A face hugger or chest burster may not pop out when you open the Alien Anthology, but the contents of this new Blu-ray box set will still send you reeling.
The six-disc collection is so mind-bogglingly comprehensive that it will surely satisfy even the geekiest of Alien geeks. Inside, of course, are stunning high-definition transfers of both the original theatrical version and the definitive director’s cut or special edition of each film.
No point here in adding to the reams that have already been written about the Alien quartet – suffice to say that each film is the work of a visionary director who stamped his mark on the series at a key stage in his career. Ridley Scott produced a heart-stopping haunted house in space chiller (Alien); James Cameron a gung-ho combat movie (Aliens); David Fincher a claustrophobic sci-fi thriller (Alien 3); and Jean-Pierre Jeunet a mutant freak show (Alien: Resurrection).
Scott, Cameron and Jeunet each contribute to the audio commentaries, as do a host of others involved in the series, including Sigourney Weaver and her Alien co-stars Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton and John Hurt, Alien writer Dan O’Bannon (who died last year) and Aliens FX guru Stan Winston. Fincher, still dissatisfied with Alien 3, is the only significant omission.
Still, with over 60 hours of special features there’s enough here to keep the most dedicated of fans occupied for weeks. As you’d expect, there are trailers, storyboards, making-of footage, deleted and extended scenes, plus over four hours’ worth of previously unreleased material, including Sigourney Weaver’s original screen tests.
Everything, indeed, save for your very own face hugger or chest burster. If you’re geeky enough to go for the Limited Edition Collectors’ Set, however, you do get an illuminated egg statue. I’ll pass on that, thanks, but I was impressed with the original Alien creature I saw on my visit to the Fox Studios Prop Department last year. Now, that’s what I call a collectible.