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THE GREATEST HORROR MOVIE MOMENTS!

Alien

Some confused people classify Alien as a science fiction film, while it is in fact primarily a horror film in a science fiction setting. It is easily the scariest (and arguably the only truly scary) film in the series, and while the second installment is my personal favorite, the first one evokes all kinds of eerie emotional notes that the other films don't quite capture. You really get a sense of the vastness and loneliness of space in this film, and director Ridley Scott wisely shies away from directly showing the creature in the light, so there was a sense of mystery and fear here that was lacking in the other films, which took on a more action/adventure sort of approach.

Those of you who have seen the film (and if you haven't, shame on you) know exactly what scene I'm about to discuss, because it's one of the most famous and talked-about scenes in horror movie history. For years there were rumors that none of the actors except John Hurt had any inkling what was about to happen, but this is of course, absurd. The latest DVD commentary reveals they were all aware of the basic gist of the scene, but none of them knew quite the extent of how intense and messy it was going to be.

But first a slight bit of background: a ship called the Nostromo is heading back to earth transporting mineral ore when they receive a distress signal from a nearby planet, and three of the crew go down to investigate. During this excursion, crew member Kane (John Hurt) ends up getting face raped by a spider-like alien creature, and the rest of the crew rush him back to the ship in an effort to save his life.

Awwww, look! He wants a hug... from your FACE.

The science officer tries to remove the creature but determines that doing so may kill the patient. Before a solution can be found, they discover that the creature has removed itself from Kane and has vanished mysteriously. Eventually they find its corpse, and Kane wakes up and he seems okay, so things more or less go back to normal.

Mmmmm space grool.

The crew are having their first dinner together after Kane wakes up when all of a sudden Kane starts choking after laughing, as if some food went down the wrong pipe. It quickly becomes obvious that something is seriously wrong as Kane starts twitching and writhing around in horrible pain.

Somebody needs Rolaids, stat!

The rest of the crew try to hold him down, but his shirt jerks outward and explodes in a spray of blood. Actress Veronica Cartwright's surprised reaction in this scene is genuine, as she did not expect to be showered in fake blood.

Hello world!

Then of course we have our happy little baby alien burst out of Kane's chest, surprising the hell out of the rest of the crew. The chestburster pops out, pokes his head around and checks things out a bit, and then hisses at everyone before darting out of the room quicker than any of them can react. This of course creates problems later as it grows up and starts eating people. This scene was also famously parodied in Spaceballs, where they even got the original actor John Hurt to have a slightly different alien burst out of his chest all over again.

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Susan Cabot's life could have been one of the movies she stared in. Raised in eight different foster homes, married at seventeen. She started out as a nightclub singer, jumped to pictures, landed a contract with Universal and had a pretty film solid career in the late 40's and 50's. But Cabot hated the endless small-time ingénue roles she was cast in and when a young Roger Corman offered her an exclusive contract, she jumped on it. He let her play everything, a Viking warrior queen, a psychotic sorority girl, even Machine Gun Kelley's Moll opposite a young Charles Bronson. But it's in her last role, Wasp Woman, that she somehow stays with you. Something about that feisty little brunette transforming into a giant wasp, stinging foes and suitors alike to death. Brrrrrr. She retired after that, went back to lounge singing. Twice married, twice divorced, she had a highly publicized fling with King Hussein of Jordan. She had a child, a dwarf, but never said who the father was. On December 10th, 1986 she was found beaten to death with a weight bar in her Encino home. Her son initially told the police he'd seen a "Latino intruder dressed as a ninja warrior", but later confessed he'd killed her himself. At the trial it was ruled that the experimental growth hormone she'd been giving her son for fifteen years had driven the poor boy quite insane.

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a horrible night indeed! :o