May 13, 2014 | 5:57 p.m.
H.R. Giger, the legendary Swiss surrealist artist whose designs for Ridley Scott’s “Alien” changed the cinematic science fiction landscape, has died at age 74. Giger won an Oscar for 1979′s “Alien,” and his work appeared in the sequel “Alien 3″ as well as the 1995 movie “Species.” In addition to his sculptures, he painted and designed furniture, and amassed a macabre collection of unusual artifacts that included eight human skeletons. In a 1998 interview with Times staff writer Kathleen Craughwell, the then-58-year-old said that his otherworldly art was influenced by the cruelty to animals he witnessed as a child in his native country: “I could see how [the farmers] knock down a cow with the big hammer. One was holding her and the other was hammering this cow. It was terrible. And they’d cry, and this noise, I never will […]