FANDOM


Alien Quadrilogy DVD Set

The cover of the Alien Quadrilogy set.

The Alien Quadrilogy is a 2003 nine-disc DVD box set containing the films Alien, Aliens, Alien3 and Alien Resurrection. While there had been numerous previous home video releases in the Alien franchise, the Quadrilogy is notable in that it was the first attempt by 20th Century Fox at presenting a definitive collection of the films in the series, with a wealth of special bonus material created specially for the release.

Each of the four films is presented in two different versions — the original theatrical release and an alternate, typically extended cut. Three of these alternate cuts (the Alien Director's Cut, the Alien3 Special Edition and the Alien Resurrection Special Edition) were created especially for the Quadrilogy set, while the fourth, the Aliens Special Edition, had previously been created for home video in 1992. Additionally, the Alien Director's Cut received a limited theatrical release several months prior to the release of the box set, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the original release of Alien.

Overview

The Alien Quadrilogy set began as a project to restore and re-release 1979's Alien as a deluxe collector's edition with a host of all-new special features.[1] 20th Century Fox placed renowned home video producer Charles de Lauzirika in charge of the release, and as the project evolved over time Fox eventually elected to expand the scope of the set to include all four Alien films.[1]

Perhaps the most significant feature created for the Quadrilogy were the alternative cuts of Alien, Alien3 and Alien Resurrection, likely inspired by the pre-existing extended Special Edition of Aliens, created by James Cameron in the early 1990s. To this end, Lauzirika contacted the films' original directors with a view to having them create the alternate cuts; while Ridley Scott and Jean-Pierre Jeunet agreed, David Fincher, who has steadfastly disowned Alien3 since its release, declined to be involved. As a result, the Special Edition of Alien3 was put together by Lauzirika himself, working from Fincher's on-set notes.

The other major material developed for the Quadrilogy release were a series of four extensive making-of documentaries, one for each film, written and directed by Lauzirika. While these documentaries were exhaustive, The Making of Alien3 was criticized for being censored by the studio, having had around 20 minutes of footage deleted, ostensibly to remove negative comments directed at Fox executives by Fincher during the troubled production. The full, uncut version of the documentary was later released as part of the Alien Anthology Blu-ray set.

A fifth documentary, an exclusive alternate cut of Alien Evolution (originally broadcast on television in the United Kingdom in 2001), was also prepared for the Quadrilogy box set; whereas the original broadcast had covered the making of all four films in the Alien series, the new cut was extensively re-edited to focus almost exclusively on Alien, incorporating a significant amount of footage that had not featured in the original version. The documentary was contained on an additional bonus disc alongside further supplemental materials, including archives of all the images and videos previously included exclusively with the LaserDisc releases of Alien and Aliens.

Each of the four film discs and their corresponding bonus disc were subsequently released as separate two-disc sets. However, the Quadrilogy's ninth bonus disc remained exclusive to the full set, although the material on it was later included in the Alien Anthology Blu-ray set. When released, the Quadrilogy was praised for its depth and scope, and is today considered one of the most exhaustive home video box sets to come out of the DVD era, in terms of content and special features.

Easter eggs

Much like the earlier Alien Legacy DVD box set, the Alien Quadrilogy contains several secret Easter eggs that allow access to otherwise hidden content. The first is accessed from the post-production menu on the Aliens disc and consists of a video entitled "A Boy and His Power Loader", about special effects artist Van Ling, who caught the attention of James Cameron by building a homemade Power Loader costume. The second Easter egg is accessed from the post-production menu on the Alien Resurrection disc, and consists of an interview with David Prior about being cast as an Alien in Alien Resurrection.

Omissions

Notably, two pre-existing documentaries on the Alien film series — 1999's The Alien Legacy and The Alien Saga from 2002 — were not included in the set. Fox had originally planned to include The Alien Legacy on the bonus disc, but ultimately the documentary had to be dropped as there was insufficient space on the DVD disc. The Alien Saga was never intended to be included in the set, as it had only just received a stand-alone DVD release from Image Entertainment.[2] Both were later included in the Alien Anthology Blu-ray set.

Contents

Disc 1: Alien

Disc 2: Making Alien

  • The Beast Within: Making Alien
  • First draft screenplay by Dan O'Bannon
  • Original Ridley Scott storyboards and notes
  • Storyboard archive
  • Sigourney Weaver screen tests
  • Multi-angle Chestburster sequence
  • 7 additional deleted scenes
  • Production and promotional image galleries

Disc 3: Aliens

Disc 4: Making Aliens

Disc 5: Alien3

Disc 6: Making Alien3

Disc 7: Alien Resurrection

Disc 8: Making Alien Resurrection

Disc 9: Bonus Disc

  • Alien
    • Alien Evolution documentary (2003 Alien re-edit)
    • Experience in Terror documentary
    • American Cinematheque Ridley Scott Q&A session
    • LaserDisc archive
    • Trailers and TV spots
    • Further production images
  • Aliens
    • LaserDisc archive
    • Trailers and TV spots
    • Further production images
  • Alien3
    • Alien3 promotional documentary
    • Trailers and TV spots
  • Alien Resurrection
    • Trailers and TV spots
  • Aliens in the Basement: The Bob Burns Collection documentary
  • Dark Horse Comics cover gallery

Trivia

  • The term "quadrilogy" referring to a series of four is actually a nonsense phrase. The correct term would be tetralogy (from the Greek tetra-, "four" and -logia, "discourse").
  • Each film and the bonus disc have animated menus that are themed after a different stage of the Xenomorph's life cycle — the Ovomorph (Alien), the Facehugger (Aliens), the Chestburster (Alien3), the Drone (Alien Resurrection) and the Queen (bonus disc).

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "IGN - AN INTERVIEW WITH CHARLES DE LAUZIRIKA". Retrieved on 2015-05-07.
  2. "The Digital Bits - The Alien Quadrilogy". Retrieved on 2015-05-08.