by: The HORROR Man
That’s right ladies. Today is the twenty fifth anniversary of Aliens! Let’s take a look back at this stunning sci-fi classic that came out today in 1986.
Aliens. What can be said about this film that hasn’t already been said a thousand times. It is timeless. Ridley Scott scared us senseless with what he called, “Jaws in space.”, when he directed Alien. But how could someone go and make an actual sequel to Alien, not only that, but make it work on all levels? Call in James Cameron, that’s how. He made a film that was just spellbinding, this film made James Cameron a director the likes none had seen before. Add to this the down right terrifying effects done by the legend Stan Winston with his new “bitch”, the Alien queen, and Aliens is the perfect claustrophobic decent to hell.
See, Aliens to me is a perfect sequel. It delves into the first film, then branches out and adds so much depth to its own story that it envelops you like a nice warm blanket on a cold night. The story is very simple, yet so complicated it still racks my brain to this day.
Everyone fell in love with the lone survivor of the Nostromo, Ellen Ripley, from Alien. In Aliens, she actually goes back into hell, not to face one xenomorph, but a whole damn hive? Now that is amazing! Ripley wasn’t alone in her fight to eradicate the alien, oh no, we get some “ultimate bad-ass’s” in the form of the Colonial Marines. Plus we meet the lone survivor of what happens when a unsuspecting colony runs into the xenomorph. You felt so bad for poor Newt that you are almost brought to tears when she losses her family.
From then on in the film its just one bad move after another. I don’t need to tell you what happens because if you have not seen Aliens…then my friend, you need to stop reading this and go see it NOW! The blu-ray was just released a few weeks ago and includes the original intended extended cut of Aliens. This cut is the one to see. It gives so much more depth to an already great story, it make your ears pop! Check out what I mean below.
Damn! It still gives me goosebumps.
Here are some facts that you may not know about Aliens:
Hicks was originally played by James Remar, but Michael Biehn replaced him a few days after principal photography began, due to “artistic differences” between Remar and director James Cameron. However, Remar still appears in the finished film – but wearing the same armor, and shot from behind, it’s impossible to tell the difference between the two actors.
All of the cast who were to play the Marines (with the exception of Michael Biehn, who replaced James Remar one week into filming) were trained by the S.A.S. (Special Air Service, Britain’s elite special operations unit) for two weeks before filming. Sigourney Weaver, Paul Reiser, and William Hope didn’t participate/attend the training because director James Cameron felt it would help the actors create a sense of detachment between the three and the Marines – the characters these three actors played were all outsiders to the squad; Ripley being an advisor to the Marines while on the trip to LV-426, Burke being there just for financial reasons and Gorman being a newly-promoted Lieutenant with less experience than most of the Marines.
The “special edition” includes extra scenes: Newt’s parents discovering the abandoned alien ship on LV-426, scenes of Ripley discussing her daughter, Hudson bragging about his weaponry, robot sentry guns repelling first alien raid, and Hicks and Ripley exchanging first names.
Lance Henriksen (Bishop) wanted to wear double-pupil contact lenses for a scene where Bishop is working in the lab on a microscope and gives a scary look at one of the Marines. He came to set with those lenses, but James Cameron decided he did not need to wear them because he was acting the character with just the right amount of creepiness already.
Sigourney Weaver had initially been very hesitant to reprise her role as Ripley, and had rejected numerous offers from Fox Studios to do any sequels, fearing that her character would be poorly written, and a sub-par sequel could hurt the legacy of Alien. However, she was so impressed by the high quality of James Cameron’s script – specifically, the strong focus on Ripley, the mother-daughter bond between her character and Newt, and the incredible precision with which Cameron wrote her character, that she finally agreed to do the film.
Bet ya didn’t know that stuff huh? I really think no matter how many times I see Aliens, I find something new.
Aliens brings so many memories back to me. I love this movie, so much that I spent a good part of my teenage years watching it at least once a day and twice on Sundays (no this is not an exaggeration.) So pop in Aliens, sit back, and get ready to see some amazing film making and story telling.
Stay frosty people and watch those corners. Here’s to you Aliens, thanks for the memories and we’ll see ya when you turn thirty.