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The Genius Of Carlo Rambaldi
We look back at the special effects artist's best known creations

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Alien (1979)

If Rambaldi didn’t contribute to the design of Ridley Scott’s xenomorph — that belongs to H.R. Giger — he made huge contributions to the film, creating the creature’s dome shaped head. Rambaldi followed Giger’s designs closely deviating only to incorporate points of articulation for the jaw and inner mouth. Overall the head boasted 900 moving parts, a nexus of hinges and cables operating the tongue that extends from a mouth that played host to a second mouth with a movable set of teeth. Still, for all the sophistication on show, Rambaldi used a simpler process to generate alien saliva: copious amounts of KY jelly doubled as both saliva and the Alien goo that gives the creature its distinctive slimy sheen.

Still, for Rambaldi, the finished film only showcased a fraction of his creature’s capabilities. “They use all the movements, but the head cuts are so quick, and the action is framed so predominantly in extreme close-up, that frequently it's impossible to tell what you are seeing! In my opinion, I gave the director 100 possibilities, and he used but 20.” Still, whatever Rambaldi thought of the film’s editing, it didn’t preclude his creation becoming iconic: his Alien jaw is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institution.

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Your Comments

1 PPS...
...No mention of 'Possession'?!? More

Posted by glaive on Thursday August 16, 2012, 17:48

2 P.S...
A "man" in a Rick Baker suit!!?? It WAS Rick Baker in his own suit! Shame on you Empire!!!!! More

Posted by malestorm on Tuesday August 14, 2012, 07:53

3 You HAVE to be kidding!!??
Ok it was BIG and the hands were clever BUT the reason why it was only on screen for a few seconds was because it was shit!!!! Talk about biting off more than you can chew!! Rick Baker WAS Kong in that film, end of story and precious little credit did he get, no wonder he,s practically disowned any links withit, end of story t!! More

Posted by malestorm on Tuesday August 14, 2012, 07:50

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