1. Ridley receives Giger's Necronomicon
Ridley Scott had looked through various designs for creatures that he rejected and suddenly at a meeting Dan O'Bannon produced a book out of nowhere as if it were a dirty magazine and opened it up, and there Ridley Scott saw a painting hat amazed him of a phallic headed demon a phallic headed demon with a strange umbilical penis. He had found his alien monster but wasn't sure what he found was the end of his problem or only just the beginning
- Ridley Scott : "I had accepted the script in awareness that the creature would pose enormous problems. With very few exceptions, movie monsters have a very rubbery look and are rarely convincing. The first sketches had been traditional representations. The beast with several heads, bulging eyes, the lot. I rejected them all. Then O'Bannon showed me Giger's Necronomicon." I knew at once, without shadow of a doubt, this was what I wanted" (Film Illustrated. v9. n99, Nov 1979, "Duelling with Death, The Alien World of Ridley Scott", p103)
- Scanlon & Gross: Reenter H.R.Giger,
Alien was gradually moving toward its shooting schedule and there was
still no acceptable monster. One sketch proposal looked sort of like an
octopus, another like a small dinosaur. One artist brought in a model
that Gordon Carroll says looked like a "Christmas turkey"
So O'Bannon , remembering those inspirational days on a sofa back in Los Angeles, with Giger always in the back of his mind, paid a visit to Ridley Scott."Dan came in," Scott recalls, " with this book I'd never seen before, opened it up and said, 'What do you think of this?' I looked down and saw this stunning picture.... this remarkable drawing. I think it's one of the best that Giger has ever done. I have never been so sure of something in all my life." What Scott saw was a picture from a Giger collection called Necronomicon, a picture that might well be described as Alien's second cousin. " And I said to Dan, 'Well, either my problems are over or they've just begun.'" (Book of Alien, Scanlon & Gross)
- Ridley Scott: "The biggest problem, of course, was : What's
the alien going to look like? I mean, you could screw around for two
years trying to come up with something that wasn't at all nobs and bobs
and bumps and claws, or like a hug blob you know? When I went into for
the first meeting, they had the book there by HR Giger, The
Necronomicon. I took one look at it, and I've never been so sure of
anything in my life. I was convinced I'd have to had him on the film." (Starlog, September 1979, p21)
- Ridley Scott: He brought in a book
by the Swiss artist H.R.Giger. It's called Necronomicon. O'Bannon
produced this book out of nowhere, like it was a dirty magazine. He
wasn't quite sure about it. Didn't know what people would think when he
showed it to me. It was a covert operation.
FF: What was your reaction ?
Ridley Scott: I nearly fell over. I'd never been so certain about anything in my life. I tell you, I'd thought we would be arguing for months about what the beast was going to be. I thought "If we can build this, that's it." I was stunned, really. I flipped. Literally flipped. And O'Bannon lit up like a light bulb, shining like quartz iodine (Fantastic Films US#12, GB # 2, p14)
- David Giler described Giger's designs for
the derelict ship and the alien were based on flesh, bone and machine -
as if machinery were organic and could grow. It's what he called
Biomechanics. (Cinefantastique 9:1 p19)
a). Necronom IV
i) When Ridley Scott found Necronom IV he was amazed at the image, a phallic headed demon with a strange umbilical penis like structure with a small skeleton at the tip and pipes coming out of the creature's back. It could be said to be a combination of a humanoid, a motorcyclist and a sea creature. Various other elements of the painting can be found that make it certain that Giger took inspiration from Ancient Egyptian images, notably the Eye of Horus and images of The Mummification ritual
- SEE article The Development of Necronom IV for breakdown on everything known about the painting.
"Necronom V" shows a figure with an elongated head riding on pipe like structure as if it were a bike, and it ends with humanoid heads, and a strange other figure is planted into the riders back and pierces it's ribcage with a pair of horn like structures which might also be perceived as the riders breasts making it a female. The Alien's head and especially the face can be compared very much to the head and face of the central riding figure. So this painting along with Necronom IV are talked about by Giger as being the two paintings that really inspired the form of the final creature.
- HRGiger: "Then we came back to the designs without eyes from Necronom V and Necronom IV, which have some type of protruding pipes behind it, so it was a combination of those two paintings. (FX, 7, 1999 (spanish magazine))
ii) The final movie alien's has a translucent mouth and metallic teeth underneath that can be seen through the translucent skin of the mouth.
iii) The front of the final movie creature's face can be seen to have transparent skin over the mouth showing the teeth right down to the roots. It is barely a skin that covers them with no lips as such and the covering of the top of the head stretches down over the eyes making it seem eyeless and also over the nose, but in the painting the actual nostril areas appear to be open.
d) See: The Naming of the Necronom series