Horror Movie News and Reviews

Hold Onto Your Lunches! How ALIEN Shocked Audiences in 1979

It’s that most wonderful day of the year. The flowers are in bloom. Temperatures are warming up. And we remember the fateful journey of the crew of the Nostromo to LV-426 in ALIEN! April 26th (4/26) is now the official holiday of all things ALIEN. With ALIEN: COVENANT set to hit screens next month, I felt it would be a good time to reflect on the 1979 original and just how powerful of a reaction the sci-fi/horror classic got out of audiences.

1979 was a far different time than today, especially in terms of mainstream audience sensitivities to wanton gore. According to The Making Of ALIEN Doc pre-screening audiences weren’t prepared for the body horror that was to come. The infamous Chestburster scene in particular not only wrought screams from audiences, but sent them sprinting out of the theaters while making ushers puke!

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And this was just the pre-screening. The same more or less held true at the premiere at Hollywood’s historic Egyptian Theatre. Which itself was suped up to astounding levels to showcase the film and the elements that made it so memorable. As in, the gritty actual screen used sci-fi props and environments from the film! Operating almost like a fun house, audience members would start off going through a field of the ALIEN eggs

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through the Nostromo interior

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And end up in the main courtyard, face to face with the actual, factual Space Jockey!

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Sadly, The Space Jockey would meet its end due to an unknown, but clearly disturbed arsonist. An amazing set-up and display that would set things up for viewers before taking the space ride of their lives. Though, even that was not enough to prepare audiences for the sheer horror of the Xenomorph in action, and its dynamic entrance bursting out of John Hurt’s chest and into pop culture history!

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