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Entertainment Earth

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"I wasn't scared when I saw this movie. I always sit in my dates lap."

- W.J. Flywheel, Webporium Curator

ALIEN

Alien is a 1979 science-fiction/horror film directed by Ridley Scott tells the story of refinery workers travelling on a long journey through deep space who are woken in mid-flight to investigate signs of alien intelligence. The crew finds such evidence and inadvertently brings aboard a living specimen that begins to take out the crew one-by-one. It was the first film in what would become a successful Hollywood franchise. The title of the film refers to the highly-aggressive extraterrestrial creature, but the plot's connecting thread becomes the saga of Ellen Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, who finds herself the principal opponent of the species throughout the series. Alien is credited with having launched the first major American film series with a female action hero. H.R. Giger designed the film's visual imagery and won an Oscar for it. In 2002, the United States Library of Congress deemed Alien "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. The movie used the tagline which became famous: In space no one can hear you scream.

Dan O'Bannon (who had collaborated with John Carpenter on the cult sci-fi film Dark Star) wrote the original screenplay as a script titled Star Beast, a revision of some earlier ideas of O'Bannon's (one of which dated from some years before) about gremlins getting loose aboard a World War II bomber and wreaking havoc with the crew.

O'Bannon's original script bears many resemblances to the film as actually produced, yet with significant differences. The spaceship — designed with a low-budget production in mind — originated as a small craft called the Snark. In the original script, the ship has an all-male crew — including the Ripley character. Actor Tom Skerritt originally won the role of Ripley, but in the course of developing the script, character re-casting made Ripley a woman, reportedly at the insistence of producer Alan Ladd, Jr.. This decision proved crucial to the film's success.

After sailing in response to the intercepted alien message, the crew discover the derelict alien craft and its dead pilot. Ominously the pilot in its death throes had scratched a triangle on its control console. The crew members go outside and see the remains of an ancient pyramid. They lower Kane into the structure, where he finds a chamber with a breathable atmosphere. An altar-like structure houses the alien embryo-eggs, and a hieroglyph depicts the alien's lifecycle. This concept survived for a long time, and preliminary H.R. Giger pyramid drawings intended for Alien exist, but eventually the producers went with the idea of combining the wrecked derelict ship with the egg-chamber (also designed by Giger), although the ideas of the pyramid, the altar and the hieroglyphs re-surfaced in the 2004 film Alien vs. Predator. The subplot of Ash as an android and the betrayal of the crew came in later in the script-development process. The production dropped a scene in which Ripley and Dallas have sex — in order to secure a lower censorship-rating.

Substantial excerpts of O'Bannon's original script appeared as bonus materials on the 1992 laserdisc boxed set of Alien (though the 1999 Alien Legacy DVD box omitted these). The complete O'Bannon script appears in the 2003 Alien Quadrilogy DVD box set as a bonus feature.

Some early concept art came from Chris Foss and from Jean Giraud, better known as the comic-book artist Mœbius. Mœbius's designs for the Nostromo spacesuits made it into the final film.

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Aliens is a 1986 science fiction film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, Carrie Henn, Bill Paxton and Paul Reiser. It is a sequel to Ridley Scott's 1979 film Alien.

The film picks up 57 years after the events of the original film. It tells the story of a group of futuristic Marines (accompanied by the protagonist, Ripley, alive because of cryogenic stasis) who are sent to investigate a terraforming base on a far-off planet. The planet turns out to have been overrun by an extremely deadly race of aliens that implant their eggs into human hosts in order to incubate them. Directed by James Cameron, from a story written by Cameron, David Giler and Walter Hill, the film is faster paced and more action-oriented than its predecessor, but many fans see it as a worthy sequel to Scott's original horror film.

The film was tremendously successful, and help to establish Cameron (The Terminator), as a major Hollywood director. The film, like its predecessor, was shot in England, this time at Pinewood Studios, with a budget of about $18 million. The work on the film was beset by problems, being especially troubled with disputes between Cameron and the film crew, which eventually led to an all-out strike late in the production.

The third installment in the Alien franchise, Alien³ (sometimes pronounced alien cubed) is a science fiction/horror movie that opened May 22, 1992. It was the feature film debut of director David Fincher. Lt. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is the lone survivor when her crippled spaceship crash lands on Fiorina 161, a bleak wasteland inhabited by former inmates of the planet's maximum security prison. Ripley's fears that an Alien was aboard her craft are confirmed when the mutilated bodies of ex-cons begin to mount. Without weapons or modern technology of any kind, Ripley must lead the men into battle against the terrifying creature. And soon she discovers a horrifying fact about her link with the Alien, a realization that may compel Ripley to try destroying not only the horrific creature but herself as well.

Directed by French stylist Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the events of Alien: Resurrection take place two centuries after the events of Alien³. Ellen Ripley has been cloned using "blood samples from Fiorina 161, on ice" so that the United Systems Military can extract the Xenomorph queen embryo that was inside her from Alien³. The first seven tries are unsuccessful hybrids of human and alien body forms. Six of them are dead in fluid-filled preservative chambers. The seventh, horribly deformed, remains alive to be discovered and mercifully killed by Ripley later in the film. On the eighth try the scientists recreated a viable normal-looking Ripley with a viable alien queen embryo inside her.

This film reveals a new alien capability - the ability to transfer memory genetically, which enables the resurrected Ripley to keep her former self's memories. It also piques the curiosity of the scientists and leads to their decision to keep her alive for further study. Having her DNA mixed with the aliens' has also given Ripley increased strength, lightning reflexes, enhanced hearing and weak acid blood. She also has somewhat of an empathy for the aliens, referring to them as "my babies." At the end of the film, it is shown that the alien queen has also received a gift from Ripley's DNA: the ability to give birth to live offspring directly. This offspring seems more "human" than others aliens, with an human-like skull and eyes. This creature kills its alien mother right after birth, recognizing Ripley as his "true" one, weeping in a quite "childish" mode. A rogue ship full of freelancers arrives with kidnapped humans for the aliens to parasitize and reproduce upon. However, before the freelancers depart, the aliens escape and wreak terror across the ship. Ripley teams up with the freelancers to help destroy the ship before it reaches home base, Earth.

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