• Understanding Autism from the Inside

    “Academics came easily to me. The rest of life—not so much.”

Monster Movie: Aliens (1979) Coffee, Cats, and Headbands in Space

This week’s assignment, as you can tell from the title of this post, watch and respond to the 1970 movies, “Aliens” with Sigourney Weaver.  This is the second on my list of horror movies to view this semester.

Hubby declared he is done watching with me (yeah, we will see!).  And, as he so deftly put it, the best part of the movie “is that is its over.”

These movies are challenging because they are outdated and do not keep my attention.  I have the attention span of a 12-year-old boy with ADHD—unless it falls within my range of special interests. Then time flies by without me realizing I’ve researched Bigfoot for twelve hours—again.  There is my disclaimer of disinterest.

Admittedly, there were several times in the movie I screeched and jumped.  Those “pop-out” monster moments when the alien dropped from the ceiling or the cat jumped out while the crew hunted for the monster. And there was a creep factor to the slimy-slithering venomous creature.  The monster worked as far as monsters go.  It was evasive, intelligent, and dangerous picking off people one-by-one within the close confines of a space vessel.

On the flipside, inconsistencies made the monster less frightening.  While it attached to the first guy’s face, its bodily fluids were acidic and burned through several layers of the hull.  But that didn’t happen when the giant full-grown drooled everywhere?

Monster mechanics were vague. From the beginning, I thought the aliens reminiscent of the spiders in Breeding Ground.  It attached to the first human, literally impregnated him, an interesting choice, and birthed themselves by ripping its way out of the man’s chest.  Very Breeding Groundish.  But then, that little sucker gets free in the ship and grows enormous immediately.  Did it eat the crew? I’m not sure. No bodies found. That is was terrifying. But why use on man to breed, and the rest for food?

Aliens moved very slowly. Hubby said it was supposed to be suspense.  I sat suspended in boredom waiting for something to happen!

I laughed about the cat.  It caused a crapload of trouble. The first crew member bit it (after the alien birth) looking for the cat–alone.  Come on, why would you do that? But, creepiest on-film moment:  Cat eyes watching alien monster do whatever it did to that crew. Not a stupid feline, backed away, hissed, and stayed alive!

Weaver searched for the cat when the alien at the final two crew members.  And all I kept saying to my husband is SEE!  My story my middle-grade characters get in a mess of hot water chasing their cat into the woods—in the dark—with a Bigfoot on the loose.  After chasing the cat through a magic portal, but that is a whole other story—ignore my craziness.  However, I felt vindicated here because he (Hubby) kept asking why they would follow the cat?

Because, that is what we humans do, Dude. Didn’t your alien leaders teach you that before they sent you here?

(Does anyone know the movie reference?)

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert , contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, three of which are on the autism spectrum.
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