It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. We've been asking filmmakers about the movies they never get tired of watching, including this one which is perfect for Halloween.


GLEN MAZZARA: Hi. This is Glen Mazzara. I'm the executive producer of "The Walking Dead". The movie I've seen a million times is "Alien," directed by Ridley Scott and starring Sigourney Weaver. The movie opens where a bunch of space truckers receive a beacon, and they have to investigate.


TOM SKERRITT: (as Dallas) Mother's interrupted the course of our journey.

JOHN HURT: (as Kane) Why?

SKERRITT: (as Dallas) It seems she has intercepted a transmission of unknown origin. She got us up to check it out.

MAZZARA: One of the men is attacked...


MAZZARA: ...and they end up bringing him onboard. And when they cut off his helmet, they find that this creature has wrapped itself around his face.


SKERRITT: (as Dallas) What's it there down his throat?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I would suggest it's feeding him oxygen.

MAZZARA: This creature ends up invading the ship and stalking them.


SIGOURNEY WEAVER: (as Ripley) Wait a minute. Wait. Dallas?

MAZZARA: And it's just pure terror. It's so scary. And I absolutely love it. I think it's a perfect film.


MAZZARA: The other scene that really struck me is this - they're trying to track the creature throughout the spaceship, and they come across a cat. They have a pet cat on the ship, and the cat's been running around. And it, of course, scares everybody, and it runs off.

And they say, well, if we're tracking the alien, we're going to continue to get false readings off the cat. Someone has to go get the cat.


SKERRITT: (as Dallas) I'll do it.

HARRY DEAN STANTON: (as Brett) Then go and get it.

MAZZARA: Harry Dean Stanton, who plays Brett, the engineering tech, is tracking this cat.


STANTON: (as Brett) Here, kitty.

MAZZARA: And he comes into this room - and I don't know what this room is, but it seems to be raining in the room, and there are dangling chains. And he's trying to find the cat, and he's just, you know, calling for the cat. And it's just - you're just leaning in, you're so fascinated watching this scene. And then, of course the alien, which is now in full form and is over seven feet tall, is behind him, you know, and he just turns around and he sees it.


MAZZARA: The suspense of what's happening as he's just trying to find that cat is just so unbelievably scary. And the room is amazing, and it's just a great, great moment in cinema. It's really stuck with me.


MAZZARA: One of the things that we did in "The Walking Dead" season premiere was our group comes across a prison, and we designed a set in which they go into dark corridors, you know, trying to clear it out of zombies so they could occupy this prison.

I definitely said: I want this to feel like "Alien." As the group is going around, I want to just feel claustrophobic. I wanted just a flashlight cutting the darkness. And I was happy that I was finally able to rip off the movie because it's been such a seminal piece for me my whole life.


LYDEN: That's Glen Mazzara talking about the movie that he could watch a million times, Ridley Scott's "Alien." Mazzara is the executive producer of the hit TV series "The Walking Dead."

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