Aliens Trivia

Aliens Trivia

This section includes both common and little known trivia about Aliens, including outtake information, cast secrets, director quirks, and more:

  1. One of the sets was kept intact after filming. It was later used as the Axis Chemicals set for Batman (1989).
  2. A draft of the script had Gorman being paralyzed by a stinger on the tail of an alien, rather than being clobbered by falling equipment.
  3. Michael Biehn’s character gets bitten on the hand by another character. This happens to him in every James Cameron movie he’s in – The Abyss (1989) and The Terminator (1984).
  4. The “Special Edition” includes extra scenes: Newt’s parents discovering abandoned alien ship on LV-426; scenes of Ripley discussing her daughter; Hudson bragging about his weaponry; robot sentry guns repelling the first alien raid; Hicks and Ripley exchanging first names. Also included is a scene on LV-426 where a child rides a low-slung tricycle similar to one ridden in The Terminator (1984), also directed by James Cameron.
  5. In an early draft of the script, Bishop claims to have been made by “Cyberdyne”, a company from The Terminator (1984).
  6. The mechanism used to make the facehuggers thrash about in the stasis tubes in the science lab came from one of the “flying piranhas” in one of Cameron’s earlier movies Piranha II: The Spawning (1981). It took 9 people to make the facehugger work; one person for each leg and one for the tail.
  7. Ripley’s (Sigourney Weaver) daughter was played by Weaver’s mother.
  8. The APC was modelled after an airplane tug.
  9. “Sulaco” is the name of the town in Joseph Conrad’s “Nostromo”.
  10. 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 Cameron.
  11. “She thought they said `illegal aliens’ and signed up…” said Hudson. This line (directed towards Vasquez) was in inside joke amongst the actors. Jenette Goldstein (Vasquez) had gone to the audition thinking the film would be about illegal immigrants. She arrived with waist-long hair and lots of makeup. Everyone else was wearing military fatigues.
  12. Director’s trademark (James Cameron) – Fade: A few minutes into the movie, we see Ripley lying in the cryotube, and then the scene fades to the picture of the Earth; the Earth directly fits into the silhouette of Ripley’s face.
  13. Director’s trademark (James Cameron) – Feet: When the soldiers arrive on LV426 and jump out of the armoured vehicle. Also see The Abyss (1989).
  14. Director’s trademark (James Cameron) – Feet: Close-up of the power-lifter’s feet.
  15. Director’s trademark (James Cameron) – Head/Skull: When Ripley drives the APC, she crushes an alien’s head under one of the wheels. Also see Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
  16. Director’s trademark (James Cameron) – Nuke.
  17. Only six alien suits were used. The appearance of hundreds of aliens is simply clever editing and planning.
  18. During the scene inside the APC preparing for battle, “El riesgo vive siempre!” can be seen scrawled in white across Vasquez’s armor. This is Spanish for “The risky always live!”
  19. The body mounts for Vasquez’s and Drake’s smart guns are taken from Steadicam gear.
  20. The “Pulse Rifles” that the Marines use are made from a Thompson M1A1 machine gun with a Remington 870 shotgun underneath.
  21. Composer James Horner cannibalized some of his scores from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984).
  22. The preparation for the actors playing Colonial Marines included two weeks’ training with the S.A.S. (Special Air Service, Britain’s elite anti-terrorist force) and reading Robert Heinlein’s novel Starship Troopers. Michael Biehn missed the training, as he was a last-minute replacement.
  23. The M-56 smart guns and the sentry guns built for the movie were designed around German MG 42 machine guns.
  24. The helmets the marines wear are modified M-1 ballistic helmets.
  25. There were two versions of the “Bug Stompers” logo designed for the movie, one wearing sneakers, and one wearing combat boots as seen on the drop ship.
  26. The name of the dropship pilot is “Ferro.” “Fero” is Latin for “carry.”
  27. Al Matthews, who plays a Sergeant Apone in the film, was in real life the first black Marine to be promoted to the rank of sergeant in the field during service in Vietnam.

Sources:

  • Internet Movie Database: Aliens (1986).
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