Indeed, early drafts of Alien saw the crew discovering the Xenomorph eggs not in a derelict space craft, but a temple of worship. A synopsis reads:
“Certain clues in the wrecked ship lead them across the hostile surface of the planet to a primitive stone pyramid, the only remnant of a vanished civilization. Beneath this pyramid they find an ancient tomb full of fantastic artifacts. Lying dormant in the tomb are centuries-old spores, which are triggered into life by the men’s presence. A parasite emerges and fastens itself to one of the men’s faces – and cannot be removed.”
The notion of the Xenomorph as a beast of worship links closely to the extraterrestrial “Gods” of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos. Much like Lovecraft’s monsters, the Xenomorphs have a societal hierarchy – facehuggers at the bottom, Queens on top – as well as a tendency to feud with other alien beasties. Case in point, the Space Jockey cocooned to that penis-shaped gunner chair suggests resistance to the chestburster that cracked open his space ribs from the inside out. The film implies that the Jockey and the derelict ship were transporting the egg hive for some reason or another. Ridley Scott has claimed in commentary tracks and interviews his belief that the eggs were intended as a stockpile for biological warfare, which implies the Aliens have tackled more extraterrestrial foes than just the Space Jockey.
Indeed, later films in the franchise established a connection to the Predator series, and we all know those species share a history, whether fans like it or not. Onscreen, the Lovecraftian connections are even stronger. Remove your mindset from the respected mythos of both franchises, and Paul W.S. Anderson’s Alien Vs. Predator is a dead ringer for Lovecraft’s seminal novel At The Mountains Of Madness.
At The Mountains of Madness was written toward the end of the author’s career (one cut short by a fatal intestinal cancer) and is considered by many to be his fictional swan song. In it, a group of researchers in Antarctica discover secret ruins behind a mountainous range. There they uncover the remains of ancient alien life forms.
When geologist William Dyer and his team lose contact with this group, they travel to their camp to find them all murdered and the remains missing.
This leads an expedition beyond the mountains, where an ancient city is uncovered. Hieroglyphs scattered on the walls of the metropolis detail the history of an ancient race of alien beings, dubbed “The Elder Things,” who were overthrown by a slave race of amorphous, shape-shifting beings, “Shoggoths, which resemble the creature fossils the first crew uncovered and later disappeared.
As they venture further into the city, Dyer and his team realize that they are not alone, and are pursued by the Shoggoths.
Still Guarding the City by David Lee Ingersoll
Here’s why Alien vs. Predator didn’t suck…