We can't lie to you about your chances with Episode 221's Alien retrospective...

...but you do have our sympathies.

Once again, the Retronauts East crew takes a dive into the world of podcasts about topics that are not specifically video game-related. It's another movie-centric episode, released just in time for the 40th anniversary of the movie in question: Ridley Scott's Alien. Actually, the timing worked out better than I realized—I had thought "Alien Day" (April 26) was the anniversary of the film, but blogger Zack Handlen reminded me that 4/26 is a reference to the planet LV-426 and the actual anniversary of Alien is... this weekend. Convenient!

To my mind, Alien remains one of the all-time greatest works of genre film... or rather, genres film. Scott deftly used sci-fi as a backdrop for horror, subverting expectation in favor of a shocking nail-biter of a film. It's difficult, four decades along, to convey how profoundly different this movie was from anything that had come before it in 1979, but there's a reason Alien left a mark. I mean, sure, it's a masterpiece of visual design, mood, and pacing... but it's also about a deeply insidious form of terror.

We focused strictly on the original Alien here—and of course the handful of games based directly on the movie—because its sequel Aliens is a completely different sort of creation. But hey, we'll be covering that one at some point, too. Alien may have had a huge impact on pop culture, but Aliens was the template for pretty much every sci-fi action flick and video game to come after it.

Please note that there are some psychological and sexual aspects to Alien that we touch on in this podcast. We don't dwell on them or get graphic or gratituous, but do be aware that there are some sensitive topics under discussion here. 

Retronauts Episode 221: Alien
MP3, 36.6 MB | 1:18:55
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Episode description: The last survivors of the Nostromo—Jeremy Parish, Benj Edwards, Chris Sims, and Ben Elgin—transmit from deep space to pay tribute to Ridley Scott's film Alien and its influence on pop culture and video games.