Alien: Night Shift

Here we have the 3rd of 6 Alien anniversary shorts. Of the ones I’ve seen this maybe my least favorite, maybe just because it feels a lot like Alien: Containment in a different atmosphere. The setting is damn good but I have to say the chestburster looks kind of off. It’s not the best, but it’s not bad either. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Alien: Ore

Happy Easter everyone, and to celebrate, here’s the 5th short Alien film we’ve gotten before this special Alien day. Honestly, this one may be my favorite of the five. The atmosphere is good, the characters solid, and decent effects. I liked the touch with the full grown Alien at the end. It’s a really cool little movie I think true Alien fans will appreciate, may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Alien: Containment

As an huge Alien fan, it’s been a rocky few years. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Alien, Fox selected 6 fan films to showcase out of the many out there. The first is Containment, a simple story of paranoia in space. Three survivors are afloat in space on the verge of rescue, terrified of a contagion they came into contact with- the Alien. I wasn’t expecting much but I was pleasantly surprised; there’s a lot of devotion and love in such a short movie. It’s a cool little short I suggest checking out if you’re a fan. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Aliens: Dead Orbit

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Happy Alien Day once again my friends from Savior and I. I bought the latest Dark Horse graphic novel just for this special occasion. I’m going to start by saying I’m admittedly not a huge fan of the Aliens comics for one reason or another and I never read a book, though I do want to someday. I’m happy to say, Dead Orbit is exactly what I wanted in a Aliens comic.

Dead Orbit is the ill fated story of Wey- Yu station Sphacteria coming across a derelict ship in the middle of deep space. Inside the ship are three people in cryo-sleep, all of which get horribly burned when the pods malfunction leaving the crew in a desperate panic to save them. As they try finding out what the deal is with the crew, why their ship was so destroyed inside and why their is only 3 seemingly on board out of 8, the moment comes when they realize the answer. Though sedated and violently charred, two of the bodies start writhing in agony as there chests break open and the Aliens emerge. With no weapons on board, the crew faces madness as the last survivor reveals the truth, and hope becomes lost…

James Stokoe did an amazing job with this book; without a doubt it’s my favorite Aliens comic to date. Artistically it captures the run-down look of the original film while adding a strong manga flair which beautifully fit. The story is short, self contained, and frenetic as hell and doesn’t have huge action scenes as the Aliens title would have you think but is far more claustrophobic horror as the first film. If you love the series or want a good horror comic, this book is a must read. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Prometheus

promtheus

If you haven’t figured out how dedicated I am to the Alien series, I literally ran almost three miles to my nearest movie theater to catch this and I don’t regret it. I’ve heard the arguments why some thrashed the pseudo prequel to Alien- I say pseudo prequel in the way The Hobbit is a pseudo prequel to Lord of the Rings. Both happen before, both have relevant characters, and both in essence have almost jack shit to do with the main story. Many look at Hobbit separate from the LotR trilogy which I think is appropriate; Prometheus deserves the same respect.

Prometheus is the story of the crew of the ship named so as they journey to a desolate world in search for the Engineers of mankind. On earth,  Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway  discovers ancient star maps indicating that man was created by otherworldly beings and in these drawings are coordinates to another planet, LV-223. The expedition is funded by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation (the very same as in the Alien series though the movies refer to them primarily as just “The Company”). We get a brief glimpse of the founder of Wey-Yu, Peter Weyland, a decrepit old man and in the same breath introduced to Vickers, the edgy corporate head on the trip and David, the synthetic meant to be Weyland’s finest creation. David cares for the ship while the rest of the humans are in hyper sleep. LV-223 is barren of any life but they find a massive structure fans of Alien will know well as a space ship. Inside they find the severed humanoid head belonging to one of the Engineers, evidence something dark happened on that ship, and several containers of a black tar like substance. David sneaks a canister of it away, while Shaw investigates the head. David drops a single drop of the substance into Holloway’s drink and drinking it, him and Shaw bone. We learn Shaw still believes in god even after discovering our creators, she was close with her father and her mother died when she was young, and she can’t have children. Charlie wakes up with blood running out of his eye. Hours later his body starts irrevocably breaking down, his face swelling and contorting, his skin turn black. Vickers nukes Holloway with a flamethrower to cut the threat of contagion. Shaw is sedated and brought on board. The day before, two idiot crew members got lost on the ship and trapped there during a sandstorm. In the first WTF scene of the film, the hammerpede emerges from the ooze and kills them, the last victim falling into the ooze. After Holloway got torched outside the ship, the pit crew comes upon a terrifying surprise. There lost crew mate returns in a startling new way- in the theatrical version he looks like more a rabid ape man but a deleted scene reveals much more traditional alien features. He attacks with feral speed and inhuman strength; it takes like four guys with flamethrowers to bring his ass down, leaving four or five dead in less than two minutes. Shaw awakes to an even more disturbing fact, hours have passed since Charlie died and shes four months pregnant…and it’s not human. In a harrowing scene, she gives herself a C section on a med tube, revealing the baby trilobite, getting the hell out of there with the creature trapped in the tube. She discovers Peter Weylnd was on the ship all along and Vickers is his daughter, and both Shaw and Weyland want answers from a sleeping Engineer, but the question remains, why did they want to destroy us?

Prometheus is a good, thoughtful Sci-fi epic about man’s greatest question: where do we come from? Michael Fassbender steals the show as David, a complex character I couldn’t peg as truly good or evil but sympathetic. I also have to say Naomi Repace gave a very underrated performance as Shaw. The cinematography is beautiful and the movie has a great sense of wonder and awe in it’s scope; the score is a good blend of original score with small nuances of the Classic Alien’s score. If I have to pick a flaw it’s that it raises a shitload questions you know it won’t answer by the end. If you jump in expecting a A to B prequel, you will be severely disappointed but go in wanting a good classic Sci-Fi epic with some creepy if not disturbing body horror moments, you’ll enjoy it.

deacon