“Perfect Organism” (UPDATED)

Consider the cat.

Specifically, consider the cat’s drive to kill.

"The reason cats are so pissy is they're God's perfect killing machines but they only weigh 8lbs and we keep picking them up and kissing them" – Tweet by David Thorpe

Now, consider this classic scene from Alien, but imagine that they’re talking about Jones, the ship’s cat, instead of the eight-foot-tall, acid-bleeding xenomorph: Continue reading


Revisiting Sansa and Ramsay on “Game of Thrones,” One Week Later

I wrote a post a few days ago about the instantly-infamous rape scene in the Game of Thrones episode “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken,” in which I basically said that I found the scene excruciating and unnecessary, but also that the incident itself served the larger narrative of the show. Having now seen the next episode, “The Gift,” I feel rather vindicated in two areas: (1) that the scene served a larger narrative, and (2) that the scene was needlessly brutal.

What “The Gift” managed to accomplish, and where “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” fell short, is in what one might call the fine art of “less is more” in filmmaking.

Via winteriscoming.net

Via winteriscoming.net

The titular alien in the original Alien, to give one example, was scary not only because it was an eight-foot-tall creature with a retractable jaw that bled acid, but also because we barely ever saw it. Continue reading


“Alien” Has Nothing on This

Nature can be a real asshole. This video is not for the squeamish:

I’m pretty sure this type of wasp partly inspired the birth cycle of the creatures in the Alien movies. Nature takes it farther, though, in terms of being horrifying, albeit with a certain sense of karma. The narrator notes: “One of the greatest dangers the larvae will face is being themselves impregnated by other species of parasitic wasp.”

Then there’s this: Continue reading


The First Time “Alien” Disappointed Us

I was just thinking about the moment in 1992 when the Alien franchise stopped being completely awesome. Alien3 was a decent movie in its own right, but it did not measure up to its predecessors. It didn’t help that it started out with a pretty epic bait & switch:

Yup, it really said “In 1992, we will discover on Earth, everyone can hear you scream.”

The actual theatrical trailer combined some pretty good teasers with some pretty bad cheese: Continue reading


“I will find a center in you…”

You might not think that the xenomorph could be a source of enlightenment…


…and you’d probably be right to think that (h/t Jason).

On the other hand, as a Facebook commenter pointed out, it offers an opportunity to revisit a Tool classic that also addresses the question of finding one’s center: Continue reading


SciFi Glory that Never Was

Via mashable.com

Via mashable.com

I’m actually a fan of David Lynch’s Dune, despite its many flaws. (A lot of people seem to like that Sting was in it, for whatever reason.)

The 2000 television miniseries made up for some of the deficiencies of Lynch’s version, but added in new deficiencies of its own.

The Children of Dune miniseries was much better (I especially liked the Godfather-esque montage at the end of the first episode, with a song in the actual made-up Fremen language.)

Simply knowing that another version of Dune—directed by Alejandro “Free SXSW Hugs” Jodorowsky, designed by H.R. Giger, and featuring Orson Welles as Baron Harkonnen and Salvador-fucking-Dali as Emperor Shaddam IV—could have existed but never came to fruition makes me ponder the value of everything that has happened in human history from that point in the 1970’s onward.

At least there is a documentary about how the movie did not get made.

The movie business is finicky. Remember how Saw had six sequels?

At least Giger went on to give us Alien.

Photo credit: Via mashable.com.


In Space, No One Can Hear You Meow

I guess this is from the remake of Alien where they replaced all of the humans with cats. I wonder if they replaced Jones the cat with a human.


In space, no one can hear you scream, still.

By now everyone has probably seen multiple Prometheus trailers. My favorite is actually still the first teaser trailer, which has almost no dialogue and a lot of loud, scary sound effects:

Maybe it just fits with my ADHD.

What I did not realize, until someone helpfully posted it to YouTube, is that the original trailer for 1979’s Alien used the same creepy sound effect, and it is just as scary. I’ve seen Alien dozens of times, and this still creeps me out:

Less than three weeks to go!


Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease may “Prometheus” be good…

The official trailer for “Prometheus” came out last week, and I must admit that I am very excited.

The initial teaser trailer, released on December 22, 2011, was like brain foreplay for fans of the original “Alien”:

The “official” trailer came out last week to the collective squee of millions:

Finally, the “international” trailer pretty much rubs the awesome in our faces:

I have to allow for the possibility that this movie will not be good, or that it even might suck. Ridley Scott might have given us the original “Alien” and “Gladiator,” but he also gave us “Robin Hood” and “Hannibal.” I’m enough of an “Alien” fan, though, that I even went public with my excitement about Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, a film that took two incredible science fiction icons and turned them into a slightly higher-budget Jason Voorhees.

“Prometheus” has a remarkably solid cast, probably the most solid of any film in the franchise since the original. I’m not a fan of Michael Fassbender (he gets on my nerves for some reason), but I can’t deny the guy can act. I’m glad to see Noomi Rapace get a chance to reach a wider audience, especially now that most Americans picture a different actress when they think of Lisbeth Salander. I will watch anything with Idris Elba in it, just sayin’.

Of course, I am assuming that “Prometheus” actually is a prequel to the “Alien” movies. The director and producers have been extremely coy about that issue. Anyone who has seen the original “Alien” will recognize the derelict ship and the Space Jockey’s chair in the new trailers. Then again, that last Aliens vs. Predator movie seemed to want to set up the Predators as the race that piloted the derelict, although it could have been an homage. I suspect “Prometheus” will pull a reboot and ignore the AvP movies entirely (and justifiably). The project began with the idea of a prequel telling the story of the Space Jockey’s race, and that appears to be where this film is headed.

I can delve more into the “Alien” films, but for now just enjoy the anticipation of “Prometheus.”

Also, “enjoy” might not be the right word for this, but marvel that someone actually took the time to compile all the “kill scenes” from the first four films:

Spoiler alert: although I disagree with the math, they find the total score to be Aliens 53, Sigourney Weaver 17.