It’s our first pièce de résistance this week as we present a film whose merits were evident on its release, but the movie industry had to catch up before it was heralded as a classic. Just in time for Halloween, it’s 1979’s Alien!
New York Times and USA Today Best-Selling Author and film critic David R. George III visits the show to talk about a film that’s more than a monster movie and more than a “haunted house in space.” When the menial crew of the mining ship Nostromo stop to investigate a strange signal on company orders, they discover a lifeform that lacks eyes, weaknesses, or mercy. Now they must scour their ship for their deadly passenger, as it hunts them in return with the patience of the grave.
It’s nearly unthinkable now, but critics really were divided upon Alien’s release, and on the program, we discuss the cultural environment the film was released into, as well as address some critical specific responses. We also talk about the film’s genesis from the death of Jodorowsky’s Dune, the path it took from script to screen, the triumph of its casting, the verisimilitude of its fantastic setting, the impossible evolution of the creature, and the monumental talent of the man who designed it.
Plus, we talk about the sensibility and necessity of a Veronica Cartwright, the vision and execution of Ridley Scott in creating atmosphere, talk about “that” scene, debate whether Ripley is a “Final Girl”, we ask whether Dallas is amazingly brave or amazingly foolish, Aaron wonders if God is evil in this universe, Dave shares his taste in baseball films, and we go HAM on a hypothetical Movie Vault podcast!
The eighth passenger is DEATH!
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
IMDB Top 100: #52
Get the 35th anniversary release of Alien on Blu-ray!