A foreign-born resident of a country. An alien can be in the country legally (often to work or seek an education) and eventually seek citizenship, if he or she lives there long enough, or they can be in the country illegally (usually to work or visit friends or family), which means they may be deported back to their home nation, if caught.

Also, an extraterrestrial, sent to our planet to abduct rubes in the woods, make pretty patterns in cornfields with their UFOs, kill all the men, and make wild nookie with the women. We have only one defense: foil hats for everyone!

A program (available at least in Debian) that converts binary packages between .rpm, .deb and tarball (Slackware) formats.

Originally written by Christoph Lameter, some code taken from Martian program by Randolph Chung. Debian package maintained (as of writing) by Joey Hess.

This program is rarely needed, but extremely handy when it is needed =)

Name for a piece of climbing equipment produced by Black Diamond. The alien is a very small camming device(SLCD). Most camming devices require you to find a finger sized crack in the rock. The smallest aliens (there are about four sizes of them I think) can fit into fingertip sized cracks and in paticular they can fit into holes left in the rock when old pitons are removed (these are called piton scars).

Aliens cost about $70 a piece. I have used them within the last 6 months and they are brilliant. Black Diamond makes fantastic equipment and placing any piece of gear made by them gives you a little extra confidence on your climb

Atari 2600 Game
Produced by:20th Century Fox
Model Number:11006
Rarity:4 Scarce+

Atari 2600 game based on the movie of the same name. It is for the most part a blatant Pac-Man rip off. With Aliens instead of ghosts

Dallas North was the programmer on this title.

This game is valued at around $15 USD. Games with boxes and manuals are worth more.

"In space no one can hear you scream."

Classic science fiction/horror movie released on unsuspecting audiences back in 1979, with British director, Ridley Scott at the helm. It spawned a lucrative movie franchise, and made a star of its heroine, Sigourney Weaver. It also features one of the most frightening and imaginatively realised monsters of cinema, the eponymous Alien.

The Cast

Tom Skerrit - as Captain Dallas
Sigourney Weaver - as Ripley
Veronica Cartwright - as Lambert
Harry Dean Stanton - as Brett
John Hurt - as Kane
Ian Holm - as Ash
Yaphet Kotto - as Parker

The plot

(contains spoilers)

As the film begins, and the credits start to appear we are given establishing shots of a star field, followed by a craft making its way past a planet. A caption informs us that this is the Nostromo (cf Heart of Darkness) returning back to Earth with its cargo. The camera now begins to take a slow tour of the ship's innards, it is lifeless and deserted although there are signs of past human habitation. A computer screen crackles into life and the whole ship awakens from its slumber, lights luminate with their neon glow, doors open to reveal the crew hibernating in an chamber in the bowels of the ship. One by one they emerge blinking to begin living their lives again.

Excited at their return home, the crew of seven are in good spirits, but these soon evaporate when they realise they have not reached their destination. Instead they have been prematurely awakened by a radio signal received from the nearby unexplored planet. They take a landing craft down to the planets surface and three of the crew members go off to find the location of the transmission.

They find a derelict alien spacecraft that is clearly not indigneous to the hostile, stormy planet. They find a hole and the crewmember Kane is lowered down a rope to explore. He finds himself in a strangely organic enviroment, and pod or eggs are littered about the ground. He bends down to examine one closely, when something, shoots out of it, smashing through his face plate and attaches itself to his face.

His comrades, Captain Dallas and Lambert, carry him back to thes ship, but Ripley won't let them into the ship because of the risk of infection from whatever they are bringing back with them. But Ash the science/medical officer ignores her, and lets them back onboard. They examine Kane, and observe that the alien creature is keeping him alive but cannot be removed and has forced a tentacle down Kane's throat. They attempt cutting the creature off but its blood is so acidic it cuts through several of the ships floors. They are at a loss, but later the creature seems to fall off and die of its own accord.

They return to the mothership and are preparing to re-enter their hibernation. They decide to eat dinner first. The mood has improved, the crew are laughing and joking again after their ordeal. Kane starts convulsing. He spins round, in unbearable pain, spewing up blood. His friends try to restrain him. As Kane lies back on the mess table, his chest is lacerated, blood cascades from his open chest and an alien erupts from his chest and escapes out of the room. The crew are in shock, Kane's corpse lies on the dining table, his chest ripped open from the inside. The nightmare has begun.

