Alien: Kane starts to choke

leading from

Still collating


a) Introduction to a scene.
It is supposed to be the end of their day, one last meal before bed time, sometime after the first encounter with the Alien in its initial stage of development. The dinner conversations still betray some tension, so when Kane, the executive officer (John Hurt) starts choking on his food, all eyes turn to him. But nobody is prepared for the horror that follows

b) Slate 169 B , 2nd August 1978, Night-Int

Ridley: One.

Ash: (barely audible) how different foods are made?

Parker: Is what?

Ash: (barely audible) Did you have different foods in the engine?

Parker: Yeah

Ridley: Two...Action

Brett: I'm hungry

Kane: It's good

Parker: This food is terrible What are you, No soul in the Nostromo!



Kane: I tell you the first thing I'm going to do when I get back is to eat some decent food

Parker: I can dig it, I've had worse than this but then I've had better too, you know what I'm talking about

Kane: No Kidding. (Laughter)

Ash is sitting on the far side of the table from Kane, looking as if he's observing, waiting for something to happen



Lambert: you pound it down as if there is no tomorrow

Dallas: Yeah, you're doing all right

Parker: I'd like to be eating something else but, er, I'll eat this for the time being

Kane: Why, you should know what it's like, at least you know what it's made of. (laughter)

Parker: Listen man, I don't want to hear that, I'm eating this stuff, you know what I'm saying, this is good food. Cornbread and cake, but the food aint that bad, 



Dallas: Kane. What is it, what's wrong

(Ash gets up and darts to the other side of the table where Kane is.)

Ridley : Cut

Ridley: action

Kane: Maybe running naked 

Parker: I can't be eating his food like this


Dallas:  That's it, tell him the coconuts, pineapples is on its way


Parker: This stuff is terrible man, but I'll eat it, you know

Kane: I tell you the first thing I'm going to do when I get back is I'm going to get some decent food

Parker: I can dig it man, I mean I've had worse food than this before, but I've had better too, you know what I'm saying

Kane: No kidding (Laughter)

Lambert: you pound down the stuff like there's  no tomorrow




Dallas: hear, hear

Parker: Listen now, I'd rather be eating something else but, er, I'll eat this for the time being

Kane: You should know ,  you know what it's made of. (Laughter)

Lambert: Give me a break

Parker: Hey, listen I don't want to talk about what this food is made of

(Kane starts to choke)

Parker: What's the matter, it can't be that bad

Dallas; Are you choking?

Lambert: What's wrong?

Parker: What's the matter


Dallas: What's the matter Kane



(Kane cries in agony, and they lie him on the table.)

Dallas: Kane, What's the matter ?

Ash: Get some force on him, get the spoon on him

Brett:  Can't breathe

Ash: Hold him now, hold him

Kane screams and blood capsule pops in his t-shirt




Lambert screams

Ash: Jesus!

Kane throws a fit

Ash: Hold him down! Christ sake hold him down!

Kane is bent backwards on the table

Ash: Hold it!

Ridley states: Action!

Brett; There's blood

Ash: Hold him, hold him!


c) First signs of blood
Nicky Allder hid a blood pipe underneath the t-shirt of John Hurt as Kane, and with that a squid with a blood pack. The actors went back into the scene taking up their positions where they left off, surrounding the choking Kane. Perhaps due to their nervous and inquisitiveness, they crowded in on Kane. On the first take the blood pump didn't pump much and the squib caused a popping sound and lifted the T-shirt as a stain of blood spread. Scarily it looks as if something has broken through the skin.

d) End of the scene
It got to a point where it seemed as if the actors seemed sufficiently shocked by the scene enough for Ridley to move on, feeling he had captured credible reactions. Paul Ibbetson, first assistant director, then sent all the actors except John Hurt to their dressing rooms, and told them it would be a few hours to set up the next shot. Ridley did not want the actors to see the setup, just to experience the horror of the moment the baby alien actually breaks through. To practice how this would all work, they had set up a separate secluded area off stage for them to try it all out, so the actors were truly unaware of what was going to happen next.

Source quotes
  1. Roger Christian: Filming commenced on the sequence in the morning, as the actors sit around the table eating, full of loose banter and chatter, Kane happy to have survived. Then Kane suddenly chokes and goes into spasms of pain. While Kane is fighting the pain the other characters turn him round and lay him on the table so that he is correctly positioned for the chestburster sequence.  (http://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/alien-chestburster-scene/)
  2. Roger Christian: Once Ridley had got that scene, Nick Allder hid a blood pipe under Kane’s T-shirt and a squib with a blood pack. On cue this let out a stream of blood to stain the T-shirt red as if something terrible was going on in Kane’s chest. The actors picked up their positions where they left off, surrounding the choking Kane. I think being nervous and inquisitive they crowded in on Kane. On the first take the blood pump didn’t pump much and the squib caused a popping sound and lifted the T-shirt as a stain of blood spread. It looked pretty scary, as if something had broken through the skin. The rest was imagination as it hadn’t broken through the material, but it shocked the actors. In a way this false start helped, as you could see it increased the actors’ anxieties about what was coming, letting their imaginations run wild. On the second take the blood pumped into the T-shirt and stained it heavily. The actors were sufficiently shocked at this, enough for Ridley to move on, feeling he had captured credible reactions. Paul Ibbetson then sent all the actors except John Hurt to their dressing rooms, and told them it would be a few hours to set up the next shot. Ridley did not want the actors to see the setup, just to experience the horror of the moment the baby alien actually breaks through. To practice how this would all work, we had set up a separate secluded area off stage for them to try it all out, so the actors were truly unaware of what was going to happen next. (http://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/alien-chestburster-scene/)
  3. It is supposed to be the end of a typical day, sometime after the first encounter with the Alien in its initial stage of development. The dinner conversations still betray some tension, so when Kane, the executive officer (John Hurt) starts choking on his food, all eyes turn to him. But nobody is prepared for the horror that follows. (Rolling Stone, 31 May, 1979, p31)

No comments:

Post a Comment