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8 Surprising Facts About the Alien Series


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We’re celebrating the 35th anniversary of Ridley Scott’s legendary Alien, and the franchise it spawned is one of sci-fi’s most enduring. But there’s a lot you don’t know about these movies, so let’s explore some of their darker corners.

8. The Chestburster Was a Surprise

One of the most shocking scenes in film history is when the newborn alien rockets out of Kane’s chest in the first Alien. To really drive it home, Scott didn’t tell them exactly when it was going to happen, and the explosion of gore contained real-life pig innards and other repugnant offal.


7. There Are Subliminal Frames in Aliens

James Cameron wanted the machine gun fire in Aliens to be as impactful as possible, so he not only had strobe lights on set flashing during the battle scenes, but he also had editors add a single white frame to the film after every gunshot.

(Source: Director’s commentary on DVD)

6. The Xenomorphs in Alien: Resurrection Had Genitals

Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet took a significant interest in the design of the Newborn hybrid creatures, and his biggest feedback was that the creature needed to have realistic male and female genitals. After the scenes were filmed, they were digitally edited out in post-production.


5. Ridley Scott Recycled Footage

Already over budget for Blade Runner, Ridley Scott took the computer-generated vector graphics animation he used for the Nostromo’s undocking in Alien and used them again for the aircar launch.


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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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