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Alien: Specimen – Second Alien: 40th Anniversary Short Released!

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for another Alien: 40th Anniversary Short!  Up this week is Alien: Specimen which was directed by Kelsey Taylor and written by Federico Fracchia, and starring Jolene Anderson as Julie. Check out the synopsis and video below!

To celebrate Alien’s 40th anniversary and in partnership with Tongal, 20th Century Fox is releasing new Alien-universe fan-made short films leading up to Alien Day on April 26th. Directed by Kelsey Taylor, the synopsis for “Specimen” reads: “It’s the night shift in a colony greenhouse, and Julie, a botanist, does her best to contain suspicious soil samples that have triggered her sensitive lab dog. Despite her best efforts the lab unexpectedly goes into full shutdown and she is trapped inside. Little does she know, an alien specimen has escaped the mysterious cargo, and a game of cat and mouse ensues as the creature searches for a host.”

Up next week is Alien: Nightshift, written and directed by Aidan Brezonick. If you haven’t already listened, we recently posted our review episode of all the Anniversary Shorts which you can check out here!

Keep a close eye on Alien vs. Predator Galaxy for the latest on Alien and Predator! You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the latest on your social media walls. You can also join in with fellow Alien and Predator fans on our forums!



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  1. Nightmare Asylum
    Studio Yutani Interview with Kelsey: https://yutani.studio/2019/04/18/creative-kelsey-taylor-director-of-alien-specimen/

    Haven't had the chance to read through it yet.

    We're sorting one out with Kelsey too. Questions sent off for text based with Ore's directors/writers, I'm editing an audio one for Alien: Alone's director/writer too.  :)

    Excellent, really nice to hear from Kelsey, since her short is easily the best of the three so far.

    Very cool to hear she likes Alien 3, too 8)

    Looking forward to your interviews Hicks!
  2. Corporal Hicks
    I really enjoyed this one. They managed to find a pretty nice location for this one. Loved seeing a bit more greenery in an Alien short (it's honestly one of the things I loved in Covenant, found it refreshing). And while I do actually like that quick shot of the hugger on the leave, it's a shame we haven't seen more of the Aliens infecting greenery areas and moving about in them.

    And while the CG wasn't exactly studio level, I think it looked great for these low budget pieces. I think there needs to be a level of reality checking in terms of the money and resources that they had for these things.

    I know it's always going to be a challenge getting much of a connection with the characters in 10 minutes but I loved the little tricks. Music always works a wonder with me for some reason. One of the stronger ones for me.

  3. TC
    Alien: Specimen

    Cinematography 3/5
    Some bold lighting choices to have so much blackness in frame. Nice.

    Acting 3/5
    Very good. The fun, music montage worked well for character, and something new for an Alien film.

    Production Design 3/5
    Functional. I would have liked to have seen a wide shot of the interior of the greenhouse that establishes a more distinctly sci-fi setting (probably with a matte painting). And I feel like some ground fog would have added a touch of spookiness, as though from condensation from the plants.

    Story 4/5
    Some unfortunate repetitive beats: Being confronted by the spilled barrel twice; sneaking through the foliage in the dark in pursuit of Maggie.

    Direction 4/5
    I’ve shown the film to a few people and everyone says that the twist ending is that Maggie is a robot. But what's most interesting to me is what they think of Julie’s character. Most people describe her as fun and caring and that she and Maggie have a bond of friendship. I used to think that too, but I’ve watched the film a few times now and that is not the way the ending is directed. Julie has no such feelings for Maggie, because she knows all along that Maggie is a robot (and, presumably, robots aren’t friendship-worthy). The evidence for this? Look at Julie’s behaviour when she comes across the aftermath of the fight.

    Does she rush to Maggie’s assistance? No. Instead she relishes the task of finishing off the face-hugger.

    With Maggie in her death throes, does Julie look distraught? No. In fact, Maggie’s condition makes Julie more annoyed than anything else.

    Does Julie comfort Maggie as she is dying? No. Julie stands and observes from a distance and says a few words of appreciation (“you did good”), but is there sorrow or sympathy as she says this? Not really.

