Friday the 5th of May 2017 saw the premiere of the movie Alien Covenant and I am outrageously excited to see this latest episode in the Human vs homicidal Xenomorph saga that began in 1979. I love all of the movies, even Resurrection (the ropey one with Ron Perlman and Winona Ryder) and that includes the versus Predator spin-offs. This new installment has me so captivated that I am even going to the cinema with a friend to watch it. I did of course ask my fiance first but she replied with “Aliens! No way, grow up!” which roughly means ‘No thanks love you go and enjoy yourself.’
To put the magnitude of this release into context the last time I went to the cinema for purely selfish reasons was to see the Dark Knight back in 2008! I have been many times since but that has been to satisfy my son’s imagination and has been to see a raft of animated and live action movies. Some have been great such as Big Hero Six, the Jungle Book reboot and more recently the Lego Batman Movie and the excellent Guardians of the Galaxy 2. On the flip-side however there has also been the SpongeBob square pants movie which is ingrained on my psyche like an embarrassing episode from my youth that will just not go away…ever!
My first experience of this universe was in about 1990 (When I was 10!) when I watched Aliens, James Cameron’s action packed 1986 sequel to Ridley Scott’s masterpiece. At the time I didn’t even know that it was a sequel until a boy in my class at school told me about the original Alien. The next day he brought in an original VHS that I watched straight after school and loved so much that I did not want to return the tape, I did eventually and begrudgingly take it back. Both movies feature the same heroine and the same creature but they are vastly different, one atmospheric and filled with suspense and the other fast paced and a thrill-a-minute. Both are classics and will always be in my top 10 of all time.
1992 saw the release of Alien 3 and luckily for 12 year old me there just happened to be a local cinema that would let anyone in to see any film no matter what age you happened to be. The cinema was so chilled that in 1991 when I was 11 they let me and a friend in to watch FREDDY’S DEAD THE FINAL NIGHTMARE! Freddy Krueger at 11 for heaven’s sake even though it was clearly certified 18! Not that I cared at the time but looking back and with a child of my own it just seems crazy. Freddy would scar my boy for life, even Scooby Doo is too much for him just before bed, he is only 6 though.
Alien 3 was and still is epic (even though the director’s cut that I have on DVD is far superior), especially to my 12 year old eyes and I have loved that film ever since. Watching it on the big screen only enhanced it’s effect and that is why I will certainly be watching this newest one in the nearest Odeon. Even though Prometheus got some stick from some fans I thought it was great and I cannot wait to see this follow up. It has all the necessary ingredients (although obviously Sigourney Weaver is hard to top) Ridley Scott, Michael Fassbender and the greatest movie creature there has ever been.
The term ‘an alien’ can refer to all manner of species dreamed up by science fiction writers and movie makers but ‘the Alien’ can only mean one thing. The murderous Xenomorph with acid for blood has been with us for 37 years thanks to Ridley and the artist H.R.Giger. Let’s hope that it is with us for many more years to come.