Top 10 Deaths in the Alien Franchise!

Happy Friday fellow Arrow in the Headers, how many of you already have your ALIEN COVENANT tickets in tow? If not, what the hell are you waiting for?!

Perhaps this: a double-fistful of gory ALIEN deaths to prime the pump! That's right y'all, in the lead up to Ridley Scott's newest extraterrestrial onslaught, we thought the best way to get you in the mood for all things Xenomoprh by revisiting some of the best and most memorable fatalities featured in the much-feted franchise. Yo down with that? Hell yeah! Now, full disclosure, the list only features kills from the first 5 ALIEN flicks, including PROMETHEUS, excluding the ALIEN VS. PREDATORS movies altogether. We had to draw the line somewhere, you understand!

And now you over-stand! Scroll below to witness our Top 10 Favorite Deaths in the ALIEN Franchise!


Like a virgin! Predictable as it may seem, shame on you if you don't agree that the inaugural Kane chest-bursting scene in the 1979 original is not only the single most memorable moment of any ALIEN film, it is the definitive halcyon hallmark death-scene of the entire franchise. Hell, when Mel Brooks sends you up in SPACEBALLS, you know you've made it big! Not to bury the lead, a sincere RIP is in order for the late great John Hurt, who played Kane with such credibility in the scene that it will indeed live ad infinitum. The real brilliance though? That Scott never let his cast know or see the VFX beforehand, so that the reactions of the crew-members are 100% authentic. And it shows!


How many of you have ever seen this image from a deleted ALIENS scene? Well well, to the uninitiated, the sleazily venal Carter Burke - the corporate opportunist ready to exploit the alien offspring for his own monetary gain - did not die at the drooling maw of a Xenomorph, as shown in the theatrical cut of the film. Oh no. Turns out he was impregnated, cocooned, and ultimately found by Ripley in her search for Newt. Burke cries that he can feel an alien moving inside him and begs for Ripley to put him out of his misery. Compassionately, Ripley hands him a grenade and walks away. We then hear an off-screen blast. It ranks so highly because, of all, Burke is the one character we actually WANT to see die!


The Christlike crucifixion back-dive of Ripley plummeting into a fiery pit is just as profound as her understanding that, yes, a self-sacrifice was absolutely necessary measure to ensure humanity's survival. Sure the reverse angle is Looney Tunes cartoonish, but still, the gravity of the situation gives a whole new angle of heroism to Ripley. Remember, she knew she was pregnant with an Alien Queen embryo and not only had the foresight to know what was best, but even harder, also had the courage to act on it. Notice the bald-dome, redolent of Maria Falconetti in the 1928 film THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC, as biblical reinforcement of a majestic messiah!


While overtly derivative of the first film, that initial cocoon-chest-bursting scene of Mary (the cocooned colonist) in ALIENS in many ways upped the bar of intense graphic carnage. It fuses the death scenes of both Dallas and Kane from the original, and does so in a way that sets the tone for the entire film. What's so damn f*cked up about the scene is the way in which Mary is forced to watch her own demise while completely powerless to stop it. Her sweaty pallid face with blots of viscid green glop begging, pleading for help. When a newborn Xenomorph gruesomely ejects out her chest, the only thing the soldiers can do is stand back, take aim and let the flame-flowers lick blazing sheets of fire. The high-pitched squeal of the alien is a nice touch!


If for no other reason than a change of pace, let's loft a little robot love to both Ash and Bishop in the first two ALIEN flicks, each for different reasons. The sheer shock of Ash being a synthetic android in the original is still one of the film's greatest aspects, and the way in which his systematic breakdown is designed, framed and acted by Ian Holm is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Bishop on the other hand, while slightly easier to spot as synthetic, meets an even more savage demise...not in ALIENS though, where he's sheared in two by the Alien Queen, but in ALIEN 3 when, knowing he's been corrupted, opts to deactivate himself.


To me, what will always separate ALIEN from the pack is its first rate cast, exemplified here by the ever-underrated Yaphet Kotto. This dude's a G! And outside of a certain Hurt, I think we might all agree that next gnarliest death scene in Ridley Scott original is that of Parker. Remember, this is the first time we get a really good view of the Alien Xenomorph - its size and scale compared to humans - its giant mandibles, those vicious rows of teeth, that profusely leaking liquid...all of it. Of course, then Parker gets lethally jousted, in close up, his mouth spews blood while he tries to fight, but ultimately can't compete with a giant gouge taken out of his neck.


Man oh man, this one's just foully repugnant to even look at. While ALIEN RESURRECTION remains the franchise nadir, there's no denying how madly messy the finale of the film gets, mainly when the Alien Queen is attacked by its newborn Alien mutation with human traits. Holy hell! This puss-ridden, acid-dripping monstrosity goes berserk, first by biting deep into the Alien Queen's scalp until a well of gore bubbles up and leaks over Ripley's face. Then, not sated, the newborn turns its attention to poor Distefano, who's face crumbles into a puddle of liquefied pulp when crushed in the giant hands of the beast. Shite's gross!


The subtextual sexual politics of ALIEN just might be best illustrated by the way in which Lambert's near rape of a death scene transpires. You'll recall that the entire movie deals with the fear of alien impregnation - the phallic alien head, the fallopian tube structure of the ship, constant references to the ship as Mother, etc. - and here the horny Xenomorph makes his lascivious intentions quite clear. Even more lewdly deliberate in the extended deleted scene, the Xenomorph's sexual advances upon Lambert, teasingly sticks out its erection in her direction before ultimately attacking her. Now, the actual kill is off-screen, but the gravid intimation of abut her bodily violation is just as disturbing as seeing it!


If lost lives were wives, I'd want to marry this sick sumbitch right here! Though lowest on the ALIEN totem, RESURRECTION features a double-dose of deathly carnage in the scene where an pregnant Purvis flips out, flails around the room, eventually running right toward a hail of bullets discharged from Wren's firearm. No good. Purvis grabs hold of Wren, we're then given a nasty shot from inside Purvis' mouth and down his digestive track, where we find a hungrily ascending Xenomorph. The kicker? In one brutal swoop, the Alien bursts through Purvis chest, then plum through the back of Wren's bald dome - an abundance of gore explodes. Two birds, one clone!


We kick this mofo off with the most recent franchise entry, PROMETHEUS, which I was a bit surprised to realize upon going back through all the deaths, that there really aren't that many outstanding ones in the film. Then again, what do you expect from the absence of the full-grown Xenomorph? Anyway, the one we're left with that actually made a lasting impression is the way in which the gargantuan Engineer is dispatched by a budding facehugger being resembling a f*cked up prehistoric octopus mutation. Yeah, no joke! What's even nastier and gnarlier is what follows: a repulsive chest-bursting sequence in which a midsize neomorph juts out of the Engineer's body. Probably the biggest "Oh Shit!" moment of the whole film!
Tags: Hollywood

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