The otherworldly creatures in Ridley Scott’s Alien franchise are some of the most elegant monsters in science fiction. That’s because theyand their whole world—were inspired by, and later designed by, the Swiss artist H.R. Giger, whose style is a kind of dark, hypersexualized, ghostly steampunk.

San Francisco-based YouTuber Kristian Williams, who makes video essays on pop culture, dives into everything Giger in his latest video, spotted by Boing Boing. His Alien (1979) designs, Williams says, are “everything we fear about ourselves, exaggerated to the point of surrealism.” Giger created most of the set pieces and costumes himself, making sure they stayed faithful to his unique, twisted vision.

The artist had a background in industrial design, and the logic and real-world functionality of his creations were carefully thought out during the production. The creatures needed to breathe without a nose, so there are tubes on their backs. Their blood is acidic, so they have an exoskeleton (made out of real bones). And it’s no surprise they look grotesquely human: They were made with real human skulls at the tip of their elongated heads.

Learn more about the brilliant design process of the monsters from Williams’s YouTube channel, kaptainkristian:

[h/t Boing Boing]

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