Human To Spore

leading from:

a) Creating the Spores
We are to find out from one of the cut scenes from Alien that the way these things are created are by the aliens themselves with the aid of victim's bodies. When loose on the ship, the new alien begins to lay eggs in the bowels of the ship. It lives to propagate and must find food for its offspring. As Ridley informs us, in this case the crew members of the Nostromo, upon whom the young aliens can feed in their eggs until a new host comes along prodding the eggs, and then the cycle begins all over again. Ridley Scott also observed that filmed scene shows that the walls are covered with this thick butter-like stuff and Dallas, still alive, is attached to the wall in a cocoon-type of thing. It's some sort of reproductivity cycle, because Brett, or what's left of Brett, is more fully absorbed in the background, slowly turning into one of the eggs. Dallas says , "Kill me!" and she incinerates the room, killing Dallas and Bret. It is a slightly vague description of what is happening never the less it is still one

Ridley Scott's sketch for cocoons  (393 A)

b) Cocooning like a spider
When Giger came to design the cocooned victims, he imagined it to be the way a spider wraps its victim and sticks it to the wall



Ridley Scott's sketch for cocoons  (393 B)


c) Victims Eaten Away
Dan O'Bannon and Ron Shusett actually suggest in their original script that the victim Standard (later to be renamed Dallas) by his own experience is being eaten, the online version has the cocooned character Standard's actual reason in words for not wanting to be saved as "It's eaten too much of me" and in the DVD version of the script "Too much gone". O'Bannon's point of view about when Parker too was taken away by the Alien after being killed by it was that Ripley finds Captain Dallas spun into a web in the hold of the Earthship, and Brett and Parker have also been spun into cocoons which are in the process of metamorphosing into the very same type of egg found in the pyramid. Giger understood that the alien drained the blood out of its human prey and developed the husk into a cocoon, which gradually developed back into an egg. The idea of a metamorphosis only relates to the cocoon transforming into the egg and not transformations of victims inside.


d) The explanation behind the idea of the human to spore "transformation", even without Ridley Scott's explanation, the victim inside the cocoon was being eaten away and indeed the silk cocoon turns into the spore shell. And so following this, Scott actually went with the idea of showing human bodies being eaten away alive by the cocoon material putting Dallas in a state of agony, as the spore shell grew around the humans' remains. (See: Comparison to saprophytic fungus)

Add work 393c: Part of the Bret Egg cocoon , polyester ( Source: Giger's Alien, p50)
e) Creation of the cocoons
The task of creating the cocoons has been passed to HR Giger and Peter Voysey who are not entirely sure what they should be doing and Ridley Scott who is involved in filming has almost no time do deal with their concerns. They have to hope that they've grasped what Ridley wanted. Voysey takes an egg, gets himself a skull and disappears into the plasterers' workshop. He wants to use my clay sausage method to make the cocoon. For the fresher cocoon, only partly enveloped, he takes a plaster impression of the crouching actor (Tom Skerrit), who of course has got to be recognizable. The other victim (Harry Dean Stanton) of the murderous Alien stage III is almost completely cocooned, so Voysey can use the invaluable rubber latex for the figure.

Brett becomes an egg
f) Removal of the cocooning scene
Ridley found himself removing the human to cocoon scene. Terry Rawling the editor was involved in the decision as well, he thought it was quite horrendous and one shock too many. As an editor, when one is timing something , there's a correct order for when things happen and how many should happen. If there are are five things happening , a sixth can diminish the other five. When they were analyzing the sequence, they decided that was no reason for Ripley to back down into the leg chamber and it seemed so tacked on and illogical. Giger was led to understand that the cocoon scene could be used because it interrupted the steadily mounting tension in the film.

Dallas cocooned in the glutinous substance
g) James Cameron's Big Misunderstanding
Without this scene, the information within it isn't recognised as part of the alien mythos anymore, and instead we have spores layed as eggs by an egg laying queen seen in Cameron's 'Aliens' film, that's another stage of the alien's life cycle, that might have layed enough eggs to fill the derelict's egg silo. See also: Cameron removes human to spore stage

h) Return of the cocoon scene
Ridley would years later add the sequence back into the film for the extended cut known as the directors cut, probably for the purpose of the public's curiosity because many people were so excited about the possibility of that scene, but the original released version of Alien was what Ridley considered to be the real director's cut

source quotes 
  1. Ridley Scott: Loose on the ship, this new alien, begins to lay eggs in the bowels of the ship. It lives to propagate and must find food for it's offspring - in this case, the crew members of the Nostromo upon whom the young aliens can feed in their eggs until a new host comes along prodding the eggs. The the cycle begins all over again. (S&S v48.n.1 Winter 78/79, p26)
  2. H R Giger: Like the way a spider wraps its victim and sticks it to the wall. (Giger's Alien Diaries p545)
  3. Dan O'Bannon: Ripley finds Captain Dallas spun into a web in the hold of the Earthship. Brett and Parker have also been spun into cocoons which are in the process of metamorphosing into the very same type of egg found in the pyramid. (Starburst 15, p41)
  4. Ridley Scott: When Ripley is running around on her own at the end of the film, she discovers that the alien has actually started a nest aboard the ship. The walls are covered with this thick butter-like stuff and Dallas, still alive, is attached to the wall in a cocoon-type of thing. It's some sort of reproductivity cycle, because Brett, or what's left of Brett, is more fully absorbed in the background, slowly turning into one of the eggs. Dallas says , "Kill me!" and she incinerates the room, killing Dallas and Brett ( Fantastic Films #11 , October 1979)
  5. Terry Rawling: It was quite horrendous and one shock too many. When you're timing something as an editor, there's a correct order for when things happen and how many should happen. If you have five happenings in a scene, a sixth dimimishes the other five. When we were analyzing that sequence in Alien, we decided that there was no reason for Ripley to go back down, it was tacked on and too illogical (Starlog, February 1986)
  6. HR Giger: The Chestburster , the original "Bambi Alien", grows into a giant killer alien, it has acid in place of blood and must be battled with flame throwers. It drains the blood out its human prey and forms the dried husk into a cocoon, which gradually develops back into an egg. (Giger's Film Design, p31)
  7. HR Giger: 4th September 1978, Shepperton Studios. The cocoon in the Alien story is a stage through which a victim of Alien III passes before he himself becomes an egg. Ever since I've been in the studios I've been laned with all the most complex, difficult jobs, which even the chief designer and the art director have difficulty carrying out. I pass them on smartly to Voysey; that is, we share them between us. We brood together over Scott's rough sketches and try to produce something subtle from them (plates 393a and b). Since shooting began, Scott has been busy filming from morn till eve, and it's a job to interrupt him even for a few minutes to talk about our problems. Often we simply have to work things out for ourselves in hope that we've grasped what he wants. Voysey takes an egg, gets himself a skull and disappears into the plasterers' workshop. He wants to use my clay sausage method to make the cocoon. For the fresher cocoon, only partly enveloped, he takes a plaster impression of the crouching actor (Tom Skerrit), who of course has got to be recognizable. The other victim (Harry Dean Stanton) of the murderous Alien III is almost completely cocooned, so Voysey can use the invaluable rubber latex for the figure. ( Source: Giger's Alien, p50)
  8. HR Giger: May 1979, Monte Carlo, first showing. The cocoon scene wasn't used there, since it would have interrupted the steadily mounting tension in the film. ( Source: Giger's Alien, p50)

1 comment:

  1. This is helpful. I personally don't like the idea of "human to spore transformation", (I prefer an egg-laying queen) but it is good to know that that is what the filmmakers originally intended.

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