The massive space-tug Nostromo glides silently through space. Back from the outer reaches of the galaxy, it’s taking its seven-member crew back to Earth. But when the ship’s computer receives a distress signal from a nearby planetary system, it rouses the crew from their cryo-sleep. It isn’t until after the Nostromo has landed on a barren planet named LV-426 and three crewmembers have gone out to investigate a huge derelict spacecraft that the signal is deciphered and found to be a warning. But one crewmember has already experienced a shocking face-to-face encounter with an alien creature while inspecting an egg-shaped pod. And so the horror begins – a horror which will end the lives of six crewmembers and alter the life of the seventh forever.
1979 – Certificate: 15 – American Film
Rating Details: Contains strong language, moderate violence and horror
8.0 out of 10
So anyway, I sat through this entire film convinced I was watching a party political broadcast on behalf of the Conservative Party; one that had chosen to spotlight the Party’s views on immigration. Why? 1. Well, for a start it’s called “Alien”, a phrase which seems to sum up a large proportion of everyone the Daily Mail, (which is the propaganda wing of the Party), doesn’t like. 2. It features a crew of people who are “working hard to get on in life”, before having things suddenly buggered up for them by a nasty alien. This is obviously a reference to wholesome, law-abiding Middle England British families having to deal with the effects of uncontrolled immigration. 3. It features a hideous, unstoppable creature that wants what we have and bleeds acid everywhere if you piss it off. (Well, it’s 45 years since Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech, so I guess you have to up the ante these days.) This is clearly an allusion to foreigners, especially the billions of people from Bulgaria and Romania who’re poised to ‘invade’ Britain (or more importantly the Tory heartland of the South East of England) on the 1st January 2014. From what I’ve seen in some of the media recently, I doubt there’ll be anyone left in either of those two countries by the time everyone here goes back to work the following week. Not that we’ll have jobs anymore, because they’ll all have been taken by them instead, whilst they’re simultaneously signing on the dole, having babies and not learning to speak English. And Romanians in particular are all just gymnasts, orphans or vampires, so why should they be allowed into the country? 4. Crewmember Ash turns out to be an android, in the pay of some nefarious organisation, ready to sacrifice everyone to make sure the alien gets back to Earth. Ash just has to be Vince Cable, working for the Lib Dems. His dark, evil plan? To let some foreigners into Britain. Traitor! And what does the android turn out to be full of? Nasty, goo-spewing Cables. Case proved I think. 5. The movie features a lot of people desperately running and creeping about in dark corridors, with a weird device that uses technobabble to find aliens, until they finally manage to successfully track one down. To me that sounds a lot like politicians quoting from random surveys and statistics, in an effort to concoct some evidence to support their views. 6. When they stop worrying about the alien for a few moments, it suddenly explodes out of John Hurt’s chest. I think that’s self explanatory; give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. 7. When they actually manage to find the alien, they quickly throw together some sort of bizarre, home-made weapon to try and get rid of it, which is undoubtedly analogous to their hastily thrown together ideas about caps on immigration; badly thought out, probably illegal, unfair and unworkable. 8. The alien kills everyone off one by one, which is exactly what all foreigners want to do to our way of life. Indeed, that’s their only reason to exist. (And let’s not forget that John Hurt was also Doctor Who). 9. Most things in the film have an alternative, sexual interpretation, which somehow just comes across as eww. Ever seen British politicians trying to be cool, attractive, or in-touch? It’s provides much the same feeling. 10. The alien is killed, after just about everything is destroyed, including the whole spaceship. This is exactly what will happen to the country if the Tories deal with immigration in their way. Babies and bathwater. Apparently there’s a party political broadcast on behalf of UKIP somewhere too. It’s called “Aliens”.
There can’t be much that hasn’t been said or written about this film. So I’m just going to say it’s essential viewing for anyone interested in cinema.
Most of the music used was composed by Jerry Goldsmith, one of the best film composers ever. It’s good. Very good.
Isn’t this a rubbish trailer? Slow, confusing, and sounding and looking horrible, it makes the film seems about as appealing as snogging a face hugger.
Recommended for aliens, foreigners, politicians and anyone that works on a spaceship.
1 cat, no chainsaws or decapitations. Despite providing one of the most famous cat characters in all of film history, Jonsey doesn’t even get a mention in the credits. It must suck sometimes being a cat.
Top badass moment? Vince Cable giving the rest of the Government shit about its approach to immigration. No, wait, I’m mixing this film up with a Conservative party political broadcast again. Malevolent aliens? Bulgarians? Romanians? It’s confusing. Don’t worry, I’ll check the facts in tomorrow’s Daily Mail. (Interesting, when I was 16 I’d have probably said the top badass moment heavily featured Sigourney Weaver’s panties. I must be getting old.)
