Alien: Alexandre O Philippe's Memory - Origins of Alien : Comic book references



leading from 



Panel from "Seeds of Jupiter" (1951)


He was able to explore old comic books such as EC comics Weird Science story "Seeds of Jupiter" from 1951 and Tim Boxell's Defiled from the Death Rattle comic (1972)

Philippe approached Timothy Boxell who created the Defiled comic book story. Philippe came to realise that Boxell was really shocked that people remembered that particular connection.

(Of course when I saw it in Dan O'Bannon's 2003 essay Something Perfectly Disgusting in the Alien D, no one on the internet had given much thought about it publicly, so I tracked down the comic book and put the pages on line in early 2016, so before then the images had generally fallen into the past)


Panels from Tim Boxell's Defiled
  1. See: Alien: Tim Boxell's Defiled inspired Dan O'Bannon's Alien
  2. See: Alien: Seeds of Jupiter from Issue No.8 of Weird Science a story which inspired the chestburster
  3. Film Threat Um, but what you did is you took a deep dive, a deeper dive that to to the roots of that scene and the roots of Alien, beginning with of course Dan O'Bannon's mind, where he, all of his pop culture influences. I think the thing that impressed me the most of what you, what you dug up were the, the comic books, there were comic books that sort of alluded to something, something similar, um, uh

    Alexandre O Philippe:Yuh

    Film Threat: What was this guy, Peach Pit, his nickname

    Alexandre O Philippe: Yeah, yeah, Seeds of er, seeds of er, Jupiter, from er, 1951, EC comic, um yuh, which is remarkable and then, but later on, the story Defiled from Death Rattle, which is er, underground comic by Tim Boxell. He, wasn't the house, he was with us er, it was very cool to show the film with him, because I don't think many people know that story, you know erm, , yeah, mean, but I think you know, I think what makes, it's funny in a way, you know I think that the, in, what you're talking about, you know, Memory of course is a film about the Chest Burster, it's a film about the Alien, but, but in many ways it's not, in many ways it's a film about the resonance of myth and about our collective unconscious right, and I think that's what makes it fundamentally different from anything that has been made about this particular film and what I'm hoping is it will make people look at, not just Alien, but of course the, the importance of the Chestburster scene through a completely different lens, you know this idea that erm, that Alien became a success in 1979, the time when people were ready for the cute cuddly friendly alien, when really it wasn't supposed to be a success because Alien expressed ideas onto the big screen that erm, we needed to process as a collective, those moments do you know, when a, when a, when a scene like this has that kind of an impact, especially on men,
    (Film threat http://filmthreat.com/news/memories-of-alien-ft-alexandre-o-philippe-film-threat-podcast/
  4. Alexandre O Philippe: Look, Alien was not supposed to be a hit in 1979. Back then we already had Close Encounters, and we were ready for E.T. and the cute and cuddly alien. The fact that this film resonated so deeply means that something happened and it’s important for us to ask, ‘Why?’ It’s not just a haunted house movie in space. It’s more significant than that. (Quoted from Memory: The Making of Alien in https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/why-alien-remains-the-stuff-of-nightmares-pg26l26ql)
  5. Alexandre O Philippe: When you look at his original screenplay for They Bite from 1971, that was a seed for Memory, and then there’s Memory and Star Beast and Alien. Then there are these two comics—Seeds of Jupiter and Defiled—all of that he was aware of, and he never tried to hide it. That story had been told before, but told in B-movie fashion. This was the first time that this story really broke out of the B realm into the A-movie realm, and that’s why it became such a success. (https://www.slashfilm.com/alexandre-o-philippe-interview-memory/)
  6. Alexandre O Philippe : Not a film that was supposed to be successful at the time . This was er er a climate , this was a time when people were ready for the cute friendly cuddly alien , uh right, and in fact a case in point , look at 1982, just three years later , audiences had a choice if you will between ET and The Thing and they overwhelmingly embraced ET Interviewer: So ET phone home rather than er, 
    Alexandre O Philippe: That's right 

    Interviewer: Rather than Kurt Russell in the Arctic

    Alexandre O Philippe: In a very Lovecraftian tale
    Interviewer: So it's it's what we explore, why was Alien such a hit, erm, was it a hit because it expressed ideas and images on the screen that we , I believe, needed to process, um in our collective unconscious, that we still now today need to process, like the consciousness today (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc9B7Zwsu3w)
  7. Indeed, Phillipe learned—and shows viewers—the critical nature of O’Bannon’s work on the early version of the Alien script, called “Memory” at the time. He also researched obscure influences on Alien, including Defiled, an underground comic from 1971, leading Phillipe to track down Defiled’s creator for an interview about its impact on O’Bannon’s first ventures on Alien.
    He was really shocked that people remembered that particular connection, Phillipe said, noting he worked alone for a bulk of his film. “Once you start connecting with people who are in the know, the information bubbles up to the surface.”(http://www.btlnews.com/featured/filmmaker-alexandre-o-phillipe-remembers-alien-40th-anniversary/)
     


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