The Alien Trilogy, also referred to as the Alien Trilogy Facehugger Box Set on account of its distinctive packaging, is a 1993 limited edition four-cassette VHS box set which, for the first time, brought together the films Alien, Aliens and Alien3 (then the entire Alien franchise) in a single home video package, along with several bonus features plus exclusive merchandise and memorabilia. It was released only in the United Kingdom, although a basic set containing only the films was released under the same title in the United States.
The set contains digitally remastered widescreen copies of each of the three films — Alien and Alien3 come in their regular theatrical versions, while Aliens is in its extended Special Edition — along with bonus footage for each, included after the main feature. The set also includes a fourth cassette containing the documentary The Making of Alien3, along with several other exclusive pieces of memorabilia, including a booklet and a T-shirt, all enclosed in a special plastic case adorned with a full-size sculpted Facehugger.
The Alien Trilogy set was packaged in a hard plastic carry case featuring a sculpted, lifesize Facehugger that appears to be "hugging" the box, with the upper body sculpted on the front and the tail (but curiously not the legs) sculpted on the rear. Inside are four VHS cassettes, the first three of which contain digitally remastered transfers of the three films then released in the series. While Alien and Alien3 are featured in their original theatrical versions, Aliens comes in its extended Special Edition rather than the 1986 theatrical cut. Notably, the Aliens Special Edition in this set was also slightly recut to fix an editing goof found in the original (and many subsequent) releases. All three cassettes also feature special bonus material after the main feature, the most noteworthy of which are several deleted scenes from Alien, previously only available on the Alien: Special Collector's Edition LaserDisc.
Cassette four contains the making-of documentary The Making of Alien3, originally created for an Alien and Aliens VHS box set sold in America and previously only available in the UK as a strictly limited edition bonus given away with some rental copies of the third film.
As well as the four videos, the set contains a number of other bonus items and merchandise exclusive to this release, including a 32-page booklet written by Dave Hughes, Michael Matessino and David C. Fein covering the development of and reaction to the three films. Also in the booklet is a piece by James Cameron that describes the differences between the Special Edition of Aliens and the film's original theatrical cut, along with a wealth of still images from the films and cast and crew credits. Additional content in the set includes 12 lobby cards (four for each film), three button badges (one for each film), an Alien War "Privilege Card" that acted as a 2 for 1/queue jump entry pass to the attraction in London, which had just opened at the time, and an exclusive T-shirt.
20th Century Fox allegedly spent over £100,000 putting together the box set, which went on sale in the United Kingdom on November 22, 1993 for £69.99. The set was never released outside of the UK; other markets instead received a budget version containing the three VHS cassettes of the films, but not the fourth documentary cassette and none of the additional memorabilia or the exclusive carry case. The Alien Trilogy was limited to between 10,000 and 20,000 copies.
Region 1 release
While the Facehugger case set was released exclusively in the UK, a three-cassette budget version was released in the United States. Instead of the elaborate sculpted carry case of the UK edition, this version is packaged in a simple cardboard slipcase containing the three films but none of the additional bonus material — even the bonus footage found on the film cassettes themselves in the UK, such as trailers and deleted scenes, is omitted. Furthermore, the version of Aliens included in the American set is the original theatrical cut, compared to the extended Special Edition found in the UK set.
Contents (UK Release)
Cassette 1: Alien
Cassette 2: Aliens Special Edition
Cassette 3: Alien3
- Advanced and theatrical trailers
Cassette 4: The Making of Alien3
- Alien Trilogy booklet
- Alien War Privilege Card
- 3 button badges
- 12 lobby cards
- Numbered collector's certificate
- Alien Trilogy T-shirt
- Michael Matessino and David C. Fein, who wrote the sections on Alien and Aliens, respectively, in the Alien Trilogy booklet, previously produced the extensive Collector's Section archives on the Aliens: Special Collector's Edition and Alien: Special Collector's Edition LaserDisc releases. They would subsequently go on to create the making-of documentary The Alien Legacy in 1999, Matessino as director and Fein as producer. Dave Hughes, who also contributed to the booklet, was the principle writer of articles for the UK Aliens magazine.
- Several Alien Trilogy box sets were given away as part of contests run in Aliens magazine, Vol. 2 #17 and #18.
- Alien Quadrilogy: Collector's Alien Head — A similar limited edition box set housed in a replica Xenomorph head.
- Alien Anthology: Limited Collector's Edition — A similar limited edition box set housed in a replica Egg.
- ↑ "Weyland-Yutani Archives - Trip Down Memory Lane: The UK Limited Edition Facehugger VHS Boxset". Retrieved on 2015-08-24.
- ↑ Dave Hughes, Lee Brimmicombe-Wood. Aliens, Vol. 2 #8, p. 10 (1993), Dark Horse International.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Dave Hughes, Lee Brimmicombe-Wood. Aliens, Vol. 2 #18, p. 13 (1993), Dark Horse International.