A detail about Alien... Has anyone else noticed this?

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

CB2001

Master Member
I just realized something about the Alien franchise. A small detail, but something that came to me after watching the first and second films back to back again. In the first Alien film, they didn't know how to force the alien to move for their plan on flushing it out an airlock. Ash suggested fire under the assumption that "all animals flee from it." Yet, in the film, this hypothesis was never really proven true. Yes, Dallas took the flamethrower in the shaft with him to use, yes Parker tried to use it when the Alien cornered him and Lambert (and couldn't because Lambert was in the way), but we never really saw a scene in the first film where it was actually proven true. So, even at the end of the film, we never really see that fire could be useful against the Alien. Since we never see the flamethrower being used in the first film to actually force the alien away, Ash's hypothesis was never proven until the second film (in which we see one Chestburster get fried {probably the first time we've seen one of them die by fire}, Ripley keeping the Queen Alien at bay long enough for the elevator doors to close in the escape from the nest and Ripley using the Powerloader's built-in blowtorch to keep the queen from trying to use the inner mouth against her before trying to drop it into the airlock).

Has anyone else noticed that? And does anyone else find that odd too?
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Grey

Sr Member
So... what's the question? Ash made an assumption about fire and his hypothesis was eventually proven correct.

Ripley took more than just a flamethrower with her into the Queen's Lair and used the underbarrel grenade launcher on the Pulse Rifle to inflict most of the damage, it's not as if she thought that the flamethrower was all she was going to need.
 
Last edited:

CB2001

Master Member
So... what's the question? Ash made an assumption about fire and his hypothesis was eventually proven correct.

Ripley took more than just a flamethrower with her into the Queen's Lair and used the underbarrel grenade launcher on the Pulse Rifle to inflict most of the damage, it's not as if she thought that the flamethrower was all she was going to need.

Well, the question is if anyone else noticed it. But I can't help but find it weird that the hypothesis wasn't proven correct in the first film, and it took the sequel to do it. It would have made more sense to have it proven in the first film, because it leaves the hypothesis open and the chance that the alien wouldn't have even been afraid of fire. And if Ash was under orders from the company to bring back the organism alive, then why did he give the crew the hypothesis, which was proven true in the sequel, and would lead them to drive it to the airlock and flush it out into space or flame it to death? Wouldn't that be a contradiction to his orders?

Yes, I understand that Ripley took more than a flamethrower into the Queen's hive, but I was refering about the moments in the film where the flamethrower was used in general against the alien organism. The first time was with the Chestburster (which killed it), other times we've seen between that first one up until the elevator escape were all either at the aliens off screen (the last moments of Hudson's existence), a non Alien target (Frost), not at any target (Ripley using the flame thrower to intimidate the Queen in the Hive so that the Queen would call off the drones that showed up) or at something other than the Alien organisms but alien related (i.e. the Eggs in the hive). I singled out the three in which fire and the xenomorphs had direct interaction with for the post.
 

Grey

Sr Member
Ash was reluctant to help the crew at all and they were clearly growing suspicious of him, Ripley in particular. He eventually says "well, most animals retreat from fire, yes?" after being pressed about the subject. It could be argued that he was being deliberately obtuse and giving them as little useful information as possible. Near the end of the film when Ripley questions his head he also states that he.. "won't lie to you about your chances" implying that he knew even if they used fire against it they would likely be unsuccessful.

I'm sorry I just don't see what's unusual about it. You could easily make the same arguement about the "CN-20 Nerve Gas" that Vasquez suggests using in Aliens. It's simply a hypothesis that they never get a chance to test. Plus if you really wanted to be specific you could argue that the ships thrusters Ripley uses at the end of Alien when it crawls into the engine pod counts as "fire".
 

CB2001

Master Member
Ash was reluctant to help the crew at all and they were clearly growing suspicious of him, Ripley in particular. He eventually says "well, most animals retreat from fire, yes?" after being pressed about the subject. It could be argued that he was being deliberately obtuse and giving them as little useful information as possible. Near the end of the film when Ripley questions his head he also states that he.. "won't lie to you about your chances" implying that he knew even if they used fire against it they would likely be unsuccessful.

