Why H.R. Giger's Alien Is a Movie Monster Masterpiece

Illustration for article titled Why H.R. Giger's Alien Is a Movie Monster Masterpiece

It goes without saying that Alien’s xenomorph is just plain cool. But why exactly do we love this grotesque monster so much? YouTube’s kaptainkristian explores that exact question, delving into the delightfully creepy mind of Swiss surrealist artist H.R. Giger and exploring the nuanced cinematic genius behind this otherworldly parasite.


Really, it’s a brief archived interview of the late Giger, quoted toward the end of this mini-doc, that explains so succinctly why audiences have been drawn to this acid-spewing alien for more than 35 years:

I always wanted my alien to be a very beautiful thing, something aesthetic. A monster isn’t just something disgusting—it can have a kind of beauty.

Mission accomplished.

[YouTube via BoingBoing]



I recommend every video on that person’s channel.

I also understand that O’Bannon and Shussett had interface with Giger while working on DUNE. In fact one of the pieces shown in this video is FOR DUNE.

I argue there are EXACTLY three, post-WWII monsters, that SF fans embraced because of their style and execution. That their existence leads us to other questions:

The Predator

The Terminator

The Alien

No one asks if there is a clutch of more Jasons....a hive of michael meyers, a factory of freddys....we know they are singular....

But the post-industrial nightmare that is the Alien and the Terminator? THOSE are compelling. “The Ultimate Consumer” as we are warned about in The BORG? (so mentioned here because they are brought up in the video)

THAT SHIT is scary. the Alien turns your death into it’s power. The more of your race that dies, the more of them there are.

The Terminator is merely implacable. They are born, they are manufactured. No one terminator really matters. One HUMAN matters, but that is a vulnerability.

The PREDATOR on the other hand is something we don;t feel any more on a visceral level. Something higher than us on the food chain. We are the lions, the tigers, the bears, dangerous game to be sure. Hunters, predators, BUT WE ARE GAME.....this is why these are brilliant.