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Alien: The Directors Cut


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Dallas is supposed to be turning into an egg in the Director's Cut, Brett is already mostly there (the novelisation makes this clear). They changed the alien's biology for the sequel.

Turning into an egg? How does that happen? Are all the eggs on the original ship the previous occupants then?

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I'm watching the movie with commentary (just about everyone who worked on the movie has something to say on the track :) ) and according to the actors, they knew that the alien was going to "be born" but the details of the birth were kept secret from them and only Tom Skerrit actually saw the setup before they gathered on set for filming, which they did in one go with a single cut so that they could tear John Hurt's shirt a bit more. So there you go!

The commentary track is actually one of the most interesting I've ever watched (and I rarely watch movies with commentary on) - Ridley Scott in particular has a lot of interesting facts and he comments in a very geeky way about a variety of things about the movie. It's always nice to know you're not the only one who takes that level of interest in a movie, and Scott makes it clear how proud of it he is.

Turning into an egg? How does that happen? Are all the eggs on the original ship the previous occupants then?

Again, on the commentary track on the DVD Ridley Scott suggests (as his own opinion) that the derelict ship was a millitary transport and the eggs could have been bio weapons of a sort. I've always thought that the ship was a science vessel, or a transport taking the eggs for scientific purposes.

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I think there are a few occasions of film makers trying to big up the legend of how their pictures were made. The director of The French Connection claiming THAT car chase was filmed guerilla style (including hitting a pedestrian car)....yeh, okay mate!

William Friedkin always comes across a bit of a tit though, so it doesn't really suprise me that he'd talk bollocks like that. I'd like to see them doing that shot with the car and train 'guerilla style' and doing it as well as that first time. Incidentally, I'm sure Garth Marenghi must have been partially based on him, he seems almost identical sometimes.

It's always nice to know you're not the only one who takes that level of interest in a movie, and Scott makes it clear how proud of it he is.

He's apparently a massive stickler for the details, easy to see in stuff like Alien and Blade Runner particularly.

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He's apparently a massive stickler for the details, easy to see in stuff like Alien and Blade Runner particularly.

That certainly shines through in the commentary - the volume of detail he reels off, like what the junk in the background was made of, what they used for the insides of different aliens, how they achieved particular effects, etc. It's very impressive.

I'd give both my bollocks for a DVD release of Blade Runner with Ridley Scott doing a commentary.

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Ahhhh. An Alien thread. Luverley.

Like the man says - £20 in HMV atm. Pick up Three Kings for £4 and Blair Witch for £3 while you're at it.

Is there any kind of rumbling about whether AvP has affected the chances of an A5? Last I heard Scott had been having a couple of chats with Sigourney about going back to the space jockey ship...

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That certainly shines through in the commentary - the volume of detail he reels off, like what the junk in the background was made of, what they used for the insides of different aliens, how they achieved particular effects, etc. It's very impressive.

I'd give both my bollocks for a DVD release of Blade Runner with Ridley Scott doing a commentary.

Pretty much the Holy Grail of DVDs, I guess. Wonder if it'll ever happen.

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Ahhhh. An Alien thread. Luverley.

Like the man says - £20 in HMV atm. Pick up Three Kings for £4 and Blair Witch for £3 while you're at it.

Is there any kind of rumbling about whether AvP has affected the chances of an A5? Last I heard Scott had been having a couple of chats with Sigourney about going back to the space jockey ship...

Funniley enough, once again, this is something they discuss in the commentary. Ridley in particular get's quite heated, talking about all the questions the movie opened up and things that are hinted at and so on, and how that would be his choice of subject if they ever made another movie.

I don't see it happening though... there's only so much you can spin out the same ideas.

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Turning into an egg? How does that happen? Are all the eggs on the original ship the previous occupants then?

The idea was that whn the alien attacked and immobilised it's victims, it infected them with something that would slowly turn that victim into a new alien egg. The final form of an adult alien was partly dictated by the species of the host. Human host, humanoid alien - canine host, dog like alien.

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I’m not a fan of the Alien directors cut at all.

The lingering shots of the deserted ship added a lot of atmosphere, and without them, the plot moves along too fast and you loose all sense dread...

The tighter cut seems to expose the film as the simple slasher flick it always was.

I was really, really disappointed with the new edit.

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The idea was that whn the alien attacked and immobilised it's victims, it infected them with something that would slowly turn that victim into a new alien egg. The final form of an adult alien was partly dictated by the species of the host. Human host, humanoid alien - canine host, dog like alien.

