Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Species Design (1996)

Author: H.R. Giger | Illustrator: H.R. Giger | Page Count: 86

"I cast worms in silicon …Instead, in the film, reddish brown computer-generated sausages burst out (but very quickly, to hide the computerised embarrassment)."

Large format coffee table book, about the size of an LP, that doesn't fit on any of my shitty Argos flat-pack shelving.  It’s full of HR Giger illustrations, primarily the early stage concept sketches that rarely get released to the public, most of which are black ink on paper.  Giger’s sketches have an almost obsessively hurried appearance.  Seeing what he had envisioned for the creature, that didn't make it into the film, is the only reason to purchase this.  If you’ve seen the film you may remember Sil's dream, with the train?  Probably not, it was brief.  Giger put a huge amount of work into the train, even building a working scale model from animal bones, PVC, wood and metal at his own expense.  The studio gave it a mere 8 seconds of footage in the final product.  Had it remained as he envisioned it could've been spectacular, perhaps even the highlight of the whole damn thing.

His association with Hollywood hasn’t been a pleasant one over the years so it’s nice to get something from his POV.  However, at times he uses the book as a platform for his grievances about the Hollywood machine.  It's either a man having a bitch-fit, or an artist whose vision was cruelly compromised getting a cathartic release.  Either way, it borders on the depressive.  I felt so very sorry for him, and wondered why he took such treatment from the money-whores.  I have my suspicions but you’ll maybe discover that for yourself upon reading.

Alongside the aforementioned sketches are colour photographs of the animatronic puppets used in the production, and lots of stills from the film which are either there contractually or as filler.  If you have an unfilled need for a deeper insight into the creation of the best part of the film, the book will give it.  I just hope you have some oversized shelves to house it on.  Don't go to Argos for them.

3 all aboard the penis train to a Swiss pervert’s dreamland out of 5


Impudent Urinal said...

More than you gave the actual film?


Dr Faustus said...

Yup. Book > Film. I liked the film when I saw it years ago but it hasn't aged well. Books don't seem to fall prey to that kind of ageing quite as much.