And so, friends and countrymen (but not Romans, because what did they ever do for us?!), we come to the end of this series, and what an interesting journey it has been. Very rarely do I get the opportunity or the inclination to look at a movie purely in terms of its effects, as usually I pay attention to writing, directing, and acting in that order. It’s been very enlightening, and a great deal of fun, but all good things must finish, and by closing with the winner of the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects on the 1980 show, we also happen to get hands down the best film of the five. It’s not only a monument to special effects at the time, but it could be considered one of the best special effects films even today. This is, of course, Ridley Scott’s masterpiece of sci-fi/horror, Alien.
The really glorious thing about Alien is that it’s a B-movie premise done as an A-movie. In its initial stages, the name of the film was to be Star Beast when Dan O’Bannon first wrote it, which sounds exactly like something Roger Corman would have gladly made for …read more