’ and the $50+ million box office (for an R-rated movie) it received. Many thanks for your thought-provoking and keen comment. Keep’em coming :-).



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