Home > Hollywood > Of Facehuggers, Chestbusters, Xenomorphs and Trilobites…

Of Facehuggers, Chestbusters, Xenomorphs and Trilobites…

…And the “Prometheus” debate rages on.

You must all be scratching your heads, wondering what these names represented. All of you, except for perhaps the die-hard fans of “Alien“!!

For the past six weeks, ever since Ridley Scott’sPrometheus” hit the big screens, the Internet has erupted with discussions on the film, its relevance to “Alien” and the hidden questions on the origins of mankind that it attempts to raise. Not once since watching the Sean Penn directed “The Pledge” (starring Jack Nicholson..but more on that one some other time) have I personally spent so much time reading about a single film, its so-called “sequel” and about its visionary director. Sure, its just a film and obviously all questions put forth by “Prometheus” are a figment of the writers/director zany imagination. But they have forced me to stop and think.

And I don’t mean think about the questions…but about how wildly talented this entire production team is!! “Prometheus” is a haunting experience…the more you think about it after it ends, the more you appreciate it (However, not in the “Inception” kind of way, though…where you would reach a different conclusion every time you would think about it). Here is a film that looks absolutely stunning on the big screen (I did not watch the 3D version, which I’ve heard, simply rocked.) and has some very fine production values. The cast is an absolute hoot, with Michael Fassbender blowing you away with his version of the Android….and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo doing it yet again. Noomi Rapace IS Dr. Elizabeth Shaw and it is hard to imagine any other actress enacting that role.

Is Dr. Shaw a fitting predecessor to Sigourney Weaver’s Dr. Ripley. Yes, in my opinion. But one needs to extremely careful and ensure that “Prometheus” is not treated as the prequel to “Alien“. At least not yet…although we may get there eventually, if its sequel is made. The film needs to be viewed as a stand-alone sci-fi thriller and viewers should slowly let the “Alien” elements creep in….rather than starting the movie expecting it to be an Alien-like horror flick. “Prometheus” is a thriller…but not a horror thriller. Sure, the creatures are there, but they are not the central part of the film and therein lies the primary difference between the two films.

For those of you who have seen…and remember “Alien” (I mean who hasn’t…and who doesn’t!!), “Prometheus” attempts to answer the questions that were staring at your face throughout “Alien” but never got raised because the horror kicked in. Questions like “Who were those Space Jockeys“, “Where was that runaway spaceship going“, etc. Ridley Scott and his writers take us into the same universe and yet create a special world on its own. The difference are genuine and yet the similarities are staggering.

Ever since the first look trailer hit the Internet, the ominous thundering music has had me glued…but it also sounded faintly familiar. Until I checked out the 1979 trailer of “Alien“….which had the same ominous musical montage!! The “Alien” trailer also shows you glimpses of things that you see in “Prometheus“. Check out the two trailers below and judge for yourself.




Yet, I maintain that “Prometheus” stands tall on its own, thanks to Ridley Scott’s clarity of vision. Without giving away the plot, I would just say that the end of “Prometheus” leaves you gasping for more. Even though you know that a “Prometheus” sequel may or may not happen. Scott not only has the knack of extracting wonderful performances from his actors (“Alien“, “Gladiator“, “Thelma and Louise“, “Matchstick Men“, “Body of Lies“) but he also knows the pulse of his sci-fi crazy audience…irrespective of which decade his movie is being produced in. Surely this one has been met with mixed reactions from the audience as well as from the critics….but the overall verdict on the film being a strong thriller remains fairly consistent.

Which brings us finally to the FacehuggersChestbustersXenomorphs and Trilobites. 🙂 For the benefit of those who may or may not have seen “Prometheus” and “Alien“, these are the names of the different “Avatars” of the alien creatures. Facehuggers were our first introduction to the alien species in the 1979 film, as they clung to the faces of their human victims and impregnated them via the mouths…only to erupt out of their chests as the Chestbusters. (The chestbuster sequence in Alien involving John Hurt remains a horror classic in itself!). Xenomorphs are the fully-grown aliens that we saw in all the films of the Alien Trilogy while a Trilobite is first seen when Dr.Shaw pulls it out of her in yet another heartstopping scene that will be talked about for years to come.

It is indeed amazing to read about how much thought and work has gone into just coming up with the names for the species. And into introducing us to the “Space Jockeys” and the “Engineers”. And as if this was not enough, Ridley Scott has now decided to move on to the reboot of his other sci-fi classic – “Blade Runner“. Damn you, Mr. Scott…because I don’t think I am ready to see how the Blade Runner replicants came into being…or who invented the “lie-detecting” Voight-Kampff machine. And yet, I will be there when the movie comes out in a couple of years. All because of that maverick named Ridley Scott and how he plays with his…as well as our imagination!!

Categories: Hollywood
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  1. May 27, 2017 at 12:11 am

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