24 Mar 2014


"Don't worry Parker, you'll get whatever's coming to you" ~ Lt Ripley.

The xenomorph from Alien (1979) isn't a guy with a knife/machette/power tool chasing scantily clad teens, but it is a single killer taking out a small number of victims in a very remote, confided space.  So, given that it vaguely fits the genre, does it follow the rules?

The following may include spoilers for
Alien (1979)

Rule #1 - A Warning Will Come From...
I:  OTHER WARNING:  There was a warning beacon, but that's what the crew were sent to investigate.  However, Mother doesn't translate it as a warning until the crew is already in the extra terrestrial ship.

You get to see some but crack when she turns around.
Rule #2 - There Will Be T&A
The crew wake in their underwear (only Kane really shown), Ripley changes into hers in the escape pod.  Some titillation, but no nudity.

Rule #3 - Death Will Be A Punishment For...

A:  SEX -  No one had sex.  Parker made a sexual comment at one stage which Lambert found slightly distasteful.
B:  NUDITY - As noted, not nudity.  Everyone wears just underwear, especially the Final Girl.
F:  OTHER CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR - Ash has a secret agenda and works against the interests of the crew.  He breaks quarantine, letting Kane back onto the ship, ostensibly on Dallas's orders and against Ripley's and policy.  This is criminalish behaviour on by Dallas and especially Kane, if not actually "criminal".  [2/2]
G:  ANNOYING - Lambert gripes constant (she complains of being cold when they are having breakfast, she's told to stop griping during the EVA - but points out she likes griping).  Parker and Brett complain about being treated as second class crew (they don't get a full share, nobody else comes down to where the real work is done), Brett even complains about the food.  Ripley sticking to quarantine policy, patronising Parker and Brett could also be considered annoying.  [3/4]
H:  BYSTANDER - Pretty much the whole crew.

Rule #4 - Never Go...

"Showering" in the "basement" while alone.
A:  DOWN TO THE BASEMENT - Obviously, no basement.  However, Parker and Brett refer to the fact that no one ever comes down to the area that they work in.  When searching for the xenomorph, Ripply does join them.  Brett is killed when alone down there.
C:  FOR A SHOWER - Nobody goes for a shower, but Brett does stand under and enjoy a water leak just prior to his death.
D:  OLD SHEDS AND OUTBUILDINGS - Possibly the escape pod counts in this context.  The xenomorph ends up in the escape pod with Ripley.
F:  ANYWHERE ALONE - Kane is first attack alone in the hull of the alien ship.  Brett is attacked when alone looking for the cat.  Dallas is alone in the vents.
G:  ANYWHERE REMOTE/ISOLATED - In Space no one can here you scream.  Mostly because there's no atmosphere, but also it is a very remote.  Even more remote than, say, a cabin in the woods.

Rule #5 - Order of Death...
The early bird catches the worm-like creature to the face.
A:  THE FIRST PERSON ON SCREEN - A number of characters appear on-screen in the sleeping pods at the same time.  However, Cain is the first to wake and his doing so is featured.  Cain is the first to die.
B:  THE BLACK MAN DIES FIRST - Parker is the only black character.  He dies second last.
F:  MACHO JERK - Brett and Parker, maybe.
G:  THE PROTECTOR - Parker for Lambert.
H:  THE SENSITIVE GUY - Dallas, maybe.  Even Kane, perhaps.
I:   INNOCENTS - Jones the cat survived.
J:  THE FINAL GIRL - Ripley survives.

Order of Death

1.  Kane. [A]
2.  Brett.  [F-ish]
3.  Dallas.  [H-ish, possibly G]
4.  Ash (Synthetic)
5.  Parker [B.  F-ish, possibly G]
6.  Lambert [?]

Ripley & Jonesy survive

Rule #6 - Especially When They Are Most Needed, The Following Things Cannot Be Relied On…

A:  COMMUNICATION - The ship is too far from civilisation to contact anyone.
B:  LIGHTING - There's no real "the lights don't work" moments, but the lighting in the lower decks and towards the end is bad.  This is more for effect than anything people complain about.
C:  VEHICLES - The ship is damaged on landing, but it doesn't seem to delay them leaving the planet.  Ripley tries to delay the self-destruct, but it is too late.  The escape pod launches fine (although the xenomorph initially stopped her heading to it.)
D:  YOU OWN LEGS - No real fall when being chased, but Kane fell into the eggs.
E:  THE AUTHORITIES - The company betrayed the crew.

Rule #7 - The Final Girl

Lt Ripley is the Final Girl.
One of the defining Final Girls.

A:  FINAL - Yes, with Jones the cat.
B:  GIRL - Yes.
C:  MASCULINE - A little, slightly less than Lambert.  Only surnames are used.
D:  WELL DRAWN - Once she finally has access to the computer - Mother - she finds answers Dallas didn't.
E:  VIRGINAL & INNOCENT - The entire crew is pretty non-sexual and sober.
F:  WILL BE REBORN - Yeah, but was pretty tough all along.

Rule #8 - The Killer has a connection to...

An unknown species of alien is the killer.

The alien from Alien.
A:  LOCATION - It is hard to say from this film if the alien is indigenous to the planet.
B, C, D:  VICTIMS - The killer has no connection to any of its victims (other then being born from inside Kane).
E:  FEMININITY - Much has been said about the masculine/feminine sexual imagery of the aliens, facehuggers, etc.  There are both aspects.
F:  SPECIFIC LOOK - Very specific look.
G:  SPECIFIC WEAPON - No weapons.

Rule #9 - Evil Never Dies...

A:  ALWAYS KILL THE BAD GUY TWICE - The xenomorph wasn't on the Nostromo when it exploded.
B:  THE BAD GUY LIVES ON - Unknown.  It survived exposure to space and didn't seem to be damaged by the escape pods rockets.
C:  EVIL IS IMMORTAL - Hard to say.

Rule #10 - The Sequel Will Be Bigger/More Formulaic

If one egg killed the entire crew, what can the rest do?
For better or worse this is the first film in a series of films and spin-offs.
A:  THEY WILL FOLLOW THE RULES MORE - As the first film in a series, no real series formula exists to follow or break.
B:  THEY WILL BE MORE FORMULAIC - As the first film in a series, no real series formula exists to follow or break.
C:  THERE WILL BE MORE T&A - As noted above, there was no nudity.
D:  MORE AND BIGGER DEATHS - There were 6 deaths in Alien.


The following rules were followed:  4f; 4g; 5i; 5j; 6a; 6e; 7; 8f.

The following rules were partially followed:  1; 2; 3f; 3g; 4a; 4c; 4d; 5a; 5f; 5g; 6b; 6c; 6d; 8e; 9.
The following rules did not apply:  3a; 3b; 3c; 3d; 3e; 4b; 4e; 5c; 5d; 5e; 6f; 6g; 8a; 8g; 10.
The following rules were not followed:  3h; 5b; 5h; 8b; 8c; 8d.
~ DUG.


  1. More remote than a cabin in the woods. I LOLd.

    1. I far prefer it when the crazy-me does the blogs and puts comments like that in.