My love for Vincenzo Natali and his wonderful Splice is already well documented on this blog. As such I was delighted to see today that Sideshow Collectibles is planning to release a 1:1 scale replica of the nascent Dren creature. That's a pic of their sculpt at right, though at this stage it appears to be just an unpainted maquette. The detail looks good and Natali himself had this to say about it in the press release:
"Sideshow has sculpted Baby Dren with all the love and passion that a proud parent could ever bestow on a child. Every muscle, bone and tendon is perfectly recreated. No geneticist no matter how brilliant could hope to compete with this exquisite work."
Also coming from Sideshow this year is what may well prove to be the ultimate scaled replica of Giger's 1979 creature from Alien (right). In the last decade there's been a glut of Alien toys, statues and busts, many of them beautifully designed and lovingly produced, but I doubt any of them will hold a candle to this 28" tall (star)beast. At $799 it ain't cheap, but I suppose it's all relative because I once paid about a hundred more than that for a 1979 18" Kenner mint-in-box. The Kenner will always be the holy grail for collectors, and rightly so because it's a primo piece of genuine historical ephemera, but truth-be-told if you've ever seen one the sculpt is very rudimentary (it was just a child's toy after all). So from that perspective I guess the realism and quality of this new Sideshow piece makes it a bargain? Or maybe not. Regardless, get all the details on it at Twitch here.
For the record, I actually quit collecting toys about eight years ago when I ebayed a pretty extensive collection of horror toys, models and other ephemera (mostly Alien, Dawn Of The Dead, 70's & 80's horror and Universal Monsters) to score some quick cash. Occasionally when I see some tasty items like these I consider jumping off the wagon, but honestly I'm glad I quit because I just don't have the money to blow on this stuff anymore. Toy collecting is an expensive and very addictive habit. Not to mention what a pain in the ass it was to keep it all dusted!
Of course the big joke here is that we're talking about "toys" based on two of the most overtly sexualised creatures in the history of monster movies. As Devin at Badass Digest already pointed out today, baby Dren's head is essentially the head of a cock, complete with a slit-like urethral opening for a mouth. And of course Giger's stalking nightmare is everyone's favourite hybrid of big, scary phallus and vagina dentata, dripping with K-Y® Jelly (they actually used K-Y in the movie).
To illustrate that point further, I used to have a 1:1 scale chestburster and facehugger, both made by a Japanese company called Tsukuda Hobby (at the time Japan dominated the Alien toy market, with virtually nothing being produced in the US). They were flesh coloured, and made of this soft vinyl that was disturbingly reminiscent of the weird plastics they use to make sex toys. Couple those attributes with the fact that there was a life sized pussy on the belly of the facehugger and the chestburster looked like a rearing schlong with teeth, and it's hardly surprising that every single one of my friends who picked them up commented on how blatantly erotic they were.
Seeing all these creatures on screen, in the context of the films is one thing, but holding them in your hands really drives home the extent of their sexual nature.
I'd like to point out that unlike some people I don't subscribe to the view that Alien is just one big Freudian metaphor for anal rape. For me the sexuality more or less begins and ends with the creature designs and the architecture of the derelict spacecraft.