ALIEN: THE ARCHIVE [Book Review]





alien-the-archive

ALIEN: THE ARCHIVE
Hardback book available from Amazon and The Book Depository

Are you a fan of the four Alien movies? Even if you’re a fan of the first two only, which most people are, you’ll want to get your hands on the huge hardback book that has been released called Alien: The Archive. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the movies, from the set design to filming the scenes, working with the cast and of course, the artwork by H.R. Giger from which the distinctive style and Xenomorph alien was born from, is revealed within the book’s 320 pages.

Huge photographs from on set, to artwork and sketches give an idea on how the scenes for Ridley Scott’s Alien were mapped out, from the iconic chest-burster scene to the facehuggers and the discovery of the engineer at the beginning of the movie. There’s plenty of photographs of the Xenomorph too, one of which is accompanied by a funny quote which details how the Xenomorph was practically made up of motorcycle parts and phallus symbols to create its particular look and they wondered how the audience would react to the design. They needn’t have worried with the Xenomorph becoming one of the most feared creations in film history. The book includes concept illustrations of the Nostromo show how the ship was envisaged before creating it for real as well as designs of the iconic Alien eggs and much more.

For the sequel Aliens, there’s plenty of photos to get your teeth into, from photographs of the costumes the marines wore to stills of a deleted scene involving Newt. David Fincher’s Alien3 and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Alien: Resurrection are also covered in great detail, so whether you’re a fan of the latter movies or not, there’s a wealth of information to glean about the sequels from behind-the-scenes including stills of the special FX to promotional stills, the vehicles and more.

All of the photography and artwork contained in this book is accompanied by text and interviews with the cast and crew which give a great insight into the filmmaking process and the thoughts behind the film. The content of the writing is just as mesmerising as the pictures as the book goes into great depth about the film from the cast and characters to shooting particular scenes and problems they encountered whilst shooting. Every aspect of the shoots seem to be covered in this ultimate guide.

The studios released bonus footage on their Alien Anthology DVD and Blu-Rays, now everything you’d want to know about the films is available in a book. I can’t say if what’s shown or said on the DVD and Blu-Rays is replicated, but what I do know is that this book contains new interviews with the creators, cast and crew including Ridley Scott, Sigourney Weaver, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, H.R. Giger and Jenette Goldstein who played Vasquez in Aliens, as well as rare, never-before-seen early concept art, storyboards and imagery that will capture your imagination and cast you into the film as though you were part of the crew.

Released to celebrate the 35 year anniversary of the original Alien and dedicated to the late H.R. Giger who died earlier this year, ALIEN: THE ARCHIVE is the definitive book on the Alien movies. If you’ve long been dreaming of a book that covered the movie in great detail with huge photographs and insider knowledge, then dream no longer because this is the book all fans of Alien will be clambering over each other to get. I’d go as far to say that your life as an Alien fan will be incomplete without it and it would look the business as a coffee table book too with it’s 10 by 13 inches size and hefty weight. Each page reveal will have the little child in you screaming with excitement as it did me. Words cannot describe the beauty of this quality book. You’ll just have to see it for yourself!

Rating: ★★★★★

Bat
About Bat 6803 Articles
I love prosthetic effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: Silent Hill

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