    And look at the low angle camera, designed to make Julie look dominant and aggressive. Is that appropriate for a touching farewell scene? Of course not.

    How does Julie euthanise Maggie? She could have reached into her back pocket for a remote control and flipped the power switch off and we could have watched as a little red light dims out - a tranquil end for a faithful companion. But no, she puts Maggie down with a violent, decapitating finishing move! The director made a rather strange choice there, if the scene was supposed to be that of a friend saying goodbye to her bestie, don’t you think?

    Then why the scene earlier in the film with Julie bopping out to her iPod and clearly designed to endear her to us? It’s a ruse, plain and simple. And Julie throwing a balled up wad of paper for Maggie to play with? Yet another ruse, a red herring to reinforce the twist ending - that is, the real twist ending. Namely: Julie is a cold hearted bitch! Ha! Well done, Kelsey Taylor.

    Overall 4/5
    Enjoyable and mostly satisfying. Mostly.

    TC
  4. Jonesy1974
    Really enjoyed Specimen, way betting than the first one which I thought was a bit naff. Great atmosphere and really well shot. Loved the twist at the end too, I didn't see that coming at all.

    Hope the rest are as good if not better than this one.
  5. Fiendishly Inventive
    The ultimate humiliation is the idea the misattributed creation's the reality.

    Lord Byron creating the poem.
    David Weyland creating the Alien.

    "To compose something so majestic, one could die happy... if one died."
    "When one note is off, it eventually destroys the whole symphony, David."

    David's true impotence revealed.
  6. Samhain13
    Who had been forced into an motherly housewife condition by Peter Weyland since birth. Now wanting to be the father, as his programing predisposes him to, but since his body was limited he has to look for an unnatural form of Fatherhood. Forcing humans to play the part of mother to the aliens as revenge for what was forced to him.

    From a perversion of Motherhood to one of Fatherhood. That's all David can ever be.
  7. Fiendishly Inventive
    I know, I'm just saying Alien's about the perversion of Motherhood and Fatherhood, subtextually.

    Aliens takes it and makes it text, the good about procreation and parenthood, Mother Ripley versus Mother Alien.
    Alien³ takes it and makes it text, again, but Ripley's now a literal forced insemination victim. (& AIDs allegory.)
  8. Voodoo Magic
    Gooze

    Mother's Milk

    In all seriousness, that would be fitting, considering all the mother imagery in Alien.

    Huh, androids being another representation of motherly imagery? I might get that.

    Well, I was just thinking the milk blood... but okay!

    Now all we need is an Android Queen....  ;)

    https://media1.giphy.com/media/2a2l2juMEoFri/giphy.gif?cid=19f5b51a5cacde096f677a7777768b2f

    I don't believe it's meant to invocate that particular white fluid, but the other one.

    As the Alien.

    Considering all the mother imagery in Alien. The eggs. The life moving inside. The umbilical chord like tail. The pregnancy and birth. The ovarian looking room with the MU-TH-UR terminal. The fact they call it "Mother".  The milk for blood.

    It can be taken both ways I think.
  9. SM
    Yes I think we are meant to infer the AI dog bite into the face hugger, and yes all sorts of plot holes from that notion, but hey 10 minute short, they nailed it, looking forward to the next one.

    What plot holes? Like the fact the dog's entire face got dissolved?

    In Aliens when Ripley is in the room with the weyland and higher up people she tells them what Kane explained after he got back to the ship, like he saw thousands of eggs in there and details he never said over the radio in the derelight ship, and also could remember he was in there and that he couldnt breath and somewhat memories.

    Kane says there are loads of eggs before he is Facehugged, over the radio to Dallas and Lambert. The fact that got mistranslated as "thousands" in the sequel is the fault of the second film's script. As Old One says, Kane quite definitively states he has no idea what happened to him inside the derelict afterwards.

    In ripley and purvis cases theyw ere asleep when the facehugger struck. In Aliens the surviving woman in the hive seemed to know very well what had happened to her, and then we have all the expanded universe.

