Something moves in the darkness.
Ripley spins, turns her lights toward the movement.
Hanging from the ceiling is a huge cocoon. The body of Dallas inside.
Well, as the story goes, if the higher-ups at 20th hadn't had their way, you would have seen it. Strangely enough, prior to the first (studio) screening in LA, I'd spoken to Ronald Shusett (a co-writer & the producer) and he too wondered if 20th would leave the scene intact. As a matter of fact at that same LA screening he was not invited. 20th would fly the principal writer & some technicians to a public sneak preview out of state in order to see the audience reaction.
Well, as it happened (allegedly), the people screamed, were sickened or left the theatre. So in came the scissors and bits and scenes thought too graphic were snipped. Still sticking with an R rating sure to a stomach wrenching scene to the film. 20th played it safe
When I spoke to Dan O'Bannon at a later sneak preview his commentary on the editing was one of very escapist nature. "You should have seen the more graphic version." he said. But he defended the cuts too, saying 20th chopped for length.
What scene went? First, if you remember Parker & Lamber being attacked near the end, recall the alien's tail slowly rising between her booted legs; well, earlier in the film, when Brett was the first attacked, that same tail, with its knife-edged point, rose between his legs and droves its end into his spine, killing him and pushing his body forward. Why they allowed the suggestion of this without completion during the film puzzled me and why her body was unclothed when Ripley came upon the corpses lacked explanation.
As for the cocoon, during the earlier portion of the film after the deaths of Brett & Dallas, Parker loudly questions where the bodies are etc. Near the end, during Ripley's frantic rush about, she stumbled onto the place where the alien made its nest, In it, hanging from the ceiling, are cocoons, one weblike & transparent, one dark, stone-fray like the alien egg. Inside the web is Dallas, seemingly dead, maggots eating thru his face - and suddenly his eyes flair, scaring Ripley. His voice almost inaudibly weeps for mercy. "Kill me! Please ... kill me!" She raises her flame-thrower and blasts the chamber into an inferno.
Some scenes were shot of the alien closeup, of it folded like a weird-looking box, but it was decided this would give us too graphic a look at the beastie, so snip! snip! snip!
Finally, returning to Lambert & Parker's murders, when we see the result of the creature's attack we notice that her bare legs are hung midair, but we are not shown why. Well, the alien came thru the airs shafts; that's where it shoved the body. This footage & more exists and the Good Word is that ALIEN might be re-released later on with the X-rated footage included for the strong of stomach & spine who have survived the R-Rated version and want to go All the Way with ALIEN.
|full article from Famous Monsters of Film Land, #159,|