The Chestburster Scene in Alien (1979)

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  • Published on Jul 27, 2018
  • The original 'Alien' from 1979 is an exercise in quiet tension and measured intensity, and Ridley Scott’s film has the distinct advantage of being the first.
    Scott’s film is just about as close to perfect as a science-fiction thriller can be, and has ever been. While it borrows from sci-fi stories of the past (The Thing From Another World, Invasion of The Body Snatchers). The film written by Dan O’Bannon takes those influences and carves its own path of horror.
    The idea for Alien came about when writer Dan O’Bannon was studying cinema at university and he made a science fiction film with director John Carpenter and concept artist Ron Cobb called Dark Star. The whole experience left O’Bannon wanting to do a story more focused on horror with an alien that actually looked real. He will work on the script during the following years and when he then worked on a film adaptation of Dune he met several artists there including Chris Foss, H.R. Giger and Jean “Moebius” Giraud. He found Giger’s art disturbing but captivating at the same time so he wrote a script with a creature based on his work. The working title for the script was going to be Star Beast but O’Bannon didn’t like it and changed it to Alien. O’Bannon then turned to 20th Century Fox, who together with producers at Brandywine, asked the 1977’s The Duellists director, Ridley Scott to step in as director. The rest is history.
    The brilliant cast as a group of blue-collar space workers put in an impossible situation, with Sigourney Weaver as the quintessential heroine, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. The excellent artwork as one of the greatest Lovecraft-ian visualizations of pure terror ever put on screen, by Swiss artist H. R. Giger, while concept artists Ron Cobb and Chris Foss. The excellent script by Dan O’Bannon, and not least the vision of Ridley Scott, to use just the precise enough of practical effects to make ou anticipation and fear build to a crescendo throughout the movie, with a creature that is barely visible, and rarely glimpsed, in the dripping shadows of the Nostromo, waiting to kill the ship's crew one by one.

    Alien Chestburster Scene
    The Alien chestburster scene is the stuff of movie legend - and could genuinely be one of cinema's greatest ever scenes if only for the reason that, despite having seen it countless times before, you still never expect what follows.
    John Hurt's character Kane, having had an unknown creature attached to his face for days, sits down to eat with his fellow Nostromo crew members; all seems well until he begins convulsing in pain. As the crew members try to contain him, a small alien creature bursts through his chest, killing Kane, before escaping into the depths of the ship.
    In an old issue of Empire, the cast and crew of 1979 sci-fi horror Alien - including Scott and actors Sigourney Weaver (Ripley), Veronica Cartwright (Lambert) and Yaphet Kotto (Parker) - revisited the moment, reflecting upon its gory legacy.
    Scott's desire was that of genuine reactions of terror, "[They] were going to be the most difficult thing. If an actor is just acting terrified, you can't get the genuine look of raw, animal fear," he mused.
    Cartwright, who famously passed out when cameras stopped rolling, said: "We read the script. They showed us a mock-up, but they didn't show how it was going to work. They just said, 'Its head will move and it's going to have teeth'.
    The scene remains one of the most shocking and famous of all time, largely because it’s a master class in filmmaking.

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Comments • 662

  • ChickenMan 888831

    I keep rewatching this for some reason. The feeling of the scene never gets old.

  • John vincent
    John vincent 4 days ago

    This still remains one of the most disturbing scenes I've ever witnessed. I've seen so many gory horror movies like Saw, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Thing, Hellraiser, A bunch of Rob Zombie films, etc.
    This is one of the few scenes that truly makes my skin crawl up the point where it is painful to watch. The acting and practical effects are just so fucking good. It's so unsettling and makes it feel like it could really happen. My sternum feels weird after watching it.

    • Laurelindo
      Laurelindo 3 days ago

      @John vincent
      I am talking about the original version from 1974 by the way, and that version was a low-budget movie, so they were very restricted in a lot of ways.
      I do know that Leatherface was actually using a real chainsaw and that the dead guy on the table was the actual actor himself, and I have also heard that the woman who got her finger cut was slightly unprepared for that part, which would explain why she sounds so utterly freaked out when her finger gets cut (she probably knew that it was going to happen, but I think that it happened very suddenly before she was ready).
      I have also heard that all the human skulls and bones were parts from actual human skeletons.

    • Laurelindo
      Laurelindo 3 days ago

      @John vincent
      Kind of - there is a scene where Leatherface takes a girl inside his house and impales her on a meathook (although you only see just enough to understand that she gets impaled), and then you can see her dead boyfriend lie on a table right in front of her and get chainsawed by Leatherface, but you don't actually see any blood or anything.

