The knife game, also known as five finger fillet, is a game wherein the player places the palm of their hand flat on a table with fingers spread apart and then attempts to stab the spaces between the fingers using a knife or other sharp object, the aim being to perform the trick at the fastest speed possible without hitting (and therefore injuring) any part of the hand or fingers.
While the order in which the spaces between the fingers are stabbed can vary, in North America, the most popular version was to simply stab all the spaces in order, starting from behind the thumb to after the little finger, and back again. Other variations involved more complex routines; for example, in Europe, each space was stabbed in succession with an additional stab behind the starting thumb in between each time — a slight variation of this was the version performed by Lance Bishop in 2179.
Many centuries later, in 2179, the synthetic Lance Bishop was well known among his fellow Colonial Marines of 2nd Battalion Bravo Team for being able to preform the knife game at incredible speed without missing. While en route to LV-426 aboard the USS Sulaco, Private Hudson convinced Bishop to perform his knife game, although the Marine was accosted by Private Drake and his hand was forcibly placed beneath Bishop's, thereby making him an unwilling participant. Although Hudson was unharmed, Bishop nicked himself during the trick, exposing his white circulation fluid and revealing to Ellen Ripley that he was an android (a fact she was unaware of).
Behind the Scenes
To create the effect of Bishop performing the trick at inhuman speed, the footage of the scene was sped up. This creates a rather apparent goof in the film, whereby other characters in the background can be also seen moving at an unrealistically accelerated rate, most notably Sergeant Apone, whose head can be seen moving up and down incredibly fast as he laughs.
While the origins of the knife game are unknown, Aliens is known for popularizing it; "bishop" has even become an alternate name for the game. It has also been referenced within the Alien and Alien vs. Predator franchises themselves — Charles Bishop Weyland briefly uses a pen to do the game in the 2004 film Alien vs. Predator and the game appears in the 2011 Nintendo DS video game Aliens: Infestation as an unlockable minigame.
- Aliens Infestation Includes Bishop's Awesome Knife Trick | The Escapist
- Knife game - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- The Knife Game | Know Your Meme