Thursday, 28 December 2017

A L I E Nenthusiast

Due to my excitement of Alien: Covenant being released earlier this year, I've been asked a lot why do I like the Alien movies so much?  My friends and family have always been bewildered why I am so enthusiastic about these movies.  Yes this does include Prometheus as its part of the story which I really enjoy!

I wasn't even thought of when the original Alien came out, but I was about to be born when Aliens hit the theatres.  I remember when I was a young kid watching the first Alien movie.  My brother had his school friends over for the night and they decided to watch this.  I remember being interested in it but was scared to watch it too.  They put it on and we all watched it while we were in bed.  From finishing the movie I was playing it over and over in my mind.  I didn't sleep a wink that night, I woke up in cold sweats and remember watching the video player clock flashing in the darkness, watching every hour go past.  I was traumatised!  😱 Well, I can't have been traumatised that much as I ended up getting pretty much of all the toy alien figures.  In my adult years the collection has since expanded to the more professional ones.  I went on to watch the sequels with caution, only to be told that Aliens was even more horrific.  But it somehow increased my curiosity and appetite for the movies.

So how did I go from being terrified to loving these movies?!  In this post I try to uncover why I am such a huge fan of the movies and what really interests me about them.  This is not a review of the movies (which could be good for a later post) but underpinning reasons of what engages me in them.


Firstly I like sci-fi movies.  I like how they bring in science, whether it is true or not.  They can take you to the past, future and new/unfamiliar places - often dystopian.  I find sci-fi movies interesting because of the possibilities they bring and the issues that could happen.  It's a good mixture of both depending on the movie of course.  I like movies that emphasise on experiments and biological factors, especially with creatures, perhaps that's why I love Jurassic Park/World a lot and Deep Blue Sea too.

Discovery of something new and unknown

In terms of the movies, there is always something new they discover, it could be a creature or pathogen or even something simple as behaviour. But it is all to do with some kind of alien life they find. One of my life goals is to discover something new in the natural world. And I achieved a small bit of this from our trip to Scotland in October. 😉 Maybe something on this scale in the natural world is a bit too large, but if I could discover a new creature on plant of some sort, that would fulfil this little life goal.


Whilst it's a very brief form of evolution, each xenopmorph evolves in its appearance and behaviour and I like that it represents real life evolution, although this is a lot quicker and obvious. You go from the egg, facehugger, chestburster to the xenomorph. But there is the wider cycle from the hammerpede, trilobite and deacon in Prometheus and then the neomorphs in Alien: Covenant.

Creature feature

I've always been a big fan of creature feature movies; movies with animals or some kind of beasts in.  I love to see animals of some kind dominate the big screen.  It's like nature claiming back its right to exist.  Even though in these type of movies it makes you not want them to exist.  I just find creature features generally more interesting, depending on the movie and the direction it takes.  But you could say they are all the same tone, as in they escalate very quickly, go on a rampage of some sort and then get killed or disappear.  But that said, to me they are enjoyable and I love animals. 👍

Insect-like structure

I find the insect world interesting, especially how ants for example are ruled by one individual; the queen. It was a good move to bring in the Alien Queen into the Alien franchise. It added more depth to the xenomorphs world by showing expanded function of their behaviour and how they collectively work together in some sort of way. The designs of the xenomorphs mouths by "H.R." Giger resemble very much like a dragonfly larva's mandibles.

Lead female

I'm very keen on lead female roles and I find them very inspiring.  Probably because of the empowerment that comes from the history and movement of feminism.  Sigourney Weaver played an important part in being the female lead and subsequent Alien movies, and has since inspired other movies to put women at the forefront.  It's just refreshing to see women lead rather than being led by men or gangs of men.  Eventually, we had the introduction of the Alien Queen.  Again highly female; produces eggs, has an ovipositor and even has high-heel like feet!  Excellent multitasker having six arms, I'd imagine!

Encourages critical thinking

These movies introduce large concepts like creationism and conflicts with religion.  But the stories in general allow you to think and ponder at them afterwards.  The first mystery I was pondering was who was the humanoid figure in the chair on the derelict spacecraft, often referred to as the Space Jockey or now engineer.  The movies leave you with a few open ends and many questions that you want answering or theories that you think it may go in subsequent movies.  They just get your imagination flowing of who is that, why were they there, how did they get there, what happens when they are in a new environment etc.  I applaud that not all answers are spoon fed to you like many other movies, it's good to allow your imagination to fill in the gaps and create the 'what ifs'.

You learn something every time you watch it

In my case you do.  I find that every time I watch any Alien movies, I seem to learn something new, see something new or again think really deep about the story.  Perhaps because there is a large amount of depth and imagination enabled in each scene, and your concentration is on a focal point, but then on a few more watches you take notice of what is going on at the same time.


I'm a massive fan of horror movies, well the ones that are not cheesy! Freddy Krueger I am pointing at you. I like to be on the edge of my seat in anticipation, only to fall off it by jumping. Good, well-structured and memorable stories that play on your mind for days after watching are excellent, even if it does last for years after!

New or not well-known actors

Alien movies are good at introducing new or not well-known actors and actresses to the screen.  The casting crew do a good job of bringing fresh faces in and not just going for 'hot-at-the-moment' people.  Again it's refreshing to have unfamiliar faces in the movies rather than having mega Hollywood stars take over the movies with their expensive egos.

To round off, here's a beautiful piece of artwork that Gary's Brother Darren drew before we went to see Alien: Covenant earlier this year. Darren gave me this piece of artwork as personalised coasters for my birthday this year too.

A post shared by Darren Purdy (@darren_art) on