Overclocked On Caffeine v.1.1 2009-06-23 16:53:00

If the worth of a film can be measured in how much it’s managed to invade the public consciousness, Aliens would rank in the Top Three. If you’ve played virtually any game in the last 20 years, there’s a better then likely chance you’ve encountered at least one line or allusion to the film. It’s easily one of the most quotable films of all time. You all know it, you’ve all seen it, and if you hate it, it’s probably because you liked Alien better. So, in lieu of an actual review, since there’s no way I could write anything you don’t already know by heart about the film, 15 random facts about the first three movies that you (probably) never knew.

  • The original head for the Alien in the first film utilised a real human skull in it’s creation
  • When Dan O’Bannon was asked why the crew don’t just shoot the alien on sight, he added the acidic blood, accidentally creating one of the most infamous features of the creature’s biology
  • The original script for Alien was… well… pretty bad. Also, kinda gay.
  • The lasers used in the egg chamber scene were actually on loan from The Who, who were testing them out next door
  • The original ending of Alien called for Ripley to die at the end, decapitated by the alien after sending her distress signal. It was vetoed as it would’ve been way too dark an ending
  • Aliens was one of the first films to be released in a Director’s Cut/extended edition. This was done partly to woo Weaver back to do a third film as she was unhappy with the original cut
  • There was, at one point, going to be a Saturday morning cartoon based on the second film known as Operation: Aliens. It didn’t get much further than toys, promotional material and an apparent opening title sequence, Why anyone thought this was a good idea is still, as yet, unknown. The toys, on the other hand, were suitably awesome
  • In a surprising turn of events, the 15-minute countdown at the end of Aliens does actually last a full 15 minutes
  • Both Lance Henriksen and Bill Paxton have the dubious honour of being killed by an Alien, a Predator and a Terminator
  • On a related note, Henriksen discussed the scene where he adds Hudson’s hand to the knife trick scene with everyone but Hudson’s actor, Bill Paxton. Much of his confusion and fear was actually real
  • The smooth motion of the power loaders was achieved by having a bodybuilder moving around inside the power loader shell in tandem with Weaver
  • The iconic pulse rifles are based around a Thomson machine gun – better known as a tommy gun – and a SPAS12 shotgun
  • Michael Biehn (Hicks) was so upset at the plot of the third movie, he refused to allow the producers to use his likeness for two scenes. Eventually, they paid him for the use of his image in one scene. He payout was allegedly more than he received for his stint in Aliens
  • Originally, when the ‘Bambi’ alien crawls out for the first time, they used a whippet covered in foam ‘alien bits’ to try and simulate a more organic alien/dog hybrid. It worked about as well as you can imagine
  • David Fincher was so angry with the interference he received during the filming of Alien 3, when Fox offered to let him recut the movie however he wished with absolutely no executive meddling for the Alien Quadrilogy DVD boxset, he outright refused. He was the only person asked to take part in the set who refused to do so

Next Time: The One Everyone Hates

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