God bless the Internet and YouTube – thanks to these two magnificent things, it’s entirely possible for film geeks to see all kinds of cool, behind-the-scenes footage that otherwise might have been lost to the ravages of time. Take, for instance, this awesomely creepy test footage from Ridley Scott’s Alien.
6’10” Nigerian actor Bolaji Badejo played the infamous Xenomorph in the scenes that required a human performer, and this footage shows him running around in his underwear with a giant Xenomorph head practicing his moves. It sounds absurd, but it’s actually really creepy – thanks partially to the scary music featured in the video, but also because the spindly Badejo looks pretty terrifying even with just that gigantic prosthetic head on his regular body.
Badejo never appeared in another film, but he gave it his all in Alien – studying the art of the mime and working extensively with artist HR Giger to figure out how the artist envisioned the creature moving. The results of his efforts are readily apparent in the final film – the Xenomorph quickly became one of the most terrifying movie monsters of all time after the film’s release.
Playing the part wasn’t easy for the actor – he could only don the latex suit for 15-20 minutes at a time or risk passing out from the heat, and the giant Xenomorph head was awkwardly shaped and didn’t offer a lot of viewing angles. We’re glad Badejo soldiered on, though, because he wound up being a vital and underappreciated component of one of the best horror films of all time.
Check out the footage below. [via io9]