    I'll give you Ripley, but we see the captured colonists aren't in hypersleep when they're 'hugged in Resurrection. And the woman in Aliens knew bad shit was happening because she'd presumably seen Chestbursters rip out of others while stuck to the wall down there.

    Still no one can explain why the acid is white, heck its not normal for xenomorphs to have white blood, different breed of xenomorph?

    The acid isn't white. That's the android gloop from the dog.

    The only acid we see is the stuff that melts the floor, and that's clear.

    ^ All that.

    Plus there needs to be a law against people using 'plot hole' for things that aren't...
  10. XenoHunter99
    I give these shorts the same sort of free pass I give any fan movie. I like the woman writing "Do Not Open" in blood on the window, and I like the robot dog as hostile organism sniffer. Hats off to what these folks achieved. Look forward to seeing the rest.
  11. HuDaFuK
    Yes I think we are meant to infer the AI dog bite into the face hugger, and yes all sorts of plot holes from that notion, but hey 10 minute short, they nailed it, looking forward to the next one.

    What plot holes? Like the fact the dog's entire face got dissolved?

    In Aliens when Ripley is in the room with the weyland and higher up people she tells them what Kane explained after he got back to the ship, like he saw thousands of eggs in there and details he never said over the radio in the derelight ship, and also could remember he was in there and that he couldnt breath and somewhat memories.

    Kane says there are loads of eggs before he is Facehugged, over the radio to Dallas and Lambert. The fact that got mistranslated as "thousands" in the sequel is the fault of the second film's script. As Old One says, Kane quite definitively states he has no idea what happened to him inside the derelict afterwards.

    In ripley and purvis cases theyw ere asleep when the facehugger struck. In Aliens the surviving woman in the hive seemed to know very well what had happened to her, and then we have all the expanded universe.

    I'll give you Ripley, but we see the captured colonists aren't in hypersleep when they're 'hugged in Resurrection. And the woman in Aliens knew bad shit was happening because she'd presumably seen Chestbursters rip out of others while stuck to the wall down there.

    Still no one can explain why the acid is white, heck its not normal for xenomorphs to have white blood, different breed of xenomorph?

    The acid isn't white. That's the android gloop from the dog.

    The only acid we see is the stuff that melts the floor, and that's clear.
  12. Fiendishly Inventive
    DALLAS
    "Do you remember what happened on the planet."

    KANE
    "Just some horrible dream, about... smothering. 
    Where are we?"

    The acid is colourless, (Budget) the dissolved floor's white.
    The new EU corroborates the memory loss idea.
  13. judge death
    But I dont get how they onboard the escape pod cant remember if they got facehugged or not, should be pretty clear as in previous movies several hosts know and remember getting facehugged.

    Kane didn't. Ripley didn't. Purvis didn't.

    Only way a dog could beat a facehugger and bite it to death would been if the dog is an android, else the facehugger would had gotten it. But also there: why is the acid remains and the acid on the dog white?! Should be green/yellowish like in previous movies and that amount of acid would had eaten through the floor easily. Also that shovel would had melted.

    The dog is an android.

    In Aliens when Ripley is in the room with the weyland and higher up people she tells them what Kane explained after he got back to the ship, like he saw thousands of eggs in there and details he never said over the radio in the derelight ship, and also could remember he was in there and that he couldnt breath and somewhat memories. In ripley and purvis cases theyw ere asleep when the facehugger struck. In Aliens the surviving woman in the hive seemed to know very well what had happened to her, and then we have all the expanded universe.

    That is what I meant with the dog is an android, it was a give away to me way before the ending the dog isnt a normal dog due to the reasons I said. :)


    Still no one can explain why the acid is white, heck its not normal for xenomorphs to have white blood, different breed of xenomorph?
  14. ScaryMinds
    So the dog was an android of sorts...?
    The skin on it's head came off because it bit or scratched the facehugger...?
    Confused.

    Quite the shock that it was artificial, hence I guess the line about not giving it a name.

    Yes I think we are meant to infer the AI dog bite into the face hugger, and yes all sorts of plot holes from that notion, but hey 10 minute short, they nailed it, looking forward to the next one.

    Pleased the whole "speciman" wasn't what I thought it was going to be  ;D
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