a) Whiplash tail
The filming of the scene with the chestburster alien rushing across the table, which Ivor would nickname Little Rascal. Roger Dicken is under the table operating the chestburster puppet.
Ridley says "And slow Roger, more blood, push out"
|'And slow Roger!
|Pulse it more
Another crew member with a slight regional tone says "Pulse it more!"
Roger's other hand can be seen through the cavity pumping the air to pulse the creature's side pipes
Ridley says "Looking round. "
Regional tone "Barry, Cut it! "
Ridley says "Yaphet. Scream! Head back!"
The chestburster's head rises backwards
Ridley cries "Scream! "
The puppet opens its mouth
|Head back! Scream!
|Note the hand wrapped in bloodied skin holding the puppet
Ridley cries " cries And go!"
It's then that Roger reaches out with the puppet showing his hand covered in a blooded skin, holding the handle of the puppet. (Perhaps fans of Cronenberg's Videodrome that would be made some years later might think of the hand fused with the gun in that movie)
Ridley: Slight movement John, with the hand!
John Hurt with eyes closes calmly twitches his hand.
" And again. " continues Ridley
|Slight movement with hand, John!
"That was amazing! " says Ridley
A crewmember says " We're still running, Rid?"
"Yuh! Do it again Put it back"replies Ridley
The crewmember talking at the same time as Ridley continued " Put it back into position. The tails wrong and everything"
" Take it back inside" calls Ridley " Right, cut it and, action! And one!"
Veronica as Lambert begins to sob
Ridley cries " One!"
Lambert falls to the ground. Parker picks up a piece of cutlery, perhaps the spoon as if he were sure that he could use the blunt handle as a weapon.
They do the after the creature has burst out scene,
|Don't touch it!
Harry as Brett follows with the words" No man, no man"
Yaphet as Parker continues" keep away from it!
A voice cries out "Don't touch it" prompting Ian
Ian waving his finger steps in and screams: Don't touch it!
Ridley yells "Two!"
b) Rushing across the table
Beneath the table was Roger Dicken on a trolley that Veronica Cartwright was sure it was a skateboard, and the creature rushes across the table.
Roger Dicken sits on a trolley or skateboard being pulled across the room underneath the table that has been cut in two so that the puppet could be supported by a dolly as it slithers across the surface through the table debris pushing a bloodied bowl across.
In Ridley's mind, this translated as a railway track across the table to get rid of the Chest Burster.
The actors both as themselves and as their characters stand in a state of shock.
Ridley wanted a whiplash effect and so Brian Johnson came up with the idea of putting an airline in the tail so at it went away, it would go it would go "ssssssp!"
As the creature sped across the table, they cracked a valve open and two thousand pounds came through these little plastic tubes.
The tale would got anywhere it wanted resulting in an incredible whiplash around knocking everything off the table as it went through.
c) Another take.
Again Ridley cries "action! One! "
Off the screen Harry Dean Stanton's Brett intervenes "No man, no man. "
Parker replies " Keep away from me"
Ian steps up to the table (waving his finger) screaming " Don't touch it!"
Ridley yells "Two!"
Again the chestburster with a hiss shifts across the table Lambert coughs trying to recompose herself as she stands there with her blood splashed t-shirt.
Ash stands still, moving his mouth as if he were muttering something to himself.
Dallas: Parker, erm, Parker. You and Brett, erm, secure the area, make sure it's safe
Ian scream "Don't touch it" pointing his finger one more time.
|Dicken's chestburster with tale upon the track , a split in the table (source: H R Giger's Alien Diaries)
d) Take 4
Clapperboard man calls out " 175, Take 4"
Ridley calls out " leave it in jeff, and turning and action! and Now!"
Ian Holmes as Ash again scream " Don't touch it!"
Ridley cries "Two!"
Chestburster runs along the table
Ridley cries Cut it!
- See raw footage of the chestburster scenes.
- Nicky Allder: And then it went in to you know, more of the glove puppet, you know when it turns around and that. Which is where Roger took over, and there again, poor Roger Dicken is laying underneath with his, like, little like hand puppet of the front part and suddenly Ridley says he wants this tail to kind of whiplash everywhere. (Alien Legacy Documentary)
- Brian Johnson: My major contribution to that was to put an airline in the tail so that as it goes away ssssssp!(Alien Legacy Documentary)
- Nicky Allder: We just cracked the valve open and about two thousand pounds came down through these little plastic tubes. And of course, it goes anywhere it wants to, so we got this incredible whiplash around knocking everything off the table as it went through. (Alien Legacy Documentary)
- (54:23 / 57:32) Veronica Cartwright: And there.. remember there was a guy on a skateboard, underneath that table
(54:27 / 57:35) Tom Skerrit: Yuh.
(54:27 / 57:35) Veronica Cartwright: There was a cut in the table, and then they had him on a dolly and they WHIPPED him out.
(54:32 / 57:41) Tom Skerrit: Yuh. yuh
(54:34 / 57:42) Veronica Cartwright: It was just, it was like simple stuff, but it just looks so unbelievable(Alien commentary from Alien Quadrilogy)
- Ridley Scott:
(54:00)Whoa...Wow , that's pretty good, (chuckle) that's pretty heavy, (chuckle) listen to the sounds. lt's a baby, it's a boy, and I had to have a little railway track to cross the table to get rid of it, I didn't know how the hell to get rid of it. so we had to do a lash up of a railway track through all the debris on the table, and if you spot it, run frame by frame, after John hits his frenzy, his spasms, you cut in and then there's an artificial chest screwed to the table which was made in fiber glass, with a hole in it, his shirt stretched tight over it, prepared we raised the fabric then saturated it with blood. When the ram happened, it would come through the shirt. And poor John is bent in an S bend underneath the table with his head sticking out of this thing holding him to the table, with his artificial chest on the table, so underneath, Roger Dicken had to crush in there, with John, with the little alien, and it was physically just rammed it through, physically, like, it was like a gun, and so the, the baby worked from a trigger, you could open the mouth and make it look around with a very simple trigger. The rest was blood and KY jelly. (Alien Quadrilogy DVD/Blu-Ray commentary)