The crew begin to hunt the creature, however it is they who are the prey. Brett and Dallas are killed and the crew seem incapable of daunting the alien with their weapons. They are further shocked to discover that Ash is an android, under orders to bring home a live alien specimen to his superiors, and that the rest of the crew are considered expendable. This in-fighting rips the group apart, and soon Ripley is left as the only survivor.

Chest Burster

This is one of the most shocking scenes in cinema and is probably the part of the movie that sticks in most viewers minds. The obscene pregnancy and birth that Kane is subjected to touches the rawest of nerves. The actors were not informed of the specifics of the screen, and this skullduggery means that the shock we see portayed, particularly by Veronica Cartwright as she is showered in blood, seem more genuine. John Hurt will always be remembered in this scene, and one of the highlights of Spaceballs is where Hurt parodies his defining moment.

The Horror

The basics of the Alien plot could be said to have been borrowed from Howard Hawk's 1951 film, The Thing. However the impact that Alien made was no doubt due to its successful exploitation of the fears held by the audience. The most prominent of these is clearly the unknown, but many other are touched on, rape, fear of reproduction, arachnophobia and fear of technology. The alien itself is also utterly chilling with its stages of reproduction cycle. The egg seem perfected to survive in both the most hostile of atmosphere, while the face hugger can impant its seed into a variety of hosts. The incubating alien will then destroy its mother with its own birth. The full grown alien is just amount the most terrifying being imaginable, being roughly human shaped but able to adapt and conceal itself from detection. The whip like tail and infamous set of inner jaws. For this we have to thank artist H.R. Giger, for without such a memorable creation the film would not have made half the impact it did.

The Future

The future that Alien is set in is more believable, than many of its counterparts in other depictions. Instead of a benelovent Star Trek-esque federation, our shipmates work for the Company which appears to be an all-encompassing, money-making cartel that values profit over the well-being of its employees. The grim functional rattletrap look of the ship has been widely imitated and the imbittered crew who are constantly striving to maintain it has become a science fiction cliche.


Another oft-noted fact about Alien, is that is it is a women who fights and ultimately triumphs over the alien. Back in 1979 this was not expected by audiences, but Sigourney Weaver's portrayal of a tough, smart and resourceful heroine not only launched her career but make the movie stand out even further from the crowd, and also gained the film a lot of academic attention due to its feminist stance, (and also because of the subtext concerning reproduction, gender and disease). Ripley is a survivor, she is also the soul of the movie, we can identify with her as she tries to enforce ship discipline to stop the infected Kane to come aboard and as she clashes with Ash over the orders they have been given to follow. It has also been noted that the alien itself could be thought of as having certain feminine characteristics.

Special Effects

The special effects in Alien are grisly but inventive. The alien itself is kept away from the camera at first like all good movie monsters should, and with each death we see more and more of it. The set design is indebted to the artist Moebius, while the lighting is excellent and Ridley Scott's trademark contrasts of light and dark in his shots all add to the suspense as we wait for the alien to emerge from the shadows. Alien won an Academy Award for its visual effects and was also nominated for best art direction. But remember that Alien is not for the faint of heart.

In association with node your homework.

Using the film ‘Alien’ answer the following question: How do film makers tell stories?

The film, ‘Alien’, was released in 1979, by British director Ridley Scott. ‘Alien’ soon gained a reputation for itself because it released into the cinema a series of shocking scenes and frightening alien images. Film makers, like Scott, are able to tell stories in a number of ways; this is done through a number of narrative and representation theories that the film maker has picked up during his working years. Many of the theories used are famous because of the people who first thought of them. It is often said that you can tell who has been part of making the film, or who has influenced the making of a film; just by the way the film is structured.

We need to realise that narrative is not just the way a story is told but it is also how the material is organised in order for the film to come together. Narrative is said to be the way we are taken through a story and led by the characters and their lives; the amount of information that is actually given throughout the story helps us to imagine we are actually there, within the story.