I'm sorry I just don't see what's unusual about it. You could easily make the same arguement about the "CN-20 Nerve Gas" that Vasquez suggests using in Aliens. It's simply a hypothesis that they never get a chance to test. Plus if you really wanted to be specific you could argue that the ships thrusters Ripley uses at the end of Alien when it crawls into the engine pod counts as "fire".

True. But if they had shown the marines rolling in the CN-20 and seeing if it did anything, at least it would have established that CN-20 would have or would have not been useful as a weapon against the aliens. In the first film, we don't even get any real clue that fire would do anything. For all we know, Ash's comment about using fire may have actually been false information given to the crew just to appease them and to distract them from Ash and his overall goal (which would make sense for the first film, even more so with Ash's instructions to collect a specimen) and it got misinterpreted that fire can be used against the aliens because we see the crew lugging around flame throwers that were never really used against the first Alien to confirm or deny the information provided by Ash. Hell, if Ripley had flamed the Alien as it came around the corner before she had to fallback to disengage the self-destruct system, and it actually helped her get away by putting some distance between it and her, that would have been more than enough to confirm it. It's like Scott was trying to leave open the possibility that fire wouldn't have done jack to it.
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Birdie

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
In reply to your original question: Yup, it's occurred to me before. Not from the marines carrying incinerators, but the comment in Alien 3 where Ripley states that the others ones reacted to fire made me think back to the lack of evidence in the first movie. Whilst it's not exactly canon, Ripley successfully uses the flamethrower to destroy the Dallas/Brett eggs, which suggests that the alien organisms are succeptible to fire.

I don't think we ever see an alien warrior put to the test in any of the movies?
 

CB2001

Master Member
In reply to your original question: Yup, it's occurred to me before. Not from the marines carrying incinerators, but the comment in Alien 3 where Ripley states that the others ones reacted to fire made me think back to the lack of evidence in the first movie. Whilst it's not exactly canon, Ripley successfully uses the flamethrower to destroy the Dallas/Brett eggs, which suggests that the alien organisms are succeptible to fire.

I don't think we ever see an alien warrior put to the test in any of the movies?

Well, for Dallas and Brett, it's safe to say that its because they were human that it worked against them (Dallas being a second host like Cain was, and Brett still being turned into an egg but not all the way there). But then again, in Aliens the eggs could be burnt as well. But I think you're right. I don't think we never really see it put to the test against an Alien warrior on screen. The closest to it is the Queen in the second film for sure.
 

Birdie

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There's a lot of ambiguity in the first film that works in its favour. We never know how 'indestructible' the creature is because Scott doesn't tell us, and Ash is an unreliable source. It appears to survive the Narcissus engines intact, so who knows? Scott has also suggested that the alien's sluggish behaviour in the shuttle is because it is dying, like a mayfly.

Cameron had to resolve all that stuff to tell his story, but I think it seriously detracts from the creature's mystique as created by O'Bannon, Scott & Giger.
 

Bryancd

Master Member
The closest to it is the Queen in the second film for sure.

Which certainly settles the debate that the creatures don't like fire. So isn't this all moot? The "lack of proof" from the first film argument you suggest makes no sense. No one had an opportunity to use the flamethrower. Dallas was sprung upon, Parker couldn't without killing Lambert, and Ripley did shoot it down the corridor prior to getting in the Narcissus. I seriously doubt R.S. was trying to play coy with the idea, it was just a plot device to give our characters and audience a sense of security, that they had a chance. Just because they never tested that in the first film was simply a creative choice. Ash wasn't being duplicitous, he would have intervened if the Nostromo crew had gotten close to killing the creature.
 
Last edited:

Michael Bergeron

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There's a lot of ambiguity in the first film that works in its favour. We never know how 'indestructible' the creature is because Scott doesn't tell us, and Ash is an unreliable source. It appears to survive the Narcissus engines intact, so who knows? Scott has also suggested that the alien's sluggish behaviour in the shuttle is because it is dying, like a mayfly.

Cameron had to resolve all that stuff to tell his story, but I think it seriously detracts from the creature's mystique as created by O'Bannon, Scott & Giger.