Yeah, I think it's that. I bought the Aliens Dark Horse comics that came out around the time of Alien 3, and there was something in them about the life cycle of the alien. In the absence of a queen alien, a single alien can turn a victim into an egg ('cocooned') as a way of reproducing. It's a slow process but it's better than nothing.

I think there was scene filmed for Aliens but never included in the original or special edition versions that showed Burke being cocooned when Ripley was going to resuce Newt. She gives him a grenade to kill himself. In both versions you assume he's just killed outright.

I’m not a fan of the Alien directors cut at all.

The lingering shots of the deserted ship added a lot of atmosphere, and without them, the plot moves along too fast and you loose all sense dread...

The tighter cut seems to expose the film as the simple slasher flick it always was.

I was really, really disappointed with the new edit.

That's interesting. I have the DVD version with a few extra scenes included, but not in the main film. Does the Director's Cut have them re-established in the correct place? I read somewhere where the Director's Cut is actually shorter than the original version. Not many times that's going to happen, I bet.

You're right about those lingering shots in the original version - they add so much atmosphere.

Edited by Chosty
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Yea, the Alien directors cut is shorter - it makes cuts from the orginal movie and adds in other scenes which break up the pace of the movie.

I'm definitely of the opinion that the theatrical cut is the superior cut and should be considered the movie.

This whole issue of Dallas turnign into an egg is a strange one and it shows you just how divergent James Cameron's idea of the Alien mythos (and, as a result, the mythos which lives on in people's minds) was from the people who created it. Even Ridley Scott talks about how the chestburster/warrior alien in the film has actually impregnated Dallas and that soon another chestburster will pop out of him. Obviously he (and perhaps H R Geiger and Dan O'Bannon) intended the Alien to be able to reproduce with other life forms itself, without the need for a parasite - and by extension, without the need for a queen/hive.

(That also fits into the idea of the alien being very sexual - go back and listen to the noises Lambert makes when the alien kills her :lol:)

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I think there was scene filmed for Aliens but never included in the original or special edition versions that showed Burke being cocooned when Ripley was going to resuce Newt. She gives him a grenade to kill himself. In both versions you assume he's just killed outright.

That was ditched because Cameron belatedly realised how stupid it was that Burke had been captured, cocooned, impregnated and could feel it moving inside within 30 minutes when Kane took the best part of a day and the woman in the colony nearer a couple of weeks. Then uberhack Anderson came along a couple of decades later and had things bursting chests in an even shorter timespan - gg!

As for Lambert, her screams and lack of trousers when Ripley finds the bodies would indicate Parker was indeed the lucky one.

:lol:

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That was ditched because Cameron belatedly realised how stupid it was that Burke had been captured, cocooned, impregnated and could feel it moving inside within 30 minutes when Kane took the best part of a day and the woman in the colony nearer a couple of weeks. Then uberhack Anderson came along a couple of decades later and had things bursting chests in an even shorter timespan - gg!

Makes sense. Cameron's decision, that is, not Anderson's.

One thing about the first film that's always preyed on my mind is the jump from the chest burster to the fully-grown alien. I suppose a period of time has elapsed between the two events, though there's no reference at all to how long it is. If my memory serves me right, after the chest burster scene there's Kane's burial in space, then it's straight on to the motion detector demo and the hunt with the cattle prod. That must mean that the alien grows incredibly quickly (but what does it eat?) or I'm missing something else. Any ideas?

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Anybody got a link for that?? The one I can see is £70!?

Must've changed it, it was in the boxed sets part of the sale for £18 delivered the other day, Play has it for the same price but it's saying out of stock at the moment.

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If anyone's interested in this sort of thing, the Colonial Marines Technical Manual has an ASTONISHINGLY geeky and in-depth discussion of the life-cycle and biology behind the alien- among other things, it goes into crazy speculative detail on the alien's morphology, evolutionary history, and body chemistry. It also touches on stuff like how the alien is able to grow so quickly.

There're also reams of information on the weapons, equipment and vehicles seen in the first two films. Like I said, it's possible the saddest book I own, but it's a treasured piece of my nerd heritage. It's also out of print now, and having checked Amazon and Ebay, appears to inspire feeding frenzies among internet folk. Amazon have listed it at over ninety quid! Damn.

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To come back to Alien plot holes for a minute.....how the hell is there an alien egg on the Sulaco at the start of Alien3? Did Burke find a way to get one up there? Or was it on board a dropship? Surely the queen didnt leave it, she dropped her egg sack to chase Ripley.

