Xenomorph Test Footage For Alien Is Still Creepy After 33 Years
Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien is a classic. It defined what could be done in the horror and science fiction genre with its boiling tension, heart pulsing score and believable character moments. It also was a step forward in terms of creature design with the infamous xenomorph itself.
This early test footage of 6″10′ Nigerian actor Bolaji Badejo figuring out exactly how to move as a xenomorph is just as creepy and eerie as it was back in 1979. In the test footage, Badejo moves down the spaceship’s corridors without the xenomorph costume but still poses as a threat with the large xenomorph head.
This was the only film role for Bolaji Badejo, who was discovered by a casting agent in a London pub. He collaborated with Alien Art Director, H.R. Giger, with how the xenomorph moved and walked. Badejo took the brunt of the physical abuse as the xenomorph by enduring the heat inside of the latex suit, which only allowed him to be in the suit for only 15 to 20 minutes at a time. It was uncomfortable and the xenomorph head gave Bedejo a limited field of vision. He told Cinefantastique magazine about his experience as the xenomorph in 1979,
[The special-effects helmet] was all manual, remote controlled [...] There’s still a space in it for my head. I had it on just to make sure nothing goes wrong with the posture of the head or how tall it is in comparison to the other sequences. They must have had about 2000 tubes of K-Y Jelly [...] just to get the effect of that slime coming out of his mouth. A lot of it was spread around on the face. I could barely see what was going on around me, except when I was in a stationary position, while they were filming. Then there were a few holes I could look through.