Totally agree. The very fact that they can't even get to the point that they can properly test their hypothesis is what makes the creature so terrifying. Everything is just a shot in the dark. While I like Aliens they really lost their seemingly indestructible mystique.
 
Last edited:

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Bryancd

Master Member
Totally agree. The very fact that they even get to the point that they can properly test their hypothesis is what makes the creature so terrifying. Everything is just a shot in the dark. While I like Aliens they really lost their seemingly indestructible mystique.

As a fellow Giger ALIEN fan, I never got the impression it was indestructible, more so that it was as Ash said "Perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility." So it could be killed but it was infinitely adaptable, resourceful, remorseless. That made it terrifying. But you have my sympathies. :)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

CB2001

Master Member
Which certainly settles the debate that the creatures don't like fire. So isn't this all moot? The "lack of proof" from the first film argument you suggest makes no sense. No one had an opportunity to use the flamethrower. Dallas was sprung upon, Parker couldn't without killing Lambert, and Ripley did shoot it down the corridor prior to getting in the Narcissus. I seriously doubt R.S. was trying to play coy with the idea, it was just a plot device to give our characters and audience a sense of security, that they had a chance. Just because they never tested that in the first film was simply a creative choice. Ash wasn't being duplicitous, he would have intervened if the Nostromo crew had gotten close to killing the creature.

But the thing is, it didn't establish it for certain in the first film. I think the fire thing would have clearly been established in the first film for certain to make the point that it can be used agains the aliens (waiting until Aliens to establish that detail for certain would be like Romero waiting until Dawn of the Dead to establish that shooting a zombie in the head or causing severe cranial damage would bring them down). Yet, it wasn't. It was only suggested, yet not proven until Aliens that the bit with the fire was true.

Ripley had an opportunity to flame it when it was in the hallway between the Narcissus and her after she initiated the self-destruct. All she had to do was backup and and wait for it to come around the corner. And that bit you mentioned with Ripley using the flamethrower down the hallway prior to getting in wasn't her using the flamethrower. If you actually look at that scene again, you see it's coming from the other end of the hall (the way she came) coming at her, which is what drove her back and into the shuttle.

There's a lot of ambiguity in the first film that works in its favour. We never know how 'indestructible' the creature is because Scott doesn't tell us, and Ash is an unreliable source. It appears to survive the Narcissus engines intact, so who knows? Scott has also suggested that the alien's sluggish behaviour in the shuttle is because it is dying, like a mayfly.

Cameron had to resolve all that stuff to tell his story, but I think it seriously detracts from the creature's mystique as created by O'Bannon, Scott & Giger.

I never knew that about the Alien's behavior in the shuttle, or that it was dying. I always took it that the reason why the Alien was sluggish in general was because it was still a newborn and while the xenomorphs in Aliens were faster because they were alive for a much longer timeline.

In a way, you're right about the character's mystic, but I think he did leave some wiggle room. Ffor example, though an M41A Pulse Rifle can cut through an xenomorph up close or at a distance, apparently regular 9mm rounds don't do much at a distance but work pretty good up close (Vasquez may have been able to kill one up close by pinning it to the wall and shooting it up close, but when Gorman tried to shoot one at a distance, the bullets appeared to be bouncing off of it).
 
Last edited:

Bryancd

Master Member
Ripley had an opportunity to flame it when it was in the hallway between the Narcissus and her after she initiated the self-destruct. All she had to do was backup and and wait for it to come around the corner. And that bit you mentioned with Ripley using the flamethrower down the hallway prior to getting in wasn't her using the flamethrower. If you actually look at that scene again, you see it's coming from the other end of the hall (the way she came) coming at her, which is what drove her back and into the shuttle.

That's right, it was coming down the hall. I still don't find it odd that no one used the flamethrower and I don't think it was intended to imply anything.
 

CB2001

Master Member
That's right, it was coming down the hall. I still don't find it odd that no one used the flamethrower and I don't think it was intended to imply anything.

