The Alien franchise has long been considered one of the greatest sci-fi franchises of all time. Despite some horrible entries to the series that don’t deserve any mention beyond this, the film “Alien” and it’s sequel “Aliens” still continue to wow viewers and provide inspiration to the sci-fi genre across all types of mediums after 30 years. That’s why April 26 (LV426) has taken on the title of “Alien Day” to give us reason for some quasi-celebration of the series. No doubt it’s the genius plot of marketing heads the world over, but it’s all in good fun so relax. So what should you be doing to celebrate that inner Xenomorph today?
PLAY SOME ALIEN VIDEOGAMES – Historically the Alien franchise hasn’t been treated too well in video games, but that doesn’t mean there are not a few decent games to spend your time with:
Alien: Isolation (Sega/Creative Assembly): Far and away the greatest game utilizing the Alien franchise to date. I included it on my Month of Evil series last year because of how well it captures the feeling of the first film in a video game. If you’re looking for a way to experience Alien in an interactive setting then it’s imperative that you play this game.
Aliens vs. Predator (Capcom): An oldie but a goodie—developed at the high point of side-scrolling beat ’em ups designed to eat all of our quarters, Capcom’s Aliens vs Predator provides a ton of fun for you and your friends to slaughter an onslaught of alien Xenomorphs with.
Aliens vs. Pinball (Sony/Zen Studios): I’ve yet to try this as it just launched today but my experience with other Zen Pinball titles like The Walking Dead have been very enjoyable. Zen Pinball provides a leader board for you to challenge your friends with and emulates an actual pinball machine pretty well. Sprinkle the Alien franchise on top and you’ve got a pretty good time ahead of you. Play it on your Playstation consoles or go mobile with it on the PS Vita.
Mortal Kombat X (NetherRealm Studios): Thankfully Ed Boon and his creative team at NeatherRealm Studios are huge enough fans of the Alien franchise to give us the Xenomorph as a fighter in Mortal Kombat X. Couple that with the fact that you can also play as Predator and you’ve got the greatest sci-fi gladiator match to ever happen in a fighting game.
EXPLORE THE ART OF H.R. GIGER – What better a way to further enjoy Alien than to read about the amazing, masterful, and talented artist that originally conceived it. H.R. Giger’s artwork is legendary and was recognized frequently in publications such as OMNI magazine. While mostly known for his work on Alien, Giger also did design concepts for Jodorowsky’s Dune and the film Species. His artwork even inspired a PC game called Darkseed. Below you’ll find a number of online sources that are worth checking out:
H.R. Giger’s Dune Concept Art (OMNI)
The Most Unforgettable Creations of H.R. Giger (iO9)
H.R. Giger Revealed – Trailer (Journeyman Pictures)
MOST IMPORTANTLY, WATCH THE FILMS ALIEN AND ALIENS – These are both incredibly well done films that stand separate from one another and don’t require the other in order to tell a complete story. Considering how watered down Hollywood has become with movies that depend on sequels or tie-ins from other films, Alien and Aliens can be enjoyed purely by themselves without the other preceding or following it. There’s nothing wrong with watching them back to back however, which of course you absolutely should do but certainly don’t have to. Considering their influence on their respective genres, it’s no wonder these films are still good 30 years later.
Thanks for reading my Alien Day blog post! Anyone who hasn’t seen these films definitely needs to, and anyone who has I hope will continue to enjoy and celebrate them in one way or another. Drop me a line in the comments below letting me know how you’re celebrating Alien Day!