Retro-Musings: 1966’s “Queen of Blood” shares plenty of hemoglobin with “ALIEN”…

In the 1960s,  legendary guerrilla-filmmaking producer Roger Corman (whose protégés would include Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Jonathan Demme, Gale Ann Hurd and James Cameron) imported several high-end Soviet-era science fiction movies, which he recut using American-shot scenes, actors and English-language dubbing.  This was a practice similar to what was done to Ishiro Honda’s 1954 atomic-bomb allegory…

ALIEN Covenant: In space, no one can hear you rip off your old ideas…

Just saw ALIEN Covenant this afternoon, and from the title of this blog entry you can probably surmise that I was less-than-dazzled by the latest offering from Sir Ridley Scott.  Being a huge fan of Scott’s brilliant 1979 original “ALIEN,” his visually immersive “Blade Runner” (1982) and his spirited epic “The Martian” (2015) I was…

Where did the once-brilliant ALIEN franchise go so wrong?

With the imminent release of “ALIEN: Covenant” (coming in May) I wanted to discuss the ALIEN franchise in general.  But I became more intrigued by this question: at what point did this once brilliant franchise go so wrong? The first two films are unabashed classics.  As ALIENS director James Cameron has said, ‘the first movie…

To Sir John Hurt, with love…

Famed, Oscar-nominated British actor Sir John Hurt  passed away only last week (just a few days after his 77th birthday). He was one of my favorite character actors over the last few decades, and he became a favorite of mine almost without me realizing it, by stealthily disappearing into each new role.  I won’t go…