“Alien Resurrection” by John Frizzell

Alien Resurrection may be the most laughed off entry in the Alien franchise. Rightly so, but it also did a few things right. Here’s a short listing in no particular order:

  • The visuals, with cinematograper Darius Khondji in his heydays, the film gave us some great visual shots of the Xenomorphs. Some setups seemed to be there just to give Khondji an exclusive to create amazingly choreographed scenes. This is partly also due to…
  • The writing, which may be the spiritual predecessor to Joss Whedon’s Firefly, using the smugglers crew as a rough cut of what years later became the crew of the Serenity. That’s a pretty awesome thing to do right if you ask me. And finally…
  • The music, with a very experimental and at times gothic score by at that time newcomer John Frizzell. Even if Joss Whedon found it to be too blatant, I think it fits the strange atmosphere of the film very well.

Let me put this straight: Alien Resurrection is quite an enjoyable film – if you take it as an adaptation of those crazy ass Dark Horse comic books. The ones in which scientists come up with a ridiculous plan to do something stupid and then completely unexpectedly everything goes to hell. One could say it is a comic book movie then and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with a statement like that. After all it paved the way for the AVP films and what were they based upon again?

My custom covers to Alien Resurrection were among the very first ones I’ve ever created, way back in a time that isn’t true anymore. They were all low res though, so I couldn’t wait until I could finally revamp them as part of this series. I decided to open up with the La-La Land Limited Edition Two-Disc Set (#1) from 2010. It’s the only original cover I have included in this series, because the next one (#2) is a remake of the original 1997 soundtrack. I never liked the distracting placement of the two main actors names on the original artwork; especially how carelessly unbalanced they were placed within the canvas. So I had to fix that by remaking the entire cover as a whole.

Due to the lack of useful source material, I had to think outside the box for the most part of this series. 

For example, the two-issue Dark Horse comic book adaptation which was published in support of the film, served as a template for custom cover #4. I used the second issue’s “Newborn” cover art, which is probably my favourite Resurrection related piece of work out of them all. The colour tones of the logo had to be warmed up slightly, so that it harmonizes better with the orange background.

I reused the same Photoshop template on the next one, only this time using a source image taken from the official video game (#5). This was a pretty difficult custom to work on. The game cover scan was rather fuzzy and I had to recreate the whole background including that green glow effect around the Xeno’s head.

The following one (#6) isn’t based on the video game cover as such, but on an associated magazine ad. I especially liked the tagline, which probably shows more creativity than the entire development of the game: “Feel that rapid beating in your chest? Better pray it’s your heart.” I’ve also had another ad, but didn’t know what to make out of it.

After a bunch of continuations of earlier established motifs (#7, #8, #9), I’m closing this entry with a pretty cool, but at the same time really time-consuming artwork, that went through a lot of different design stages. I wasn’t sure if this this image was indeed from the Alien Resurrection era, but due to the lack of quality material I honestly didn’t care. At least the fangs indicated as such. My first headscratcher was the placement of the actual movie title. After some failed considerations I came to the conclusion, that the beasts jaws were my only option, so I started to cut out certain areas and individual teeth/saliva elements, underneath which I could hide the typeface. The hardest part was to arrange each and every Photoshop layer, so that the individual shadow effects wouldn’t overlap each other. With only eight proper custom covers this is by far the shortest entry in my Alien custom cover series, so I thought I’d throw in some different logo treatments this time, to make up for it a bit.

So there you have it! Custom covers for all the main films of the Alien franchise. But that’s not the end. I’m almost done with Prometheus and I can already tell you, it’s gonna be killer! Also, the two AVP films are in the pipe as well. And with Neill Blomkamp’s untitled Aliens sequel on the radar, I thankfully have something to look forward to. I honestly can’t wait.

One Comment

  1. […] M y most wanted film of 2012 was Prometheus by Ridley Scott. Despite all its mind-boggling flaws, I still enjoyed the hell out of this movie. A thing that initially couldn’t be said about Marc Streitenfeld’s score though. While it’s still very effective and on certain tracks actually really good, it definitely fell behind the previous four scores of the Alien saga (yes, even Resurrection). […]

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