Friday Flashback - Alien

Friday Flashback is where I look back at the books, films, TV shows and million and one other things that have inspired me over the years in my storytelling and art. This week I'm have a look at one of the films that inspired a generation. No, not Star Wars, but Ridley Scott's Alien.


Alien was unleashed on cinema goers back in 1979 and has ever since been one of the most highly regarded science fiction horror films to date. In essence, Alien is the measuring stick that all other sci-fi/horror films are measured by, and for good reason.

The film is directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. The story and screenplay was created by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett. And the look of the film? The Alien creature and its accompanying elements were designed by Swiss surrealist artist H. R. Giger, and concept artists Ron Cobb and Chris Foss designed all of the human aspects of the film. Alien is a stand out example, to me, of all the right people in the right place at the right time.

Never seen it? Here is the trailer:




Alien, without doubt, is a classic and has, along with many of the people that have worked upon the film, influenced me and my work ever since I took the day of school 'sick', and while my parents were at work and I had the house to myself, popped a copy of it into my VCR. If there was a bucket list of films to see, Alien is on that list. If you haven't seen the film in a while, or have never seen it, pick up a copy and give it a watch.

When you do watch Alien, make sure you watch it the right way:

1.Watch the original cinema release of the film. Not the directors cut! Those scenes, as interesting as they are, were cut for a reason.
2.Watch the film late at night, with the lights off and the sound up loud!
3.Finally, once you have crawled from behind the sofa and the credits are rolling. I challenge you to try and tell yourself that those Alien Vs Predator films you enjoyed recently are any good... ....at all!

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