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Alien Resurrection

Twenty years after landing in theaters, E.T. finds some new friends on the Web.

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Sure, it may be the 20th anniversary of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, but don’t expect to see the beloved little alien logging onto a website when the film is rereleased in theaters March 22. ”There wasn’t [a wide public awareness of the] Internet when the movie came out the first time,” says Kevin Campbell, whose job as new media marketing senior VP for Universal didn’t exist 20 years ago either. Today, Campbell and other human life-forms are making up for lost time by posting online all things E.T. ”I’m surprised I haven’t gotten any heat from the studio,” confides webmaster Andrew Bouska, whose own site (see below) boasts the fruits of a recent expedition to locate the L.A.-area home that director Steven Spielberg used in the film. (You can bet it took more than a trail of Reese’s Pieces to find it.) There remain only a few mysteries in the Internet age — and thanks to these sites, E.T. isn’t one of them:

— THE OFFICIAL E.T. SITE (et20.com) Superb animation and sound effects bring elements from the movie to life, including E.T.’s ubiquitous spaceship, which doubles as a site navigator. There are printable coloring pages, a dress-up-E.T. game (for Gertie), a Free the Frogs challenge (for Elliott), and, coming soon, a virtual quilt comprising fan photos and stories. Not enough? Download the E.T. ScreenMate (PCs only) or sign up to have E.T. factoids sent to your cell phone or pager. A

— THE UNOFFICIAL E.T. SITE (cyber space-creations.com/phonehome) Leave it to a resourceful Bouska to get Elliott’s mom to talk (Dee Wallace Stone reveals a rather tame cover-up on set) and deliver one treacly morsel from Michael Jackson (a song from the E.T. Read-Along album). A-

— E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (homepage.mac.com/etweb) Bryce Neuman’s modest but amusing collection of trivia, continuity errors, and audio files may be adequate for budding E.T. fans, but the minimalist design leaves much to be desired — and the Barney-purple background wears on the eyes. C

— DREAMWORKS SKG FAN SITE (dreamworksfansite.com/amblin/et20) Ignore the nonfunctional nav bar and concentrate on the compendium of E.T.-related articles and pics, including info on the upcoming DVD and links to other sites, where you’ll discover the fate of little Elliott’s most potty-mouthed outburst. B+