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‘Alien’: From H.R. Giger to Alf

‘Alien’: From H.R. Giger to Alf (photo)

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On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET prepare yourself for the Alien invasion. We consider the 1979 Alien to be one of the scariest movies of all time and while obviously director Ridley Scott had a lot to do with the tension and fear infused in the movie, much of the credit has to go to the alien a.k.a. the xenomorph.

Created by the twisted mind of H.R. Giger, the xenomorph returned the favor by garnering Giger an Oscar for “Best Achievement for Visual Effects”, basically for scaring the pants off of everyone. Giger’s iteration of alien life forms was darker and scarier than almost anything we had seen before. While the script for Alien was influenced by the 1974 movie Dark Star that writer Dan O’Bannon made with horror master John Carpenter, the aliens were of entirely different ilk. The xenomorph in Dark Star was a bouncy ball with webbed feet that would comically stalk the crew. It is hard to imagine Giger’s skeletal spikey metallic alien doing anything comical, although the intrepid among us could probably find a video on YouTube showing just that. Giger’s alien is truly in a frightening class all by itself. Which is why we are going to look at some entirely different aliens: The Sitcom Alien.


There is no way that H.R. Giger’s Alien would ever be voted My Favorite Martian, but, of course, the xenomorph wasn’t from Mars, now was he? She. It.


The xenomorph would look downright silly in suspenders, but Robin Williams pulled them off with panache in Mork and Mindy.


Aside from a propensity to eat cats, Alf is probably a much better house guest than the Alien.


Evie from Out of This World could stop time just by touching her fingers together. The xenomorph couldn’t do that. Evie 1, Alien 0. Of course, it could just eat her. Evie 1, Alien 1.


The guys from Alien Nation helped solve crime, not cause it. Something to think about, xenomorph!


The main power that the guys from Third Rock From the Sun had was math and being annoying, which are not mutually exclusive.

Alien airs on IFC on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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