Sunday, 17 October 2010

"In space..."

This May 1979 teaser trailer for Alien functions rather nicely as a standalone acknowledgement of Ridely Scott's debt to Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - Scott hoped to take Chain Saw's basic model of sustained imperilment and transpose it into a science-fiction setting. This ad even plays with the visual and aural language of Texas Chain Saw. Like that film, here sound is used as a tool for relentless, unsubstantiated assault. The soundtrack is overloaded with blaring space sounds that pulse over a driving, throbbing beat. Similarly, the visuals splutter forward in a constant state of harassed movement, mirroring Sally's sustained torment in Hooper's 1974 flick. Everything is shot tight and claustrophobic, full of agitated, hand-held fragments of people fleeing. Although we never see a particular threat, we know it's there, and we know it's hunting.

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