It was the kind of tagline that no doubt earned the marketing team a very long lunch, and it heralded the arrival of not just one of the most iconic and long-lasting movie franchises, but also of the director Ridley Scott. The original Alien film (1979) mixed science fiction and gothic horror, leaving audiences the world over terrified, but also enthralled. In that movie —and subsequent instalments Aliens, Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection— the star was Ellen Ripley.
Played by Sigourney Weaver, she was our heroine, a strong female character who had no choice but to confront and vanquish the antagonist: the alien itself. The other stand-out star of the series, the xenomorph, is a terrifying but strangely fascinating creature, the genesis of which can be traced back to the dark, biomechanical art and sculptures of Swiss artist H. R. Giger.
The alien species, a terrifying killing machine, complete with acid for blood, was born from the febrile mind of the painter and sculptor – an opium-smoking artist who would keep a pad by his bed so he could keep a record of, and draw creativity from, his night terrors.
Scott would return to Alien directing duties in 2012 with Prometheus, which seeks to explore the origins of the mysterious alien craft we see in Alien, and the so-called "space jockeys," or engineers, who piloted the ships laden with a deadly cargo. And in May of this year, the British director will be back once more with Alien: Covenant. Fans of the saga will be waiting eagerly to see the form that science fiction's favorite monster will take this time around.
The full ‘Alien’ saga in the pack ‘Prometheus to Alien: the evolution’. Format: DVD and Blu-Ray.