Alien: Covenant arrived this month as the latest instalment in the massive movie series, but back in the ’70s things weren’t looking so hot when Sir Ridley Scott’s dreaded Xenomorphs were impounded by US customs.
When legendary designer HR Giger posted his early concepts for Alien‘s creatures from Switzerland to Los Angeles, they caught the eye of the US authorities… and not in a good way.
“[Giger mailed these large photographic transparencies to us at Fox,” said Alien screenwriter Dan O’Bannon on the commentary from the Alien Quadrilogy collection.
“They came through customs, who didn’t understand what they were and were alarmed, and we had to personally go down to LAX and pick these things up.
“And I finally got these photographs that Giger had made of the designs he had done for the facehugger and I held them up to the light where I could see them. I was stunned at what I saw!”
Considering the prevalence of sexual imagery in Giger’s work, the generally unsettling nature of the Xenomorphs, and the fact that it was the ’70s, we’re not entirely surprised that the designs had those customs officers freaking out.
But what did they know? Giger was among the filmmakers honoured with the Oscar for Best Visual Effects at the 52nd Academy Awards.
The latest fruit of Giger’s work, Alien: Covenant, is in cinemas now.
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