I can trace one of my earliest inspirations all the way back to my childhood. Although it’s something I greatly admire now, it scared the living daylights out of me at the time. I watched this particular film title sequence repeatedly, not because as a ten-year old I loved the typography and animation. No. It was because I found its eeriness so haunting that it scared me from watching the film itself.
Countless times I sat in my Knight Rider pyjamas (probably with a glass of soda-stream by my side), huddled behind a pillow, determined that this time I would be brave enough to make it past the title sequence and watch the actual film. But as I pressed the big green VHS play button (not Betamax thank you – my dad was wise), the tension started.
Dark abstract shadows moved slowly across the screen. As the cast names rolled up, large white panels slowly appeared one by one in the top of the frame. Symmetrical at first, next came the crossbars. It was the music that did it. An eerily disturbing sound echoed from the TV speakers, building slowly to a full screeching tension just as the last letter became legible, A L I E N. That was it. Stop. Eject. And run upstairs to seek comfort and safety under my Transformers bedspread.
I’m glad to say that I eventually watched the full film in my teens, and I still enjoy watching the title sequence today. Only not wearing Knight Rider pyjamas.