H. R. Giger
Without fail, at least four times a year, I have an ALIEN nightmare.
It never starts the same, but it always ends up with myself, running through bone-molded walls, as I hear the furtive scratchings of the Alien behind me. It doesn't want to kill me. No, it wants to do far worse to me - to lay its spawn in my flesh, for me to give birth to horror and blasphemy. I always wake from these dreams with a jolt, even now, 35 years after the original release. You would think I'd be used to the Alien by now, but that is testimony to the absolute terror and psychological... wrongness of H. R. Giger's designs. They are both beautiful and terrifying.
H.R. Giger, the artist of our collective nightmares, our Charon through a tormented, twisted River Styx, has passed away at the age of 74, after receiving injuries in a fall. His contributions to cinema, art, video games, even music cannot be overstated. I cannot imagine a world without his art in it, and once having seen his work, I was never the same, as I imagine it is for many of you. Giger tapped into something primordial, sexual, and full of dread. His visions terrified him, and so he put them to canvas, or molded them from clay and chicken bone, and brought his nightmares for the world to share. And we love him for it.
If you haven't seen JODOROWSKY'S DUNE, you should, because Giger was integral to that failed project. I wish I could live in a world where both Jodorowsky's film and ALIEN could both exist, but sadly, one could not exist without the other. But once Giger designed the Alien and the Derelict and the Space Jockey in ALIEN, he captured the imagination of science fiction and horror fans everywhere. No one since has managed to make a movie monster quite so terrifying as the Alien. 35 years later, still no one has done it. Right now, I can't imagine anyone ever will.
Ain't It Cool extends its condolences to H. R. Giger's family and friends, and we thank him for his years of work in science fiction, cinema, video games, album covers, his art and his sculptures. Let us raise a glass to the navigator of our nightmares.
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