It’s hard to argue that Sigourney Weaver isn’t the ultimate badass in the Alien movies. She wields a flamethrower like it’s no big deal—thanks to a little practice before filming. According to Xenopedia:
The large raised section on the front of the Flame Thrower is the result of a large (compared to modern lighters) electronic gas lighter with a U2 battery (more commonly known as a D battery) being used to create the pilot light. A remote switch was used to turn on the lighter inside the Flame Thrower. Once the Flame Thrower was lit, director Ridley Scott “liked to keep it that way”.
At least Sigourney Weaver (Ripley) test-fired the Flame Thrower (presumably before using it on set) on the lawn at Shepperton Studios’ backlot.
The use of the Flame Thrower in Alien began something of a tradition in the Alien franchise of flamethrower weaponry featuring in the films — Aliens would prominently feature the M240 Incinerator Unit, Alien Resurrection would feature the Draco Double Burner and Prometheus would also feature a flamethrower. Despite not featuring flamethrowers, the prisoners in Alien3 also used fire as a weapon against the Dragon.
Really, everyone just needs to get the heck out of this woman’s way.
See pictures of how things looked in the film after the break.