Thursday, February 2, 2012
On a side note, if odd numbered Star Trek films are always the bad ones, I think subtitled instead of numbered Alien and Terminator films are always the bad ones. This is why Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines is only half awesome and half awful, because it has a number and a subtitle. Hmm, wait, Terminator 2 had a subtitle, too. But I digress.
All I really want to do today, since so many others have covered this movie exhaustively in so many other reviews and essays of the film, is talk about how I think H.R. Giger's design for the adult alien creature is the most original in any medium, ever. Certainly Star Trek and Star Wars have some great ideas, even some that aren't humanoid. Yet Giger's alien, based heavily on his painting Necrom IV (above; which inspired director Ridley Scott to contact him in the first place), is so nightmarish and, well, alien looking, that even now, having seen the shit out of these creatures in well lit shots in other movies, the original Alien film has the power to transfix and terrify me. Even when I can frame-by-frame an HD version of it, it still isn't quite clear in enough of the frames to get a really good idea of just what the hell it is.
I would rant about how CGI ruined movies like this for me since for some reason my brain knows the monsters aren't "real" yet old, primitive practical effects in the first three Alien films still creep me out...even stuff like John Carpenter's The Thing is still creepy for this reason...but I'd just be ranting. You should still go check out some more of Giger's stuff, if only his published sketches/designs for the series and other movies he worked on.