10 items from 2014
"In space, no one can hear you scream." So ran the tagline for "Alien," which went into wide release 35 years ago this week (on June 22, 1979). Then again, we've been screaming loudly for the past three and a half decades, through several sequels, prequels, and other spinoffs.
Every movie fan knows that "Alien" launched the careers of director Ridley Scott (it was just his second feature) and star Sigourney Weaver (whose Ripley became the greatest action heroine in film history over the course of the franchise). Most even know that Swiss artist H.R. Giger (who passed away last month at 74) designed the "xenomorph," the alien that picks off Ripley's fellow crew members one by one. But you may not know what the alien's entrails were made of, what scenes were never filmed, or how the notorious "chestburster" sequence was made to look so horrifically realistic. Here are some of the secrets of "Alien, »
- Gary Susman
When Alejandro Jodorwosky's would-be version of "Dune" went belly up, it would forever change the face of movie monsters. That's because one of the special effects artists, the soon-to-be-famous Dan O'Bannon, saw the art work of a strange little Swiss man by the name of H.R. Giger. Hans Rudy Giger's art is perhaps the most powerful ever created. Erotic, alien, disturbing, unforgettable -- all appropriate when describing Giger's special brand brand of madness. It'd be hard to imagine anyone viewing it not to feel something, not to remember it later during a nightmare. Well, O'Bannon remembered it a few years after "Dune" folded when his script titled "Alien" had been picked up by 20th Century Fox. O'Bannon -- who once thought he would direct -- had shown some of Giger's work to the just »
We're sad to report that the Swiss artist Hr Giger, creator of the Alien, has died at the age of 74.
In 1979, the cinema-going public reeled at the arrival of Alien. Its title creature, although conceived on paper by writers Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett, was brought vividly to life by the Swiss artist Hans Ruedi Giger.
For many, Alien was their first introduction to Giger's nightmarish and surreal art. During the 70s and 80s, he was extraordinarily prolific, producing not just the Alien design, its accompanying eggs, the celebrated Space Jockey, his extra-terrestrial craft and planet, but also a huge range of other sculptures, illustrations and paintings.
Giger's must familiar work was achieved with an airbrush, and it was his 1977 book of paintings, entitled Necronomicon, which brought the artist to the world's attention, and in particular the creators of Alien. When director Ridley Scott set eyes on painting named Necronom IV, »
In the mid-Seventies, Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky, who was known for his radical arthouse films El Topo and Holy Mountain, took on the greatest challenge of his film career -- adapting for the screen one of the most classic sci-fi novels in history, Frank Herbert's Dune.
For two years, Jodorowsky worked an overwhelming number of hours with his creative team, including French comic-book artist Jean "Moebius" Giraud, screenwriter Dan O'Bannon (Dark Star, Alien), artist H.R. Giger (Alien), and sci-fi paperback illustrator Chris Foss to create over 3,000 storyboards and dozens of paintings along with incredibly detailed costumes and a tome of a script the size of a large phone book.
The film was to star Jodorowsky's own 12-year-old son, Brontis, who endured two years of daily martial arts training in preparation for his starring role alongside icons such as Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, David Carradine and Salvador Dali. Although the film was never made, »
- Debbie Cerda
Feature Ryan Lambie 7 Apr 2014 - 07:06
Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, Ridley Scott's Alien remains a timeless exercise in atmosphere and suspense. The intervening years may have diminished the impact of its bloodiest moments, but the air of astral coldness is still as potent as it ever was.
Alan Dean Foster's Alien novelisation succeeds in capturing that same chilly essence - quite a feat, given that the author wrote the book in just three weeks, with what appears to be an early draft of the screenplay, and without having seen a photograph of the title creature.
Novelisations essentially a marketing tool - released around the same time as the films on which they're based, they're written quickly and bundled onto bookshop shelves without much fanfare. »
Jodorowsky's Dune -- a film that was supposed to have starred the likes of Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, Sting, Dali, and David Carradine, with a soundtrack by Pink Floyd, art by H.R. Giger, storyboards by Moebius, effects by Dan O'Bannon, and directed by psychedelic cult auteur Alejandro Jodorowsky -- never got made. But is it any surprise? With all of these heavyweight egos involved, it's not terribly difficult to see that if the smallest thing went wrong -- if one person didn't approve of the script, costume, co-star, etc., or if one was offended by the slightest provocation -- that it could all fall apart. Which it did. However, director Frank Pavich took all that might have been and crafted a hilarious (hear Richard Stanley...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
The grass is always greener on the other side. We always covet what we can never attain. Last week, Sony Pictures Classics' must-see documentary “Jodorowsky's Dune” opened in limited release; director Frank Pavich's funny, affectionate tale of Alejandro Jodorowsky's doomed attempt at adapting Frank Herbert's indispensable sci-fi classic for the big screen (our review). So ambitious and grand—legends like Pink Floyd, Mick Jagger, H.R. Giger, Moebius, VFX wizard Dan O'Bannon, Salvador Dali and Orson Welles were some of the names mooted to be involved—perhaps Jodorowsky’s version was so insane it never could have really happened, or perhaps if it had, it would have been a epic fail (indeed David Lynch's version, which would eventually bring the story to the big screen in 1984, was itself one of that visionary director's biggest stumbles, even according to Lynch himself). The documentary, loving and insightful, also »
- The Playlist Staff
In 1974, the Chilean-born filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky was coming off the dual successes of his films El Topo and The Holy Mountain. The former, a violent Spaghetti Western, pioneered the concept of the midnight movie in the U.S.; the latter was a surreal tale full of tarot-card imagery that was a huge box office hit in Europe. (Deacdes later, Kanye West would claim The Holy Mountain was the inspiration for the look of his Yeezus tour.) Sensing that Jodorowsky was not just an artist but a visionary, French producer and »
Even if you haven't heard about the legendary “Mummies of Guanajuato” – a massive army of well-preserved human bodies first unearthed in Mexico nearly 150 years ago – chances are you've seen some of the horror films that were directly or partially inspired by them. All Photos © Guanajuato Museo de las Momias Beginning with references to Aztec mummies and similar undead walkers in Mexican horror films of the '60s and '70s (often pitting the monsters against popular wrestlers like El Santo), cinematic nods to the dessicated specimens also include Werner Herzog's classic 1979 version of Nosferatu – which included an extended scene of the mummies in close-up during the haunting opening credits – and the distinctive ghouls of Return of the Living Dead, which director Dan O'Bannon and designer William Stout based on images from the Guanajuato collection. Apart from their many movie appearances, the mummies are also a vital part of Mexican culture: the Guanajuato exhibit, »
- Gregory Burkart
In The Vault this week, we welcome director Dave Parker (The Hills Run Red, ColdWater) and journalist Rebekah McKendry from Fangoria. These are two of the biggest horror nerds I know (and I know a lot of horror nerds) so they give some great insight on this week's film, Dead & Buried.
Dead & Buried is a kind of low-key zombie flick. I had never even heard of it until we started working on The Vault. The small New England coastal town of Potter's Bluff is a popular vacation spot, but visitors frequently end up, well, murdered. But thanks to some voodoo witchcraft, the dead rise again, as residents who don't eat brains and, frankly, act as if nothing happened - except, of course, when it is time to kill the newbies.
- Alyse Wax
10 items from 2014
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