      There is also an interesting scene later in the movie where another girl gets one of her fingers cut with a knife (and it actually gets cut FOR REAL, since they couldn't get the fake blood to work correctly), and then her blood is fed to a half-dead old man who had looked completely dead until that part.
      And you can see her finger get put into his mouth in the exactly same scene, which must mean that he sucked her blood for real! O_O

    • John vincent
      John vincent 3 days ago

      @Laurelindo You're right about that. But isnt there one scene though where leatherface sits the girl on a hook and then starts chainsawing her dead boyfriend and blood starts flying? It was very brief but probably the goriest part.
      Still compared to the other movies I listed TCM is probably the least graphic.

    • Laurelindo
      Laurelindo 3 days ago

      "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" isn't that gory, actually - the goriest part in that movie is pretty much when the hitchhiker cuts his own hand with a knife and then cuts Franklin's arm shortly after that, and then the other scenes are much more suggestive and discrete.

  • Wildan
    Wildan 5 days ago

    Always loved the Muppet Show vibe of this scene. Glad CGI wasn't around back then.

  • Flyster
    Flyster 6 days ago

    0:48 ash knows

  • The No Videos Guy
    The No Videos Guy 6 days ago

    Who came here from inside edition

  • Jus Blaze
    Jus Blaze 8 days ago

    The best thing about this scene. No one knew that was going to happen. The fear they had was real

  • Roblox Horror Game Theories

    A man giving birth? Wired

  • Sqizzy
    Sqizzy 10 days ago

    1:52 The alien is just like, "where the fuck am I?"

  • Angie de Rosny
    Angie de Rosny 10 days ago

    L'une des meilleures scènes du film 👌

  • a thing
    a thing 13 days ago

    Chestburster pops out*
    Me:is it a girl?

  • plasmaastronaut
    plasmaastronaut 16 days ago

    only people who lived at the time know the impact this scene had. today special effects are cheap and generic, in the 70s it gobsmacked viewers. when it came out on video in the 80s we replayed the scene over and over.
    kids today will never know the feel....

  • RadioactiveRat
    RadioactiveRat 17 days ago

    Look at how Ash was just watching as Kane initially started choking/coughing. An expression that tells me he knew it was the Alien. He likely didn't know exactly what was happening, but he knew it was all related.
    No concern, no comment, nothing until Kane begins violently screaming and thrashing about. Then tells the others not to touch the alien after it emerges. One could easily see it as "It could be dangerous" but it was likely so they didn't kill the Alien.

  • Travis Besst
    Travis Besst 17 days ago

    This is so horrible yet incredibly funny. The way are all in stunned silence at the end...😂

  • MetalManiac 879
    MetalManiac 879 18 days ago

    Brilliant acting

  • Dae Kim
    Dae Kim 19 days ago

    John Hurt always get hurt.

  • Lame and Willy B
    Lame and Willy B 20 days ago

    They’re just nonchalan about what just happened

  • Will Kirkpatrick
    Will Kirkpatrick 20 days ago

    2:05 “yup, this is cringe. Imma head out”

  • Homemade Collectibles2021

    Man the way ash sits there while this happened. Great forshadowing. Better then Godzilla King Of The Monsters

  • DopeXen 9100
    DopeXen 9100 21 day ago

    Is ash the android eating something that i can't forget that part.

  • Benjamin Röhling
    Benjamin Röhling 21 day ago

    I hope your stomach will be healthy.

  • World of Retro Gameplay
    World of Retro Gameplay 25 days ago +1

    Get this guy some Pepto Bismo!

  • RpgBlaster
    RpgBlaster 25 days ago

    Letting it escape from the table was the ultimate mistake
    of the crew

  • Lula Kate
    Lula Kate 25 days ago

    1:48 I think I saw a wire that makes that alien move idk, comment if u see it to. Ps it’s right where the tail is idk.

    • Smokey 420
      Smokey 420 12 days ago

      That is the umbilical cord that was attached to both the baby Xenomorph and it's host Kane.

  • FAMM 1776
    FAMM 1776 26 days ago

    We know now that ash was under orders to preserve the alien....but his actions here can easily be explained away in the name of caution

  • MHDumah88
    MHDumah88 27 days ago

    Well that ruined the buzz. Good job Kane!

  • The Afterhours
    The Afterhours 27 days ago +1

    My mother and father went to the pictures when this came out and my mother was pregnant with my older brother at the time. It freaked her out...she said she couldn’t stop thinking about this scene for days.
    Unfortunately, she did end up giving birth to a child that looked exactly like this little slimy alien shit thing, and he escaped the hospital just like this one ran across the table. I heard my 39 year old brother lives in Texas...sliming his way around San Antonio.

