1979 saw the beginning of what would become an icon of cinema, and a long-running series that would capture the imaginations of generations of film-goers. And in addition to the birth of all three members of Fuds on Film, 1979 also saw the release of a little film called Alien.
Moving between, and often straddling, the horror, science-fiction and action genres, the _Aliens_ franchise has seen 6 main films, 2 crossover spin-offs with the _Predator_ franchise, numerous books, comics and videogames, a boatload of money and the launch into superstardom of three notable directors. Only _Star Trek_ and_ Star Wars_ can rival _Aliens_ for most recognisable and emotive extra-terrestrial species (and most of these are just humans with pointy ears, humans with wrinkly heads, or tall humans in bear costumes). Not even George Lucas’s syntactically-crippled diminutive space frog, beloved though he is, has the same pull on our emotions as the sight of that shining, black, elongated skull emerging from the shadows, ready to strike.
The series has been marked out by its willingness to take risks on debutant or up and coming directors, rather than established names, and the fact that, until the most recent entry, each film, while clearly part of the series, had its own particular, distinctive, look and feel, something which has helped keep the franchise from stagnating (at least too badly).
I mentioned the Predator cross-overs, and we will be covering those 2 films, along with the Predator franchise itself, in our next episode, but today we’re sticking to the Xenomorphs, and we’ll be discussing the whole series, from Alien up to the recently released Alien: Covenant.