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Alien: Harvest is a 2019 fan-made short film directed by Benjamin Howdeshell and starring Agnes Albright, Jessica Clark, Adam Sinclair and James C. Burns. Created as part of the Alien 40th anniversary shorts project run by Tongal in association with 20th Century Fox, the film follows four survivors as they desperately attempt to escape their crippled vessel, which is locked on a collision course with a comet. However, they must also contend with the Xenomorph that is loose on board.

Plot

The USCSS November, a deep space plasma harvesting vessel, drifts on a collision course with the comet that it was attempting to harvest, its navigation systems inoperable and its destruction assured. Aboard, the four surviving crewmembers are making for the ship's escape pods, their only chance of survival. However, a fully-grown Xenomorph is also loose on the vessel, and the only tool the survivors possess to help them evade it is a malfunctioning motion tracker with which Mari is attempting to steer them on a safe course through the ship's darkened corridors.

Concerned that Mari is reading the tracker incorrectly, Sturgis impatiently seizes the device from her and, having determined an apparently safe route, takes off. Mari stops Alec and his heavily pregnant partner Hannah from following; Sturgis soon encounters the Xenomorph and is slain by the creature. Realizing they will likely need the motion sensor to safely escape the ship, Hannah ignores Alec's pleas and goes to recover it. When she reaches Sturgis' corpse, the Xenomorph is gone and she successfully returns to the group with the tracking device. She hands it back to Mari, who reassures Hannah and Alec that Weyland-Yutani are already aware of the November's situation and are on their way to rescue them, if they can just get to the escape pods.

Progressing through the ship under Mari's leadership, Alec realizes to his despair that they have been travelling in circles. He is then attacked by the Xenomorph, which attempts to drag him into a ventilation duct. Mari and Hannah come to his aid, Hannah fighting the creature off with an axe; while it releases Alec and disappears, some of its acid blood spills on his face, seriously burning his flesh. The two women help him to his feet and carry him to the escape pods, but discover that one of the ship's two EEVs is inoperative, meaning there is only room for two people to escape. Given his injuries, Alec tells Hannah to leave him behind, but Mari is able to override the pod's safety parameters so that it will launch with more than its designated compliment aboard. She helps Alec and Hannah to their seats and straps them in.

As they prepare to eject, Hannah is alerted by a containment warning announcement. Before she can react, Alec is attacked in his seat by a Facehugger, while Mari watches with satisfaction from the open hatch. As Hannah looks on in horror, the adult Xenomorph appears behind Mari and impales her on its tail, revealing her to be a synthetic. As a second Xenomorph Egg aboard the pod opens and begins disgorging the Facehugger within, the EEV's hatch seals, trapping a screaming Hannah within.

The pod is jettisoned moments before the November impacts the comet and explodes. As the EEV drifts away from the blast, it plots a course to rendezvous with a Weyland-Yutani probe and sends an automated transmission confirming the presence of alien specimens on board.

Cast

Production

The script for the short was noted as being quite action-oriented, action being the preferred genre of director Benjamin Howdeshell and writer Craig Dewey; when 20th Century Fox kept pushing the duo to make their story more in line with the slow-burn horror of Alien, Howdeshell notes that they merely "went through the script and changed the adjectives so that it felt more horror-tension" without fundamentally changing the content.[2] Filming took place over two days at Laurel Canyon Stages in Los Angeles, where the following short Alien: Alone was also filmed.[2]

Release

As with the other 40th anniversary short films, Alien Harvest was released through IGN, becoming available from April 26, 2019,[3] as part of Alien Day.

Trivia

  • Director Benjamin Howdeshell has noted that the plot of the film evolved from an initial concept of a female synthetic stranded on an abandoned starship[2] — an idea that is explored in the short Alien: Alone, which was filmed at the same studio and released on the same day as Harvest.

References

  1. "Tongal - Creator Interview: Director Chris Reading on the Making of Alien: Containment". Retrieved on 2019-09-11.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Perfect Organism: The Alien Saga Podcast - 110 // Alien: Harvest: An Interview with Director Ben Howdeshell". Retrieved on 2019-09-17.
  3. "AVPGalaxy - Fox Shares Release Order & Red Band Trailer for Alien: 40th Anniversary Shorts!". Retrieved on 2019-03-28.

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