Alien Movie Universe

Limits of gore
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ModeratorPraetorianFeb-17-2018 12:44 AM

As a lifer Sci-fi and horror fan I am somewhat de-sensitised to most film violence, body horror and gore. My wife on the other hand cringes at almost any film coup de grâce. She however is a Veterinarian. 

Now the funny thing is, she shows me vet videos of injuries and aliments that make my horror-film ironclad stomach turn. This shit is the real deal! But Vets seem to get excited by it, rejoicing in a flow of pus and blood. But cant handle a little old chestburster scene or Predator spinal-cord decapitation.

My question is, where do you draw the line on film gore? What makes you go "yep, nup Im out"

I'll go first, I can't do pus, or fingernail pulling. Also that scene in Prometheus where Shaw rips the umbilical between her and the trilobite juvenile. First time i saw that was a "Nup". 



33 Replies


MemberTrilobiteFeb-17-2018 2:30 AM

I am in the medical field. Seeing pus and such is actually a good thing- it is often a sign of healing, if that makes sense. Yeah- real stuff desensitizes many to movie stuff in many ways. The smells of gangrene is my only weakness though. Nothing can hide it. All you can really do is breathe through the mouth and even that doesn't quite cut it.

The little things in movies get to me the most:

1. I just re watched American History X and the prison rape scene was powerful. All you saw was some blood going down the drain with shower water. The kicker was knowing how that trauma happened without seeing it. You only hear it and imagination fills in the rest.

2. For Alien movies, the only gore that creeps me out is in AR, when Ripley 8 stabs her hand- slowly- and it bleeds. I always cringe at that scene but nothing else in the franchise bothers me. 

I think for movies that a combination of imagination and a film using a less is more approach is best.


ModeratorPraetorianFeb-17-2018 1:15 PM

dk "Seeing pus and such is actually a good thing- it is often a sign of healing"

My wife tells me that too, and you're right its a good thing....just gross. especially when it is a river of it gushing from the side of a horse lol. I'll stick to rocks thanks :) 

Great point! Imagination is the most effective horror element. Think of Alien, RS left it to your imagination to try and think what the Xenomorph did to its victims. Without an answer the possibilities are endless.

+30 years on and the debate still rages about the possible horrors Lambert encountered! 

I Moon Girl

MemberChestbursterFeb-17-2018 1:38 PM

Honestly, I don't like most gore at all.  I remember watching doctors on TV filming there surgeries and I couldn't take more than a second or two.  It really just comes down to gore with things that involved the human body.  Of course, I don't remember ever seeing anything in movies related to animal gore.

What really sets me off among all the gore is when something so simple and ordinary causes so much damage.  Now that is scary!  What makes it scary is the fact that something like that can actually happen.  Of course, it rarely does because people normally wouldn't do those things to themselves.

I'm not scared of death at all.  What I'm scared of is never dying while feeling what it would seem like never ending pain.  Torture is just unacceptable and inhuman. 

There was a movie made about some rich people paying to watch people get tortured.  Sadly I cannot remember the name, but it came out around the time of the movie Saw II (I think).  The Saw movie series I just cannot get into.  Those tortures that people have to do to themselves doesn't make a very enjoyable movie.  The first Saw was good.  I will say that.

So, I guess my answer to limit of gore is torture because if someone is torturing somebody, then no matter what they do, it's going to be well thought out to make the person sick while also causing them pain.

I hope I die from an aneurysm or something instead of just being old and having to get all of this medical check ups and surgeries.  If I'm old and healthy, I think I'd be okay with that.

On the note of Shaw removing the embryo... that made me cringe, yet I thought it was so great for the movie that I'm so glad it's in there.  That scene is really great, even though it makes me cringe.


MemberTrilobiteFeb-17-2018 1:42 PM

I like to think the Xeno did naughty things just for the sake of it- like a cat toying with a mouse before the kill.

On pus, it's basically dead cells and is better outside the body than inside. It can be almost a clear liquid or thick and brown like peanut butter. It can give off a smell sometimes too. In case some do not believe, here is a small example of a neck absess- in case anyone thinks it might be something else.


I Moon Girl

MemberChestbursterFeb-17-2018 1:45 PM


I wish I didn't see that...

