AVP: Alien Vs. Predator
The Creature Effects of ADI

Authors: Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr.
Titan Books
RRP 14.99, US $19.95
ISBN 1 84023 808 9
Available 22 October 2004

Ever since the Predator first stepped out of the jungle, sci-fi fans have wanted to see just one thing: Alien in a head to head with Predator, fighting it out on the big screen. Now, with the movie AVP: Alien Vs Predator, the wait is finally over! This is the behind the scenes companion to the film, written by the chief creature effects supervisors on the movie...

AVP: The Creature Effects of ADI is a beautifully illustrated book, packed to bursting (no pun intended) with behind the scenes images and information on the AVP movie. Although, a word of warning. Don't expect to really get a look at any of the sets or locations of the movie. This is purely a look at the creation of the creatures (or re-creation may be a better term). But then this is clearly pointed out on the cover.

The authors, Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr, acted as creature effects co-creators on AVP as well as being the founders of Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc, (ADI). This book charters their successes and failures in creating the main characters for the movie. They also get the chance to showcase their own sense of humour - one of the chapters is entitled 'We're Going to Need a Bigger Brush' - an obvious reference to Jaws.

But in summing up their real involvement on the film they openly admit that they reused Alien moulds from the previous movies and had to build the Predator from scratch as there were no original ones in existence. This throws up another question: How can this book really claim to be about creature creation when the team at ADI were not really responsible for creating these monsters? All they really did was bring them up to date. With the exception of the Alien queen, all we get are modern copies of the originals.

This book is backed full of full colour, glossy pages. There are plenty of 'artist profiles' which give the reader a little background information on some of the many artists involved in the movie. And, in all respects, this is a beautifully detailed book which will take fans about as close as they are likely to get to understanding the inner workings of what appears to be a very promising movie. At the very least this film should be, as the images in this book show, a visual feast of monstrous proportions.

Ray Thompson

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