Okay. But I will admit, it would be interesting if it was implying that Ash's information could have been false. Could you imagine the situation in Aliens when they tried to use the flamethrowers on the Aliens and they didn't do anything to them? I could actually imagine the tension between Ripley and the Marines due to bad intel that Ripley passed along from Ash. Kind of a twisted and nasty gift that keeps on giving that would have been. :lol
 

Bryancd

Master Member
I never knew that about the Alien's behavior in the shuttle, or that it was dying. I always took it that the reason why the Alien was sluggish in general was because it was still a newborn and while the xenomorphs in Aliens were faster because they were alive for a much longer timeline.

Actually the slow, purposeful movements in the first film were an intentional choice to try and make the ALIEN not look like a guy in a suit. It reminded in its hiding spot in the shuttle because it knew Ripley had no where to go. When she hit it with the steam, it moved fast. Every move of the ALIEN in the original film were purposeful, methodical, bizarre, and that's what made it more scary.

case in point...

http://youtu.be/eR5jYeIMBKk
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Michael Bergeron

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
As a fellow Giger ALIEN fan, I never got the impression it was indestructible, more so that it was as Ash said "Perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility." So it could be killed but it was infinitely adaptable, resourceful, remorseless. That made it terrifying. But you have my sympathies. :)

"seemingly indestructible" ;) :lol
 
Last edited by a moderator:

CB2001

Master Member
Actually the slow, purposeful movements in the first film were an intentional choice to try and make the ALIEN not look like a guy in a suit. It reminded in its hiding spot in the shuttle because it knew Ripley had no where to go. When she hit it with the steam, it moved fast. Every move of the ALIEN in the original film were purposeful, methodical, bizarre, and that's what made it more scary.

I will admit, it worked well. It certainly made the alien appear alien enough. :)
 

Jeyl

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There's a lot of ambiguity in the first film that works in its favour. We never know how 'indestructible' the creature is because Scott doesn't tell us, and Ash is an unreliable source. It appears to survive the Narcissus engines intact, so who knows? Scott has also suggested that the alien's sluggish behaviour in the shuttle is because it is dying, like a mayfly.

Cameron had to resolve all that stuff to tell his story, but I think it seriously detracts from the creature's mystique as created by O'Bannon, Scott & Giger.

Ok. If we're going to go by what the creators said (i.e. Scott, O'Bannon, Giger... where's Shusett?), the commentary on the first film (Quadrilogy/Anthology Track, not the Laserdisc) is pretty telling. In Dan O'Bannon's own words, he never wanted the alien to be portrayed as some 'indestructible' force. The acid blood was introduced so that the alien couldn't be handled by any direct means unless the characters were willing to destroy their own ship. You CAN kill the alien, it just might result in killing everyone else by compromising their entire ship. I'm guessing that Xeno had a lot more acid blood in it's whole body than that facehugger's finger.

And aren't we forgetting a bigger picture here? The xenos are not the only creatures in ALIEN and ALIENS that have mystery to them. The Space Jockey is a far more amazing mystery than the xeno anyways. Whatever Cameron had done to the xenos in ALIENS that makes everyone all grumpy, at least he didn't ruin, nor even touch the Space Jockey. ALIENS left that mystery intact.
 

Bryancd

Master Member
I always liked the pre-Queen concept that all eggs were the product of a self contained life cycle of egg, face huger, Alien, victim, egg.

- - - Updated - - -

And aren't we forgetting a bigger picture here? The xenos are not the only creatures in ALIEN and ALIENS that have mystery to them. The Space Jockey is a far more amazing mystery than the xeno anyways. Whatever Cameron had done to the xenos in ALIENS that makes everyone all grumpy, at least he didn't ruin, nor even touch the Space Jockey. ALIENS left that mystery intact.

The Space Jockeys had nothing to do with Cameron's story. Even the scene when they visited the derelict was cut.
 

Solos blaster

Sr Member
That's right, it was coming down the hall. I still don't find it odd that no one used the flamethrower and I don't think it was intended to imply anything.

Right. I always thought that what may have been going on in Ripley's mind before going the other way is "What if the flame thrower doesn't work?" Since it was all hypothesis and they probably can't trust anything Ash told them, if it doesn't work after it rounds the corner, she's dead. So she ran. I'm sure if she was cornered, she would use it but I really think, even though it was their only viable weapon, it was a last ditch weapon because it was only a guess.
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Top