Dealing with guilt over the suicide of her sister Ai, karate student Megumi accompanies a group of older friends on a trip into the woods. Things start to go badly when Maki finds a parasitical worm inside a fish and wolfs it down alive, in the hope that’ll help keep her skinny! Attacked by a crowd of undead who emerge from an outhouse toilet, the group seek refuge at the home of Dr. Tanaka and his daughter Sachi. Unbeknownst to them, Tanaka has been conducting experiments on the parasites and the zombies!
2011 – Certificate: Not Rated – Japanese Film
7.0 out of 10
In the distant future, a scientist creates a shock-wave of anti-time, which then travels backwards through history. Four fragments of a time crystal lost in four different timezones are needed to create a second shock-wave, which will eliminate the first one. This has nothing to do with this film, but in the last century (1997 to be exact) a game for the PC called Timeshock was released and that was the basic plot. This was (and still is) an excellent simulation of a pinball machine. (A lot of the music used in it was written by half of Stiff Little Fingers too.) I must have played it 1000s of times. But like many things, as my life moved on (or stagnated to be more accurate) I stopped doing so. Earlier this year I found out that a new version was being released via a Kickstarter campaign. So I paid some money and now patiently await the arrival of this update. However, whilst waiting I thought it would be fun to play the original again. Despite playing it so often, I’d never quite managed to get all the way through it; occasionally I’d get close, but ultimately mess things up with the result that the Universe was destroyed, which was never very good for my self-esteem. A few weeks ago I went to see The Wedding Present. (The fourth best band on the planet.) I was still a bit ‘buzzy’ when I got home, so I thought I’d play a few games of Timeshock before going to bed. Despite the darkened room, the early morning hour, my sweat soaked t-shirt and being knackered from my earlier attempts to ‘dance’, I somehow got through to the ‘last bit’, where my meddling always ends up with the destruction of the Universe. As usual I got off to my usual, panicky, crappy start. But with the time ticking down I entered one of those oh too rare moments of mental clarity and physical coordination. Being told I’d saved the Universe and consequently was now a Master of Time, has had a profound effect on my inner being. I think I now realise what all my life has been preparing me for. However, it wasn’t this film.
This movie is everything it sounds like it’ll be and a whole lot more. Consider this though for a moment: there’s a futility in trying to explain the point of certain things. Wind, fog, dust, wasps, mangos, pizza delivery leaflets, bottled water, slip-covers on DVDs. This film is another. It has little in common with either “The Matrix” or “2001: A Space Odyssey”. But on a very primitive level it is quite entertaining. In many ways this is the perfect movie and manages to pull together aspects of just about every dodgy Japanese film ever made. It does have a fair bit of action in it and some (but not all) of the effects are pretty good. It’s well made for what it is and provides a most entertaining encounter of the most juvenile kind. From the horrible, 60s style opening credits to the flying battle scene near the end, it manages to cram in enough clichés to make anyone feel a bit queasy. And I guess it’s simply not possible to fill a whole film with nothing but jokes based on flatulence, (although it does try). Not surprisingly it maxes out on the official toilet humour scale, but given its title I can’t really imagine anyone watching it would be expecting to get a “Citizen Kane” experience. However, I was struck by the though that just a couple of Rennies could have solved the whole zombie, parasite, bonkers doctor and daughter problem very easily.
Musically the film actually has a decent horror soundtrack. Maybe the composer wasn’t told all the details? However the trailer is clearly in on the joke. Why does the voice over become more and more German as it goes along?
Recommended for would-be models, karate experts, mad scientists and anyone with a digestive illness.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations. However, a number heads explode or get totally squashed; I’d say around a dozen.
Top badass moment? Megumi fighting the Nekurogedoro queen (or whatever it is) is pretty badass. Using only the power of her, em, ‘indigestion’, to fly through the air, it’s difficult to imagine anything, ever, could be literally quite as badass as that.
For anyone that doesn’t know, the entire population of Cactus World worships an entity known as The Amplifier. Less a sort of god and more an omnipotent source of sound and entertainment, it’s a doorway to another existence and lies at the very heart of what it means to be a Cactus Worlder. It oversees all we do; it touches ever part of our lives. It’s our spiritual leader, our guide, our philosophy. (In political terms it might be considered a self-perpetuating, charismatic, oligarchy.) Simply put, The Amplifier brings life to lifelessness, enlightenment where there was only confusion and replaces chaos with hope. It’s commonly understood by all to give reason for existence in Cactus World. Yeh, it’s pretty important.