  • Tommy Two-shoes
    Tommy Two-shoes 29 days ago +1

    2:04 "I'm fuckin' hungry, I'll see you guys later"

  • Captain Butt nuggets
    Captain Butt nuggets Month ago +1

    I got to see this again on the big screen yesterday....awesome !!!!!

  • darkwulf23
    darkwulf23 Month ago

    Check Please

  • Tom Ball
    Tom Ball Month ago +2

    Their shock was real during this scene; they didn’t know about it.

  • Blood Reign
    Blood Reign Month ago +1

    The chestburster be like: Hello there bitches, you're gonna die soon 😈

  • YT Anonymity
    YT Anonymity Month ago

    Then the xenomorph growing faster 🤯🤯🤯🤯

  • Paul Burgio
    Paul Burgio Month ago +1

    The little alien growl is sooo cute!

  • Def Blinders
    Def Blinders Month ago +1

    Water??!! Water my ass!! Get this guy some Pepto Bismol!!!!!

  • AppleJack Jackio
    AppleJack Jackio Month ago +1

    Humans are much like a parasitic organism, depleting our host, the Earth. We also parasite on each other, and when an individual's or a group's usefullness is depleted they're tossed away.

  • Jesse Sands
    Jesse Sands Month ago

    When I saw Alien 1979 at the Cinema in January 1981 it was my 16th Birthday present at the little Cinema on Thompson Avenue Cowes Phillip Island on holidays never forgotten this scene with the Chestburster all the people in the front row jumped back a couple of rows!👽😱

  • Tommy The Card Guy
    Tommy The Card Guy Month ago

    Nobody:
    Absolutely Nobody:
    The Chestburster: Ight Ima Head Out

  • PuPPyPuP703
    PuPPyPuP703 Month ago

    2:03 when my dog sees someone

  • Chris Ducat
    Chris Ducat Month ago

    Pitch-perfect!

  • r. e.
    r. e. Month ago

    So looper said this scene was improvised, the fear was genuine. Good move Ridley Scott.

  • pulchralutetia
    pulchralutetia Month ago +3

    Happens to me everytime I go to MacDonalds

  • Franck JVR
    Franck JVR Month ago

    Un super film wonderful 1964 👍🇫🇷

  • Ginger Bone
    Ginger Bone Month ago

    Congrats, it's a worm!

  • Duc La
    Duc La Month ago

    😳😳😨🤢🤮
    OK! EITHER THATS KETCHUP OR THATS BLOOD 💉!!!!

  • William Hudson
    William Hudson Month ago

    Don't have the noodles man.

  • Christoph Waltz
    Christoph Waltz 2 months ago +1

    why is bilbo there??

  • Springtrap
    Springtrap 2 months ago +1

    Love the little growl of that small alien, That bright blood, And the realistic coughs! All in all Very good video!

  • LazyH-Online
    LazyH-Online 2 months ago

    And to think, humans need months minimum just to waddle around, this fucker be taking on Usain bolt at just a few seconds old!!

  • JMBluecoat8289
    JMBluecoat8289 2 months ago +1

    I laughed when I first saw this. It just looks like a ferret or something. Crap special effects.

  • Vegetarian Soylent-Green
    Vegetarian Soylent-Green 2 months ago +1

    I envy the people who got to see this in the cinema, but I also don't envy them.

  • PlushieBlushie
    PlushieBlushie 2 months ago +1

    I don’t understand...Why wouldn’t he let him kill it?

    • John vincent
      John vincent Month ago

      You didnt watch the whole movie did you?

  • Trusted Flagger
    Trusted Flagger 2 months ago

    It was kinda cute tbh

  • Strider
    Strider 2 months ago

    Take all those digital effects and shove it. This still looks great decades later

  • Ivan Curtis
    Ivan Curtis 2 months ago

    Shoulda touched it

  • Delight
    Delight 2 months ago

    Nasty

  • Gustavo Luizon
    Gustavo Luizon 2 months ago

    Thats why i have afraid of pregnancy.

  • Josh Jackzone
    Josh Jackzone 2 months ago

    Epic classic movie scene

  • Chemical Spore
    Chemical Spore 2 months ago

    Space balls- "OH NO, NOT AGAIN"

  • Bug Stomper
    Bug Stomper 2 months ago

    I wish the volume was a bit louder.

  • Andrew Andreas
    Andrew Andreas 2 months ago +1

    The chestburster said "oh no this party is dead - I'm out of here".