Ridley Scott's first sci-fi masterpiece (Bladerunner trumps it, but just barely) still retains its power to scarify. The thinking man will tell you the film's power is its subtext about the destructive nature of xenophobia, but don't listen to him -- he's got patches on his elbows, for crap's sake. Everybody knows Alien is awesome because of the chestburster. That scene makes me poo a little every damn time. Oh, and don't forget the gothic, biomechanical terror of the beastie's final, upright and hostile stage, courtesy of the dark vision of conceptual designer H.R. Giger. One of the best-looking movies of all time, and still one of the most terrifying.
Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m., 2009