Like Doctor Who, The Amplifier occasionally regenerates into a new form, more powerful than any of its predecessors, bringing with it new wonders for the population of Cactus World to marvel at. I’ve personally experienced just two of these regenerations and they’re a time of fear and expectation in any Cactus Worlder’s life. The first of these took place in the mid-90s. The last one took place on 26th January 2010. (Remember this date, as it’ll become especially important later on.) Although saddened by the departure of its previous incarnation, the population partied on like it was, em, 26th January 2010, as The Amplifier took its place amongst us, spreading its love and 7.2 sound for all. We thought it would be many, many years before something like this happened again and ‘special taxes’ were raised that the entire population has been gladly paying ever since, to secure The Amplifier’s place in Cactus World; indeed, we still have a couple of years of these to pay off.
However, a wave of despair has been sweeping Cactus World today, following confirmation of the news that The Amplifier, (which goes by the name of Onyko TX-NR807) is sick. My understanding is that if it’s switched on, none of the sound modes engage and no sound comes out of it. This can only be rectified by switching it off and on again loads of times and even then it gets stuck in one mode. In addition, its networking capability has become inoperable. Now remember that date? Well it’s 2 years and 13 days ago. Sadly The Amplifier came with a 2 years and 0 days guarantee. Cactus World’s most brilliant minds and scientists have been busy today, discussing this issue with that other bringer of truth and life, known as The Computer. They have discovered that it is an illness that The Amplifier in its present form frequently suffers from. We don’t know what’s going to happen next, but I expect to hear an announcement soon. All the talk on the streets tonight is what happens if The Amplifier ‘has to be sent away’. The nightmare scenario of there being no Amplifier in Cactus World is not dissimilar to the idea of there being no air.
Right now I’m listening to “Innuendo” by Queen.
In all great TV series, the episodes which pit our heroes against their own side or prevent their very destruction, are often some of the best. So in the same way, today comes the news that Cactus World itself is under threat of being closed down by Microsoft; (okay, along with about 6,999,999 other blogs, or 30,000 or 30 million, depending on what you read, but that’s not the point). And to be honest and without wanting to spoil the ending, it really appears to actually be more of a promise than a threat. When I logged in tonight I got some message about being forced to transfer everything to WordPress or die; (well that’s not exactly how it was put but that’s what it meant.)
Is this really the end for Cactus World? What is WordPress? It sounds quite painful, (if you’re a jumble of letters anyway). Is my admitting I’ve never heard of it a cyber social faux of the worst sort? Will the eye bursting colour scheme be no more? Does anyone even care? Is this really ‘it’ for Cactus World, after nearly five years? Or will it regenerate, in a similar manner to Doctor Who? (God knows what hell will break forth once I press the “Migrate to WordPress or Die” button. )
Actually, what really frustrates me most is that I’ve made up around 434,674 social networking profiles on different sites over the past ten years, yet strangely the only site that I haven’t used, Facebook, seems to be the most successful and enduring. Can’t they just leave things alone for goodness sake! These days, not having a Facebook profile means you’re virtually living off the grid. At least it’s taught me that I should never gamble or dabble in the stock market, not with my luck.
I have to say Live Spaces has been a pretty crap site to try to keep a blog on for the past five years; everything is so disfunctional. Perhaps you have to risk all to truly gain everything? (That’s probably way too deep for me to understand.) However, what worries me most is that WordPress looks so depressingly corporate that I’ll be forced to wear a suit every time I blog on it; and I don’t own a suit. I wonder if you’re allowed to write bad words down?
It was fun. Oh my.
Right now I’m listening to “Gun in Your Hand” by Lagwagon.
(Read the following in a Hollywood movie trailer voiceover voice; you’ll get a lot more out of it if you do.)
This Summer, no one is safe, as danger, famine and heartbreak threaten Cactus World. This time it’s personal…
(Okay, you can stop the stupid ‘voice in my head’ now.)
2) No gigs for six weeks, due to the World Cup. (Seriously, I had bad withdrawal symptoms; I was in physical pain).
3) No rain and lovely sunny weather. (Nice!)
4) Big Brother on TV. (Yes I watch it, what you’re gonna do about it then?)
5) Watching the whole of Andromeda on DVD, part way through Season 4 now. (Great, massively underrated TV series, except the first half of Season 3 which is, quite frankly, pants.)
6) A new electric toothbrush. (Never mind removing plaque it’s my whole head I’m more worried about, it’s like trying to brush my teeth with a Lightsaber on speed. It takes two hands to tame its awesome power.)
7) Spending my entire month’s salary in under two days (and over half my £200 overdraft too.)
8) Buying the entire back catalogue of Doctor Who on DVD over the past couple of months, including Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures, plus all the lost episodes on CD. (Well it was part of my childhood.)
9) Realising that 7 and 8 above have more than a little in common. (I’m so irresponsible with money, so it’s lucky I never seem to have much for long.)
But never mind all that, instead celebrate Doctor Who with me with the wonderful “Doctor Who” by Parry Gripp.
Right now I’m listening to “Popcorn” by Hot Butter.