Ridley Scott's SF Classic 30 year old today. I was too young to see it on it's release so the first time I seen it was on VHS in Pan and Scan, and I loved it from the moment I saw it. Ridley Scott's direction, Ron Cobb, Moebius and H.R Giger's design's, Derek Vanlint's cinematography, Jerry Goldsmith's music, everything worked. And who can forget Sigourney Weaver stripping down to her panties ?
Like many SF films of old, it isn't all fast camera moves, action and wall to wall CG FX, it's the slow pacing and attention to detail that makes this seem like we're really on board the Nostromo with it's fated crew as they're stalked by Giger's nightmarish creature. It's what we don't see of the Alien that makes it terrifying, we forget that this is a man in a suit. Also the facehugger and the chestburster are by far the most realistic versions of those creatures that have appeared in any of the Alien films, the shot were the tail tightens around Kane's neck as they try to remove it is very creepy indeed, and later when Ash has it laid out to examine it the underside, made of shellfish amongst other things, it really has a truly organic look to it. And for all the flashy FX that have come since in various Alien sequels, the original chestburster will always be the best.
It's hard to believe it's 30 years old, like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars, so many films have tried to copy the style of Alien, and most have been lame imitations, if you've never seen it I'd recommend the documentary's that are on the Alien Quadrilogy DVD set, for a great insight into how this classic was made.