The Uncut Version Of One 1979 Alien Death Scene Makes Xenomorphs Much Less Terrifying
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The Uncut Version Of One 1979 Alien Death Scene Makes Xenomorphs Much Less Terrifying


  • The uncut version of Lambert and Parker’s deaths in Alien would have destroyed the film’s suspense, revealing the Xenomorph too early.
  • The edited death scene limits the Xenomorph’s exposure, creating a sense of dread and enhancing the horror element in Alien.
  • Keeping the original death scene uncut would have ruined the iconic Xenomorph by making it seem more comedic and less deadly.



Joan Lambert (Veronica Cartwright) and Dennis Monroe Parker’s (Yaphet Kotto) uncut death scene in the 1979 Alien is much less terrifying as it destroys the anticipation and fear created by the edited version. Alien’s effectiveness as a horror film is partly due to the elusive nature of the Xenomorph. The alien’s mystery allows both the characters and the audience to fully feel the horror of being trapped on a ship with it, and at no point is that fact truer than during Lambert and Parker’s deaths.

The Xenomorph’s absence in Alien is notable throughout the film, especially during its attack on Lambert and Parker. Their death scene in its edited form mostly cuts to Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) rushing to their aid, only for her to be too late. When it does cut back to Lambert and Parker, the scene only shows brief flashes of the characters’ fear and pain before their bodies are shown. Even though audiences only witness moments of the attack, the scene still highlights how dangerous the Xenomorph can be and how outmatched the characters are before Alien‘s climax.


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Lambert And Parker’s Alien Deaths Were Way Less Scary

Alien Lambert Veronica Cartwright

In the uncut version of Lambert and Parker’s deaths, the terror created by the edited scene is destroyed, replaced with a comedic undertone as Lambert and Parker’s reactions clash with visibly stilted Xenomorph. The edited version of the scene functions similarly to many of the death scenes in the 1975 film Jaws, limiting audiences’ exposure to the monster to create a sense of dread. This is an important tenant of an effective horror moment, showcasing what the characters face while maintaining the monster’s mysterious nature. Lambert and Parker’s edited deaths contained that dread because the Xenomorph went mostly unseen.

The uncut scene’s Xenomorph lost all its deadliness by having the camera flash on it constantly. When Lambert spotted the Xenomorph, it awkwardly poked its tail towards her and crab-walked closer. Though Lambert is clearly scared, the scene reads as funny due to her overreaction to the Xenomroph’s behavior. The humor continued as it killed Parker, with the Xenomorph’s grab for him being extremely stilted. These changes make the scene more like a choreographed take that accidentally ended up in the film. If the scene had remained, Ridley Scott’s Alien may not have been as good as it is today.

Keeping The Original Lambert And Parker Deaths Would’ve Ruined Alien’s Iconic Monster

Xenomorph reaching for Ripley in a spacesuit in Alien 1979

The deaths of Lambert and Parker show the hopelessness of Ripley’s situation, so keeping their death scene uncut would have destroyed the Xenomorph in the audience’s eyes. The edited version showed a precise, elusive killer that toyed with its victims. In the uncut version, the Xenomorph is no longer terrifying because it is fully visible. If the uncut version was kept, Alien’s buildup of the Xenomorph would not be as effective. Instead, it would have clashed with the film’s climax, as the Xenomorph seems so confused one moment and then a perfect killer the next.

The uncut version of Lambert and Parker’s deaths in Alientakes away the elusive nature of the Xenomorph and makes it humorous rather than scary.The Xenomorph’s design makes it an iconic monster, but it is also so memorable because it seems able to strike with deadly accuracy at any moment, even beyond the screen. Had Lambert and Parker’s full death scene been kept in, the Xenomorph’s attack on them would have lost all the careful buildup the film created, cheapening the moment and robbing the monster of its terrifying credibility.

1979 is currently available to stream on Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV.

Alien (1979)

Alien is a sci-fi horror-thriller by director Ridley Scott that follows the crew of a spaceship known as the Nostromo. After the staff of the merchant’s vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew members attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Release Date
June 22, 1979

Dan O’Bannon

Sigourney Weaver , Ian Holm , John Hurt , Veronica Cartwright , Harry Dean Stanton , Tom Skerritt , Yaphet Kotto

117 minutes

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