Ridley Scotts brilliant sci-fi horror movie ‘Alien’ is 40 and gets the coin it deserves in celebrationn

After the issue of a movie poster coin and the removal of a cool-looking large poster foil from the schedule, we didn’t expect to see any more Alien coins to put in an appearance. Fortunately, we were wrong and not only has the Perth Mint launched a new addition to celebrate this phenomenal movie, it has done so with some style and originality.

The coin uses the mints new favourite 2oz silver, antique-finish, rimless format that it introduced with the Gods of Olympus series, and one that has gone on to be the darling of the coin world in recent years. For only the second time, however, there’s colour in the mix. The coin design is, in our opinion at least, simply stunning. Drawing on H.R. Gigers brilliant art, it depicts a lightly coloured Xenomorph in profile, with the classic facehugger in pose in the foreground. Simple enough, yet extremely effective in encapsulating the essence of this movie. We absolutely love it.

The packaging is certainly eye-catching and innovative, although not quite a slam-dunk. The alien egg is so iconic and is well reproduced here, if a little clunky. We’d love to have seen this used as a base and had it skinned with latex and then coloured. That way the ‘leather-skin’ effect could have been maintained, and the hinge system would not have been visible. It’s a small criticism, however, and we’re glad the Perth Mint put the effort in to making something different and such an excellent display for the coin. That doesn’t mean we want to see a whole series of them. The Star Trek coin range was not helped by the overuse of the tacky transporter packaging.

Selling for $230 AUD and available today, the coin has a mintage of 1,500 pieces – quite low for the type. It’s all wrapped up in a neat shipper with an enclosed Certificate of Authenticity. Quite brilliant and easily our favourite popular culture coin from the Perth Mint. We wish they showed this level of imagination and effort with more of them.

ALIEN

In space, no one can hear you scream. With that tagline, Alien burst onto movie screens in 1979 and forever changed science-fiction horror. Previously full of rubber-suited actors shuffling around what directors thought a spaceship would look like, or on a planet that looked suspiciously like a quarry in England, Alien took it to a whole new level. Two people are largely responsible. Director Ridley Scott has an ability to craft an environment on film second to none and it certainly shows, with a worn out and brilliantly detailed vessel serving as the backdrop.

Set on a freighter travelling between planets, the ship recieves a distress call that causes the crew to be awoken from cryogenic sleep and travel down to the surface of a mysterious planet. Exploring an alien ship they find there, they’re attacked by a small creature that attaches itself to the face of one of the crew. They retreat to their ship and leave, but before they’re able to return to cryo-sleep, an alien appears in gruesome fashion. The movie then documents the crews attempts to kill the Xenomorph as it grows bigger and more deadly.

We said earlier it was two people responsible for the films success. There’s no point having a fantastic environment to base a story in if the antagonist looks like one of Doctor Who’s green bubble-wrap monsters. To that end, Scott employed the artist H.R.Giger to craft something quite special using Giger’s biomechanical style. What Giger produced is probably the greatest non-terrestrial monster in movie history. Utterly lethal and with acid coarsing through its veins, the alien Xenomorph is the stuff of nightmares. From its violent birth to its terrifying appearance, this was quite different to anything that had come before. As you may have figured out, I absolutely love this movie. It’s James Cameron directed sequel was different in tone, but equally brilliant, and the third movie by David Fincher is much underestimated, although we can see why. There was a fourth, but we don’t talk about that…

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Alien is a classic science fiction horror movie that artfully explored the worst imaginable scenario in space – being stalked and slain by an aggressive and terrifying extraterrestrial. The groundbreaking 1979 release was a box office hit, earning $80 million in revenues in the US and $105 million worldwide. It also initiated a compelling series of films featuring the iconic titular creature.

Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Sigourney Weaver, Alien won a raft of honours, including an Academy Award (Oscar) for Visual Effects. Celebrating its significant impact on the genre and enduring appeal over four decades, this coin portrays the terrifying creature in its skeletal larvae form and disturbingly elongated adult visage

DESIGN: The reverse design depicts the coloured head of an adult alien with its gaping maw exposing razor sharp teeth. Overlaid is a representation of the creature in its “face hugger” larval form, the second stage of its development. The coin’s obverse portrays the Ian Rank-Broadly effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the weight and fineness, monetary denomination and the 2019 year-date.

Combining two celebrated numismatic finishes, the coin is rendered in vivid colour with a black background, grey “face hugger” and sickly green alien, while also boasting an antiqued finish. This handcrafted finish adds individual abrasions to the coin’s surface for enhanced fine detail and an artefact-like appearance.

PRESENTATION: The coin is housed in a coloured egg-shaped case inspired by the oval pods in which alien life first appeared in the presence of the Nostromo landing party. The case opens to reveal four pink petal-shaped membranes as per the alien egg’s hatching process. The coin is displayed in an acrylic case with a cracked appearance which rises as the egg opens. Packaged in a themed shipper, the coin is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

https://www.mdm.de/
SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $2 TVD (Tuvalu)
COMPOSITION 0.9999 silver
WEIGHT 62.213 grams
DIMENSIONS 40.6 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Colour, high-relief
MINTAGE 1,500
BOX / COA Yes / Yes
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