Before 1987, when I first saw Aliens on VHS, I'd watched things mostly geared towards children, with perhaps the Terror Dogs from Ghostbusters being the scariest. At 6 years old, my Dad had some reservations about my watching a horror sci-fi film but he was met with placations such as "Oh, I'm not scared. They're just big banana heads." I only knew the half of it. And, to be fair to him, I'd been around some monsters on movie sets when I was even younger so maybe the rationale was that I knew the difference between reality and make believe.
I was mesmerized by that film and the original due to the beautiful and haunting design work of Giger. From the Xenomorph to the Space Jockey, Alien reflected the true and original vision of the artist without diluting or altering into something else. That is rare and I can't imagine the films without his paramount contribution.
It can be difficult to quantify the level of influence one's work has on your own. While the influence of Carl Barks and Preston Blair courtesy of Mr. Kozik had an obvious influence, I can thank Mr. Giger for my penchant for spines, ribs, prehensile tails that grasp like face hugging fingers and the things that should not be.
Rest In Peace, Mr. Giger.