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If anyone's interested in this sort of thing, the Colonial Marines Technical Manual has an ASTONISHINGLY geeky and in-depth discussion of the life-cycle and biology behind the alien- among other things, it goes into crazy speculative detail on the alien's morphology, evolutionary history, and body chemistry. It also touches on stuff like how the alien is able to grow so quickly.

There're also reams of information on the weapons, equipment and vehicles seen in the first two films. Like I said, it's possible the saddest book I own, but it's a treasured piece of my nerd heritage. It's also out of print now, and having checked Amazon and Ebay, appears to inspire feeding frenzies among internet folk. Amazon have listed it at over ninety quid! Damn.

Ninety quid?! I blew £10 of WH Smiths vouchers on it when I was twelve. Aye, geekiest book ever, but it's the canon bible for folk basing stuff on the original three films; the Rebellion guys used it when they made AvP.

Do not ask of the plot of Alien 3. There are 5 finished scripts for it on the Web if you want to find them, and all are varying kinds of shite.

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I read most of the Colonial Marines Technical Manual in Volume One Bookshop. I wish I'd bought it now. Does the Star Trek TNG technical manual fetch similar prices? I've got that :)

I assumed the queen in Aliens still had an egg inside it somewhere (it hadn't reached the sack) and it dumped it on the drop ship while it was hiding in the landing gear.

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I really prefer the original cut of Alien, but on the other hand the egg thing is shockingly disturbing. The novelisation manages to get it about right while including eggz so it'd be worth grabbing that some time.

Quick, someone photoshop an Alien saying "Eggz", it'll be hilarious.

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My favourite addition in the director's cut is the shot of the Alien hanging from the chains just before Brett gets it. If that were added to the theatrical cut it'd be the icing on the cake for me. I don't know why I love it so much but it got a big grin from me when I saw it in the cinema, it looks great and is so ominous, but also inoffensive to purists because everyone knows what's coming next.

But yeah, otherwise the director's cut is a letdown. It's missing great stuff like Dallas' conversation with Mother before he gets it and includes rubbish stuff like Ripley finding Dallas during her escape, which completely ruins the pacing.

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I'm watching the movie with commentary (just about everyone who worked on the movie has something to say on the track :) ) and according to the actors, they knew that the alien was going to "be born" but the details of the birth were kept secret from them and only Tom Skerrit actually saw the setup before they gathered on set for filming, which they did in one go with a single cut so that they could tear John Hurt's shirt a bit more. So there you go!

Case closed.

It's a nice myth, though...

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I think this whole thread kinda shows how caught up in the mythos of the Aliens you can get that you don't look at this film on its own. I was reading IMDB before and one of the threads mentioned that the Alien was dying towards the end as the idea was that it didn't have a very long lifespan. Makes a lot of sense but I'd not really thought about it as it's not mentioned elsewhere - infact you get the feeling that they're almost immortal unless they get splattered, I remember one of the comics there was one floating out in space still alive and it lands on another ship. But it does look pretty fucked by the end of Alien, earlier on it would have killed Ripley the second she went near it but it just sorta lies there, thrashing when she sprays it. Though with the idea of it being able to impregnate people too maybe it wanted to hide and get her in her sleep...

I'm gonna make a point of watching the original theatrical cut sometime soon, look out for all these little things and try to watch it as a standalone film :)

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One of the most interesting things about Alien and Aliens (the only two movies that count) is how far apart they are. It would seem pretty clear that Alien was meant to be a one off. Aliens came a good seven years after the original, which is fairly uncommon as far as traditional sequels go.

I wonder if Cameron knew about the original ideas for how the Alien was meant to reproduce? After all, The Director's Cut has only been knocking around since sometime in the '90's. I tend to prefer the more 'out there' approach of the original Alien. I suspect that's probably down to the ideas of H.R. Geiger though and his recurrent themes of monstrous sexuality and bio-mechanical hybrids.

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One of the most interesting things about Alien and Aliens (the only two movies that count) is how far apart they are. It would seem pretty clear that Alien was meant to be a one off. Aliens came a good seven years after the original, which is fairly uncommon as far as traditional sequels go.

I wonder if Cameron knew about the original ideas for how the Alien was meant to reproduce? After all, The Director's Cut has only been knocking around since sometime in the '90's. I tend to prefer the more 'out there' approach of the original Alien. I suspect that's probably down to the ideas of H.R. Geiger though and his recurrent themes of monstrous sexuality and bio-mechanical hybrids.

I used to prefer Aliens, having watched the first movie when I was too young to understand the underlying themes of the first movie, but now I much prefer the original, for a whole host (no pun intended) of reasons.

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