Disclaimer: A copy of Alien: The Archive was provided by Titan Books for this review
If you couldn’t tell already, we here at DFAT are HUGE fans of the film Alien. This past month has been our own celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the classic sci-fi movie by Ridley Scott. Across the board, companies with the rights to the Aliens license have been doing an awesome job at releasing some of the best swag I’ve seen in years based on this famous franchise. So believe me that when I saw Titan Books was releasing a book that would give me insight into one of my favorite films series of all time, I was all about it! Alien: The Archive is the first book about all four movies and it explores the origins and the process that went into making each one.
Books like Alien: The Archive are truly celebrations of the topic they feature. Throughout the 320 pages of this massive book, each film is explored in the greatest detail. From behind the scenes photos, to exclusive interviews, and little known facts, The Archive is your one-stop when it comes to learning everything you need to know about the Alien series. One of my favorite parts is that they show off how the Alien evolved over time. From Ridley Scott’s original Mark I, to the Mark IV in Resurrection, it’s like watching the evolution of Iron Man, just a little scarier! The BTS photos and artwork are truly a gift! It is amazing to see how The Nostromo went from design to set, and how they built this massive monolith! With the loss of H.R. Giger this year, it is bittersweet to see how much of an impact his designs had when it came to the designs of this universe, all of which still hold true 35 years later! Alien: The Archive is actually dedicated to him, you can check that out in the final pages.
The part I loved the most about this book was seeing how the chestburster scene came together. One of the most iconic, shocking, and scariest scenes in film history! Reaching the Aliens section, seeing the epic scale of that film unfold compared to the original film, was a real treat. There are huge differences between what Scott and James Cameron did with their visions, but both films sit at the top of my “All Time Best” lists for different reasons. This is where the individuality of the movies comes into play and why they shine on their own. Alien 3 and Resurrection will never mean as much as these other two films to me, but they have their places in the mythos. Alien: The Archive does a wonderful job detailing these two sequels as well. I mean how can you deny a Joss Whedon written or a David Fincher directed Aliens film?! You can’t! Even if there are some strange concepts thrown in there! The Archive does a wonderful job detailing all of the environments that each film took place in. It’s important to remember that ships, prisons, and colonies and how each played a huge part in the overall delivery of the each films’ feeling. Being stuck in these isolated locations with one of the most dangerous monsters in the universe? No thank you! Another one of the biggest things to recognize about Alien, is how it featured a prominent female lead. The role of Ripley launched Sigourney Weaver’s career, while also introducing us to a character that would greatly impact the future of the genre.
Alien: The Archive is the perfect book for that Alien fan in your life, especially if it’s you. Recently released this past week, this book is a great gift idea with that season not too far down the road! You can pick up a copy of the book by heading over the official Titan Books website or by visiting your local bookstore or online retailer! There’s also a collector’s version of the book that features a beautiful slipcase!