Leave it to our imaginations in this case.  I know what some pus looks like anyways.

It is interesting to see the pus so runny.  I have never seen it like that.


MemberTrilobiteFeb-17-2018 1:46 PM

I Moon Girl Sounds like you are describing Hostel. I do not understand the appeal of movies like that.

I Moon Girl

MemberChestbursterFeb-17-2018 1:47 PM

@dk  Yes, I do believe that is it!  I never saw it and hopefully I never will.


MemberTrilobiteFeb-17-2018 1:52 PM

Hostel was awful imo but apparently some people dig that stuff.


ModeratorPraetorianFeb-17-2018 4:52 PM

dk yep, nup I can't do that image (above) lol. I showed my wife and she thought it was great hahaha. 

I Moon Girl agreed on Saw I. It was a good suspenseful film with interesting with a fresh horror idea and an interesting premise (at the time).

After the first one, it got more and more into torture, self-mutilation and shock value. I haven't seen the Hostel films and don't really wish to. 

dk as you know, I recently watched The Human Centipedes. Like Saw, the first film left most of the details to your imagination and was an ok film. 2 and 3 dialled up the details, shock value and grotesque and totally lost any appeal. I really wish I hadn't watched the third film because it ranks as one of the most pathetic films I've seen. It was almost begging you to think the film was cool and still relevant. Should've left it with some dignity (ironic given the premise) as a one-off cult film. 


MemberDeaconFeb-17-2018 5:06 PM

I am pretty much unaffected by Gore.....

Nothing seems to disturb me as far as Gore, its only the sense behind such Gore, so its a case of having any feeling or compassion behind the Gore and thus sympathy to the affected depending on the affected more than anything.

I do seem to feel less Empathy for Mankind, but thats because in part we are a bunch of "%£^$&$ LOL

But i do Cringe a bit at Wildlife/Vet Programs with Animals Suffering, its not the level of Gore but the suffering...

The only Horror movie that makes me Cringe even to this day is THE THING... the Dog Town Scene, its disturbing even today... maybe its because i am very fond of Dogs ;)

It also was the most disturbing movie i watched as a child, but back the most horrors never effected me..

I think in General i make a Excellent Point, that its not the Gore but the Context that counts, and so for say a Alien Franchise its when things happen to Characters we connect with and care about that affect is the most.

Can you imagine if Alien  3 went the Spore Route as per one of the Drafts and we saw Newt getting a case of Alien Covenant Back Buster?   I am pretty sure this would have been really shocking and disturbing even today, never mind back then.


R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


MemberTrilobiteFeb-17-2018 5:07 PM

IRaptus I forgot about Centipede. I still wish I could go back in time and not watch it. I never bothered with the sequels.

The only movie with over the top gore I like is Devil's Rejects. Rob Zombie nailed that one! He made oddly sympathetic characters.


MemberTrilobiteFeb-17-2018 5:12 PM

BigDave Totally agree about the dog scene from The Thing. That also answers a comment I Moon Girl made about gore involving animals.


MemberDeaconFeb-17-2018 5:49 PM

Indeed i agree that Gore Alone does not make a Good movie or disturbing, i have seen some low budget movies throwing about Buckets of Blood and Intestines that have no effect.

why i said on here before AC and when we saw the leaked Set Props and those Baby Human/Xenomorph Hybrids... i just had some pretty sinister thoughts...

And i thought at the time, and if i was asked to re-do the draft prior to release...

Ok, we have the Covenant Ship and Colonist? who are Couples right!

Ridley Scott wants to beat the Chest Buster!

I thought and put on here way back then... showing a Female infected with the Black Goo or Spores, who is Pregnant she then has a intimate scene with her Partner... HELL maybe make this the Shower Scene..!!!!

The Female then, starts to convulse, and then we get a BELLY BURSTER... where her 8-16 week Fetus becomes a Fully 9 month Baby sized Hybrid Belly Burster...

I feel this if done right could be ONE Gruesome Scene that would hit home HARD.   It would have kind of been a  lets redo the Gruesome unused Holloway Scene from Alien Engineers, only using a Pregnant Female would have more of a Impact..