Vladimir Propp, a Russian critic from the 1920’s, has a narrative theory, which he believes can be seen in every film. Propp noticed that many of the films present their characters in similar situations. Examining more deeply into films he managed to create a theory that showed that there were eight different character types and thirty-one functions that move the story along. The eight characters that are used are: villain, hero, donor, helper, princess, her father, dispatcher and the false hero. Propp has said that these characters can be fulfilled by the same person if that is suitable for the films storyline.

If we look at the film ‘Alien’ we can see that Propp’s theory has, in some places, been uses by Scott in the making of ‘Alien’ as we can see some of the eight character types used within the film. Scott has used this to tell the story because it helps to create an atmosphere of suspense; finding out who are the real heroes and villains are. We can see that Ripley is the hero of the film, but at the start this was quite unclear as she was just seen as a strong woman. This, we will see later, is all part of the stereotyping that Scott has used within the film.

Todorov also looked at films and saw similar structures were present. He said that all films started with an “equilibrium,” which is said to mean a situation when all forces are balanced, and then a problem occurred, which caused “disequilibrium.” After more events a resolution was found and a “new equilibrium” was established. However, many film makers have stopped using this theory, saying that a film that’s balanced at the start can be quite boring. This theory, however, is very effective and we can see it being used within “Alien” because of how the film starts and ends.

The film starts off with the title being formed on screen, the word “ALIEN” is formed and the design is supposed to represent some form of alien language, which gives us an impression of what the rest of the film is going to be like. Well placed music and a slow tour of the ship lets us see the womb of the ship as it slowly comes alive. As the ship is “born” we are introduced to the characters, which gives us a background of relationships between them and the classing of the workers. It is obvious that some of the workers are higher paid, those in uniforms, and others that are lower paid because they are complaining of their status. There is already tension within the group, as they are wondering why they have been woken when they are miles away from home. This start is the “equilibrium” of the film because although there is tension there is also a lull of calmness about the whole crew as they fear nothing at all.

The “disequilibrium” comes from the finding of the alien. Part of the crew goes out to answer a distress call. Through events that are occur whilst on an alien ship Kane ends up with some sort of alien life form attached to his face. Much to the distress of Ripley, Captain Dallas forces her to let him on board. An event that follows end up with the crew trying to find the alien, which has now detached itself from Kane’s face and is roaming around the ship. We can now see that Scott is using this theory to tell the story by starting off with a secure environment, were the audience feel safe and then creating something so shocking that the audience no longer knows what could possibly happen next. Over the course of the film ever member of the crew dies, apart from Ripley, who we can now see as the clear hero of the film. The “new equilibrium” comes when Ripley escapes from the ship into the shuttle, ending with her going back to sleep in the womb-like room she woke from at the start of the film.

Representation is a huge part of telling a story and film makers have to be careful how they portray a character because if it isn’t right the audience can get totally the wrong idea. This, however, can be seen as a good thing because it generates the element of surprise when the audience find out what the character is really like. Many film makers like to use stereotyping within their films as it helps the audience to understand what each character stands for. Scott uses a number of stereotypes in ‘Alien’ because it helps the story to move along quicker, often in films a film maker only has a few short minutes to show what a character is like and by stereotyping we can see what they are like almost instantly.

We can see a clear contrast of stereotypes with the characters of Lambert and Ripley, Lambert is the typically weak woman who doesn’t stand up for what she believes and hides away in the background. In contrast to this we see Ripley who is a strong woman, ready to fight for what she believes and is quite capable of doing anything a man can. With a use of stereotyping and contrasting film makers help to tell the story with these elements because we can make assumptions about the characters and therefore realise more about them. Piecing together a characters past helps to tell the story because it helps us to realise what the person is actually like and by knowing this the story develops easier in our minds.

Film makers use a number of different elements, apart from just narrative and representation, to tell the story within a film. The story becomes easier to digest with well placed sound that adds atmosphere to the film, this, combined with dialogue, helps the audience to understand clearly what is going on within the film. Alien uses pieces of music in a number of key scenes within the film. As Ripley is leaving the ship, in the background, we can hear dramatic music being played that adds to the effects of the lights and the acting of Sigourney Weaver. Every part of a film helps the audience to understand the story within the film, each piece fits together to create a watertight film. Film makers understand that they have to use every element I have spoken about in order to tell the story within a film, otherwise the audience would not understand the film as well.

