Happy Birthday HR Giger, the Artist of Alien

Posted by David Konow

HR Giger’s artwork is some of the most frightening I’ve ever seen. It’s brilliantly done, but I’d hate to be on the wrong drugs looking at it. Now the man who gave us the nightmarish visions of Alien has turned 74 years old.

Dan O’Bannon, the late screenwriter of Alien, knew that with the incredible artwork of Giger  he could create a monster that had never been seen before on the big screen. And indeed, the alien itself is one of the most uniquely designed creatures in sci-fi history, not to mention it’s still scary as hell.
 
Giger’s artwork was a big selling point of Alien, and once director Ridley Scott saw his illustrations, he was sold. Scott was fascinated by a lot of underground artwork of the time, and the work of Moebius, along with the artists who worked for Heavy Metal magazine, were very influential on the look of Alien and Blade Runner.
 
Interestingly enough, Giger and O’Bannon were originally going to work together on the ‘70’s version of Dune, which was going to be directed by cult director Alejandro Jodoworksy (El Topo). There’s a documentary coming out in March 21 about this incarnation of Dune which was going to be 13 hours long (!), and the early reviews tell us it’s a brilliant look at one of the most legendary unmade movies ever.
 
Thankfully, both Giger and O’Bannon were able to rise from the ashes of Dune, and with their vision of Alien, sci-fi would never be the same. So we at TG wish Giger a happy birthday, and thank him for all the brilliant work.