The Alien franchise has been going strong for over 40 years, boasting eight movies and countless comic books, novels, and videogames, with more on the way, including an Alien TV series coming to Disney+ Star, and maybe the final part of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus trilogy, too.
The Alien series is beloved by horror and sci-fi fans, as each movie, regardless of the overall quality, always boasts a few scenes that are just mindblowing and that live in the mind forever. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true, as the franchise also features some truly terrible scenes that make fans cringe.
It’s easy to forget these days, with the Alien franchise being as popular as it is, just what a surprise all the iconic elements of the series were when they first debuted. In particular, the disturbing and sudden death of Kane (John Hurt), the first character to die in the Alien series.
After the mysterious spider-like Facehugger parasite detaches from him, Kane is seemingly fine and stops for a bite to eat with the relieved crew. The relief turns to terror when Kane suddenly convulses and a strange creature tears its way through his chest. The scene is made even better by the fact that the cast didn’t fully know what was about to happen, so their shock is genuine.
The Alien series has a history of characters ignoring very important and obvious advice, which usually results in their horrible deaths, and the Alien prequel Prometheus carries on this tradition. Considering the characters are all scientists and are many lightyears away from home, it’s frustrating for the audience to see how careless they seem, sometimes bordering on downright suicidal.
A perfect example is when, aboard the Engineer spacecraft, the team gets a reading that the ship has a breathable atmosphere. Instead of doing further tests or just keeping the helmets on for safety reasons, they take their helmets off. They don’t asphyxiate, but several are infected by alien parasites, which could easily have been avoided.
While the Alien Queen has appeared in several movies since her original appearance in Aliens, with diminishing returns, her first appearance is one of the all-time greatest moments in science fiction cinema. The xenomorph queen is teased early in Aliens when Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and Bishop (Lance Henriksen) start to wonder what’s creating the eggs.
Later, as the facility is about to explode, Ripley finally rescues Newt (Carrie Henn), but they take a single wrong turn on the way back, whereupon they come face-to-face with the terrifying mother of all Aliens. The Queen is a masterpiece in design, and every part of the chase and eventual fight that follows is a high-point in the series.