The dream came to me unwanted in the night. I thought that I was tired enough to sink so far down you couldn't find me in dreams, but I was wrong, so wrong. I replay some episode with you again, feel the emotions again, experience the pain again.

The tension, always on edge, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Knowing there was some invisible sickness in the relationship, some terminal illness which would finally put my love for you to death once and for all. One part of me desperately wanting to avoid whatever was coming, that other part of me saying "go ahead, kill it and have done".

When I met you I was taken without a struggle, captured before I knew what had happened. You looked like Sigourney Weaver, the young Sigourney in Alien, but with differences aplenty. Where her eyes are dark, your are flashes of emerald lightning. Her face is just a bit sharper than yours. Your slightly broader features are like a savannah, spread out beneath the sun, a place where lions loll before they rise to kill. Your body is broader too, by just a bit, becoming a more lush garden. Your garden wasn't for the cultivation of herbs or grape tomatoes, not at all. You were ground fit for rich cantalope, perhaps ripe corn, juicy and succulent, sense-engulfing. You were a field made for rolling in, wheat chaff littering my disheveled hair, dust tickling my nose.

I learned the garden had snakes too, the kind who bite, inject venom which paralyzes the prey, a venom of undilute sorrow. The venom which makes it impossible to move or breathe. All that is left is the ability to feel. How did you manage to keep him on the line all those months and I never caught a whiff of your guile? Truth be told, there was a scent, that feel of coming doom. I could never define it, put a name to it. The name was Jim, wasn't it? Jim, who showed up when I was out of town, earning a living, paying your bills. Jim, who was a gardener too, plucking those grapes while the vineyard was unguarded.

Months after the parting I thought I saw you. It was at a local club and I had forced myself to go, to be with people, to soak myself in the light and sound to try and convince myself I was still alive. God, you looked marvelous. You looked 20 pounds lighter, 10 years younger, the dress you wore a dark, off-one-shoulder affair which hinted and beckoned. I saw you and felt like a criminal, guilty of some unknown crime. I felt the blood rise to my face, felt the blush come, my eyes shift away, stupid with want.

I slipped out the door and drove a short distance and called our apartment, the one we had shared when we were together. I knew it would ring, ring, ring away unanswered. Imagine my shock when you picked up and said hello. I softly clicked the receiver down, hurt and wondering at what I'd just done. I had to call, had to find out if it was you. Like always where you were concerned, I had no control.

I sat in the misty rain on a concrete wall which ran just by the pay phone, remembering. The images were mixed up with the movie scenes, Sigourney running, you standing still, watching my van pull out of the driveway that last time, totally dry eyed. I felt the cool misty rain start to drip down my hair, down my cheeks, hiding the salty tears which had come unbidden. I sat there and watched in my minds eye the creature who you were burst through my bony chest and eat my heart yet again.

Al"ien (#), a. [OF. alien, L. alienus, fr. alius another; properly, therefore, belonging to another. See Else.]


Not belonging to the same country, land, or government, or to the citizens or subjects thereof; foreign; as, alien subjects, enemies, property, shores.


Wholly different in nature; foreign; adverse; inconsistent (with); incongruous; -- followed by from or sometimes by to; as, principles alien from our religion.

An alien sound of melancholy. Wordsworth.

Alien enemy Law, one who owes allegiance to a government at war with ours. Abbott.


© Webster 1913.

Al"ien, n.


A foreigner; one owing allegiance, or belonging, to another country; a foreign-born resident of a country in which he does not posses the privileges of a citizen. Hence, a stranger. See Alienage.


One excluded from certain privileges; one alienated or estranged; as, aliens from God's mercies.

Aliens from the common wealth of Israel. Ephes. ii. 12.


© Webster 1913.

Al"ien, v. t. [F. ali'ener, L. alienare.]

To alienate; to estrange; to transfer, as property or ownership.

[R.] "It the son alien lands."

Sir M. Hale.

The prince was totally aliened from all thoughts of . . . the marriage. Clarendon.


© Webster 1913.

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