Dont Worry my ALIEN: ASCENSION  has just that kind of Scene in it.... oh well... "Thou Shalt Not Eat from the Forbiden Tree"

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


MemberTrilobiteFeb-17-2018 11:39 PM

If a mod can embed, great! This is a short bit from the Devil's Rejects. It is brutal, but you actually don't see much.



ModeratorPraetorianFeb-18-2018 9:01 PM

embedded your video below



MemberNeomorphFeb-21-2018 6:49 AM

To me gore still works if it is used sparingly. If it s being used too often then it looses its effect, namely to make you feel disgust. Gore in let's say zombie movies sometimes make me feel like "yuck" but that depends on how it is done. Real life tragedies are more effective when it comes to make one feel fear.

That surgery hand with what looks to be a mix of mustard and ketchup makes me feel a bit sick when I look at it.


MemberDeaconFeb-21-2018 4:13 PM

You mention a lot about Characters Thoughts_Dreams and you are 100% correct, we have become accustomed to Gore... movies that had Gore Alone from the 60's-80's would not effect those of the current and last few Generations... Blood Alone and Gore does not cut it.

Its the Context... and if you have NO Care for those getting Maimed or Killed then the Horror of these Scenes are just not effective... its about having Horrific things that push boundaries such as seeing Children affected, or Characters we care about.

If Ripley Survived Alien 3, and she got Chest Busted half way though Alien 4 we would have more feeling and shock compared to say how Ledwood got Back Busted, and if in Alien 3 Newt got Chest Busted or Back Busted again this would impact us more.

CHARACTERS are Paramount to a Good Movie and they have missed the Bar since after Alien 3

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


MemberTrilobiteFeb-22-2018 12:13 AM


That surgery hand with what looks to be a mix of mustard and ketchup makes me feel a bit sick when I look at it.

Interesting. That pic is the real deal. It is pus and blood from an infection.

Context is very important. Movie gore is a yawn to me in many cases because it gets over done. True story here:

I saw a lot of gory shows back in the day. I went with my dad to clear his office when he retired as a detective. There were some autopsy b/w pics of a bludgeoned woman- the before, during and after pics. That was the real deal and it was just stark, plain and real. Nothing compares to this date. 

Sure, things are more realistic but when viewing, also notice what you hear. Music or other noises (or absence of noises) try to influence the experience.

For an experiment, watch the goriest stuff you can find, shut off the volume, play some other unrelated audio like an infomercial or crickets chirping and the gore factor will go way down immediately. 



MemberDeaconFeb-22-2018 9:12 AM

While on the subject of that DK

I have too seen real Dead Animals and even in photos you can look at REAL Dead Bodies that have suffered horrific damage and some of them look LESS-REAL than even a lot of Special Effects.

So some Special Effects can look a BIT very Real... but it is always the context that counts, as in Movies we know its Fiction, no one really gets Maimed or Dies.   So its not bound to be as effective as discovering a real Maimed Body etc.

I think Gore Horror gets overdone too much now, Children from Each Generation become accustomed to Gore and other Things that make movies have to be Rated for 15/18 (R) even in Computer Games of our modern post 90's Generation.

so Gore does not induce Horror Feeling as it would have done to those say born in the 40's to 70's when watching Gore in the 60's  to the 80's

Movies like American Werewolf and The Thing for example, had no where near the Gore Thrown around as a lot of movies that are made in the last 15-20 years....  The Newer Incarnations of Chainsaw Massacres and Evil Dead, are more Gorey as far as Realistic and Over the Top Blood, compared to the older movies yet they dont have the same effect as those who were young when those Originals came out.

Because we are so used to the Gore now that it has no effect, so its the context that works now....  If Characters are ones that the audience does not connect with then any death/horror or gore that happens to these Characters will simply not affect a lot of the Audience.

I think this applies to Ridley Scott when he calls the Xenomorph a Cooked Beast...   He is 100% correct, if we had another 3 movies where the Xenomorphs are shown just as they are in the AVP movies, Aliens and Alien Resurrection then indeed they dont become Scary anymore.

