04 / KANE’S ACID INDIGESTION
“Kane seemed fine. We were all having dinner, and, um... it must have laid something inside his throat, some sort of embryo. He started... um, he...” Ripley’s choked recollection of Alien’s infamous chestburster scene hardly does justice to one of cinema’s most shocking sequences. But if audiences were left gibbering wrecks as the miniature xenomorph tore free of John Hurt’s gaping chest wound, it’s nothing compared to what the cast went through while shooting it. Though they had seen the puppet and knew it would burst out of Hurt, the others were not present for the set-up and, as they held him down while he convulsed, were completely unaware his body was now hidden beneath the table, or exactly how bloody it was going to get. So as the prosthetic torso explodes in a rain of blood and offal (sourced from a local abattoir), the cast’s horrified revulsion is entirely authentic.