Sunday, May 27, 2012
Cool Ass Cinema Book Reviews: A double dose of ALIEN edition!
THE BOOK OF ALIEN
By Paul Scanlon and Michael Gross
softcover; 112 pages; color and B/W; Editions: 1979, 1993, 2012
...it's of historical importance for being the first book on the making of ALIEN as well as being one of the first such publications on a non-kid friendly motion picture in the wake of STAR WARS mania.
For many, the worthiness of a book is in the words and the amount of palpable information contained within its pages. For others, it's the visual presentation that matters most. The Book of Alien, which was first published back when the original film hit theaters in 1979, has little in the way of brain food, but excels in the visual sense. If pre-production sketches, concept art and behind the scenes photos tickle your fancy, you will find them in abundance here. The book itself is 112 pages and there are over 200 color and B/W illustrations to give you an idea of where the books loyalties lie.
Considering how moviemaking is nowhere near the hands on approach of the old days, this valuable relic resurrected from the antiquity of publishing purgatory by Titan Books is an essential purchase for fans of the series. It's also a worthy addition to the shelves of anyone fascinated by the various aspects of how films are made including traditional effects techniques and concept designs for the films themselves. With a price of just a little over $10, how can you not be tempted to lay your hands on this inaugural volume of one of horror cinemas greatest achievements?
Descending further, you'll uncover amongst the wealth of photographs, a good many illustrations from H.R. Giger including numerous behind the scenes photos of the man designing the Alien as well the infamous Space Jockey. Also on hand, you'll spy images not found in the finished film as well as aborted creature designs.
Since this books initial christening, there have been other volumes on this series that surpass it in informational details and actor anecdotes. As an appetizer collection of behind the scenes imagery from the various capacities in the filmmaking process, it's of historical importance for being the first book on the making of ALIEN as well as being one of the first such publications on a non-kid friendly motion picture in the wake of STAR WARS mania.
Titan Books have done a commendable job making this vintage and exemplary edition to the ALIEN universe available to the masses once more. It's easily affordable and the rarity of many of the photographs make it a highly recommended purchase. One for the shelves.
This book is set for release on May 29th, 2012. You can pre-order it at amazon HERE.
There's more on the book here at the official Titan Books website which can be found HERE.
Next up in this double dose of Xenomorph-mania is another reprint of a long unavailable tome...
ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES TECHNICAL MANUAL
By Lee Brimmicombe-wood
softcover; 160 pages; color and B/W; editions: 1995, 2012
For those who derive a great amount of pleasure from works that perform exploratory research on the technical and hardware peripheries, a purchase of this technical manual is a no-brainer.
This massively comprehensive tome on the military hardware of the ALIENS film from 1986 is the R rated comparative to the likewise exhaustive sci fi compendiums built around the STAR TREK universe.
A Tech geeks wet dream come true, this manual covers every aspect of the colonial marines and their armaments and weapons as if they really existed. There is so much detail distributed and derived here, that one can't help but buy into it all.
It's not particularly of my taste, as I am more into the 'Making Of' aspects as opposed to digging deeper into the fantasy realm of what made the movies so magical in the first place. For those who derive a great amount of pleasure from works that perform exploratory research on the technical and hardware peripheries, a purchase of this technical manual is a no-brainer. It really is quite impressive in that respect. There's even a section that covers the Aliens themselves as well as covering case files that led to certain key elements taken from the first two movies.
Those fans of this series who are also enlisted in the service will find a lot to chew on here picking apart the numerous high class weaponry, air and ground crafts, armor and other such personal accouterments.
This is another revival of a long out of print book, resuscitated by Titan Books, and apparently a popular one. Obsessive and excessive fans alike are going to want this one as well. Those looking for information on the actual making of the ALIENS film will not find what they're looking for here.
This book, like THE BOOK OF ALIEN, is set for release May 29th, 2012. You can pre-order it from amazon HERE.
You can also order the book and get more information HERE at the Titan Books website.