ALIEN worked because of how little exposure we had to the Organism, but we all know its FACE now and doing a movie about a Xenomorph Stalking people on say the Covenant would not be as effective as it was in ALIEN even if said Xenomorph appeared in the Shadows and for 60% of the movie was picking off the Colonist ONE-BY-ONE

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


MemberTrilobiteFeb-22-2018 12:13 PM

BigDave Good points. Perhaps instead of horror that basically is about what we see (gore), a focus on terror (feeling dread and anticipation) could add some mojo to the franchise. That is an open ended idea, but I really haven't felt that sense of terror since Alien 3.


MemberDeaconFeb-22-2018 2:33 PM

I certainly agree there....   Character use was better too as we have not seen Characters Utilized as good since Alien 3 too, so maybe they go hand in hand.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


MemberFacehuggerFeb-22-2018 4:04 PM

I totally agree that CONTEXT is everything. I would also suggest that gore can be limited by CREDIBILITY. When RS made Alien, one of the biggest factors in creating a success was getting the audience to believe in the xenomorph. There had to be a level of credibility that meant that the monster was much more than just a guy in a rubber suit. I think where there are scenes of gore, the same rule applies. What is seen must be believable; otherwise what is left can be comedic. There are of course movies such as Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste where a comedic effect is desirable and achieved through gore overkill. There are lost of gore scenes I can easily watch, but watching an alien puke up and then having his mates drink the fetid up-chuck does make my stomach crawl. TY Peter Jackson for sharing that idea, and that really is down to context.

Bad Taste vomit scene


MemberTrilobiteFeb-22-2018 5:22 PM

Batchpool Oh man that was disgusting and I couldn't watch the whole thing! Sound played a big part too. I cannot think of the term, but it is sort of a sympathetic response? Sort of like when someone yawns it makes you want to yawn or laughter. 

Kudos- I have not been grossed out like that in a while and I work with the real deal. 

Damn that was gross!


ModeratorPraetorianFeb-22-2018 11:58 PM

Yeah that was pretty gross. Definitely the enhanced sound of vomiting and the steam coming from it did it. The descriptions in the background of organs parts etc just helped keep the context

Oddly though Im not sure why the vomit was blue/green, but that actually lessened the impact somewhat


MemberDeaconFeb-23-2018 3:26 PM

Bad Taste.... oh boy...

I have to admit i always have a soft spot for Peter Jacksons old Comedy Adult movies, Bad Taste, Braindead and Meet the Feebles.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017


MemberNeomorphFeb-25-2018 4:35 AM


There is a difference between if it is real or if it is in a movie. When it is really it is closer to you so then I get feel sick from seeing that since it is real and could happen.

It gets repetitive if it is over-used that is why they got to use it sparingly.


MemberNeomorphFeb-25-2018 4:36 AM

Big Dave

Yeah gore alone will not make it, you got to care about the characters that the bad things happen to. This is what they failed with in AC because we knew almost nothing about the characters so they got to make that part better.


ModeratorPraetorianFeb-25-2018 1:25 PM

Thoughts_Dreams I was looking for photos for another topic and found this one along the way (though I dont know where it originally came from).

We didn't get much chance to care for many of the characters in AC but this one makes you feel sad for Ricks & Upworth. Poor bastards had no idea what was on the ship with them


I Moon Girl

MemberChestbursterFeb-25-2018 7:09 PM


I didn't like Upworth as a character.  Ricks was okay, yet I barely saw him on the screen.

I'm not saying they deserve to die, but I really don't agree with how they acted on the Covenant throughout the movie.  My complaint is really aimed at Upworth.  I'm not saying they were written badly.  I just didn't like the characters and I'm not complaining that they are dead.

I mean, they loose almost all of the crew and they go into the shower to get it on.  Disgusting... I don't see how death of friends leads to horniness?  I can come up with possible answers on why. Sure.  We all can.  Still, I don't think they were good people.

That shower scene shouldn't have been in the movie.  Like I said above though, I disliked Upworth throughout the movie.  She just seemed... ionno... kind of immature? self-important? unsympathetic? unempathetic? ionno...

I just didn't like how she said the things she said.  I'll be watching Alien: Covenant again in the coming weeks, so maybe my opinion on the character will change.  It's happened before in other movies that I watched again, so who knows?


MemberTrilobiteFeb-25-2018 8:44 PM

I Moon Girl I thought the shower scene was out of place too for similar reasons. It wasn't a bad scene for what it is though.

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