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Episode Info:

Because we have loved the Alien movies for as long as we can remember loving movies, the FOEC podcast here presents the first of three episodes in which we review all of the previous movies in the Alien series in anticipation of the release of Ridley Scott's latest entry Alien: Covenant. This first episode covers Scott's seminal arthouse sci-fi slasher Alien, as well as James Cameron's pluralised action extravaganza Aliens. Sandy, James and Jeremy are joined by fellow inveterate alien lover Joe and we hope that you enjoy nerding out over the Alien series as much as we did :)

Next week we will cover the lesser loved entries in the original Alien series. Our trio of episodes will conclude a week later with our review of Prometheus and Alien: Covenant. Listener feedback is always appreciated and we would love to read your responses to our discussion on the final episode of our Alien special. You can write to us with your coherent thoughts and rambling brain droppings related to all things xenomorphic at foecpod@gmail.com or leave us a review on iTunes. 

Back episodes of the podcast can be found on iTunes, Stitcher RadioA-cast and Mixcloud.

SHOWNOTES:

00:00 – Discussing Ridley Scott's Alien + audio clip.

19:00 – Discussing James Cameron's Aliens + audio clip.

THEME MUSIC: 'Film Film Film!' by Vladimir Golovanov, Fyodor Khitruk and Sokol from Film Film Film! (Фильм, фильм, фильм, 1968)

FILMS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Dark Star (1974, USA – dir. John Carpenter)

Dune (France/USA – dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky) an un-produced attempt to adapt Frank Herbert's novel for the big screen. We highly recommend checking out the fascinating documentary Jodorowsky's Dune (2013, France/USA – dir. Frank Pavich) about the pre-production of this ill-fated film from which Alien eventually emerged.

Star Wars (1977, USA – dir. George Lucas)

Alien (1979, USA – dir. Ridley Scott)

The Empire Strikes Back (1980, USA – dir. Irvin Kershner)

Aliens (1986, USA – dir. James Cameron)

LINKS

Roger Ebert's original review of Aliens

Little White Lies magazine's article on the many amusing international posters for Alien and Aliens.

When she was cast as Flight Lt. Ellen Ripley, the lone survivor of the Nostromo, Sigourney Weaver was a virtually unknown actress with aspirations to become known for her stage work rather than become a movie star. The role would not only propel her to A-list actor status but also establish her as the prototypical kick-ass action heroine of 20th century cinema.

Bolaji Badelo was a graphic design student in London, when he was spotted by members of the Alien crew in a pub near Shepperton. He was then hired to wear the 7'-tall alien suit.

Ridley Scott directing Ian Holm and Sigourney Weaver on the set of Alien.

HR Giger's design for the derelict ship's Space Jockey.......

and the finished set in Pinewood studios.

HR Giger with a face-hugger egg on the set of Alien.

The crew of the Nostromo enter the suggestive organic openings of the derelict alien spacecraft.

In addition to the face hugger and the alien, the film featured two more monsters in the form of its haunted house settings: HR Giger's derelict spacecraft, and Ron Cobb and Ridley Scott's floating haunted house, the Nostromo.

Ron Cobb's concept art for the bridge of the Nostromo.

Yaphet Koto in one of the eerie corridors of the Nostromo.

The creature, camouflaged by the piping of the Nostromo's escape pod.

Ridley Scott was greatly inspired by the work of French comic book artist Jean Giraud (a.k.a. Moebius) so he employed the artist to design the costumes for Alien.

Key to the film's success was its cast of rough space-trucker types who each define themselves swiftly and succinctly within the film's opening act.

When Ellen Ripley's story continued in James Cameron's Aliens it was equally important that she should be surrounded by another supporting cast of well-defined roughneck characters – in this case a platoon of marines whose appearance and dialog James Cameron modelled on soldiers from the era of the Vietnam War.

To up the ante in the series, and introduce a new key element to Ripley's relationship with the aliens, James Cameron created a queen for the alien hive. The 14'-long model of the queen was built from Cameron's own designs.

James Cameron's original concept art for the big showdown...

and the final product.

Jeanette Goldstein as Vasquez models one of the servo-arm-mounted rifles in the marines' considerable arsenal. Weaponry was a key factor in the design aesthetic of Cameron's film, and reflected the beauty (and fetishism) of the aliens as perfect living weapons. 

Concept art for the military transport ship the Sulaco.

TAKE A TRIP BACK TO THE MOVIE THEATRES OF THE 1970s AND 1980s BY WATCHING THE TRAILERS FOR ALIEN AND ALIENS BELOW...

Thank you to whoever drew this cartoon :D

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