Aliens (1986)

Toby Frost

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
4,697
I completely agree. Ripley wasn't perfect - in Alien, she's rather a stickler for the rules, and in Aliens she's worn out and run down - and that just makes her seem more credible. Perhaps it's because the fandom was smaller, and it was harder to discuss such things without the internet, but there was a real sense that characters like Ripley and Sarah Connor just existed: there was no debate as to what they represented or meant, or which interest group they challenged or anything like that: there they were what they were, and you just accepted that without comment, in the same way that you accepted that the Alien lived in space, or the Terminator was from the future.

Now - well, let's just say that things aren't what they used to be, and even a blockbuster like Mad Max: Fury Road feels like a subversive film. I like and miss that idea of the creator being able to say "Here is a thing I made: take it or leave it". Now they'd get death threats and a stupid petition.
 

Dave

Custom title not found
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Jan 5, 2001
Messages
18,829
Location
Way on Down South, London Town
Perhaps it's because the fandom was smaller, and it was harder to discuss such things without the internet, but there was a real sense that characters like Ripley and Sarah Connor just existed: there was no debate as to what they represented or meant, or which interest group they challenged or anything like that: there they were what they were, and you just accepted that without comment, in the same way that you accepted that the Alien lived in space, or the Terminator was from the future.
I picked up a book, published pre-internet, from a second hand book sale called something like the "Alien Quadrilogy" (this was maybe 15 years ago that I got hold of it and I don't think I still have it.) That book dissected all the films, the characters, the themes, the AI technology and the hidden 'Easter Eggs' (the picture of fried eggs inside the locker.) It did discuss Ripley as a character at very great length. So, people really did debate what the characters represented or meant, but I would agree that the audience for that was smaller (still enough to sell a book.)

I would also agree that there was no tendency back then, nor any need, to put characters into boxes - no one saying, for instance, that she is an icon of some radical feminist sub-group offshoot - it was much more of an artsy 'film studies course' type of discussion. I'm not sure that it is the internet that has changed this. It could be because social media has enabled the connecting together of people that have the same ideas, but I also think society has changed and given freedom to people to have ideas that are not mainstream, and made them okay to have.

I'm suspicious of much of what people read into literature anyway. There are libraries written about the subtext, interpretation and meaning of different works of literature. Take Shakespeare for example, can he really have meant so many different things when he wrote a simple line of a play? Only he would be able to tell us that for certain, but it doesn't stop English Literature scholar coming up with new theories. I don't see the theories about the character of Ripley as any different.
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
23,074
Location
Highlands
Another big plus point with Aliens - no CGI. :)

That means all the models, the costumes, and especially the power loader Ripley uses - are all fully convincing. In fact, IMO the loader sequences are among the best because the film effectively built its own future technology. :)

There's judicious use of the camera as well, so you never get to see the actual aliens long enough or in open light that might give them away as actors in suits.
 

Overread

All Hail Skaven!
Joined
Aug 22, 2007
Messages
3,850
Location
Hunting in the woods
Whilst the story was a bit far fetched it was something we got with the 4th Alien film which was seeing the aliens moving around far more so and yet even though they used a lot more CGI (swimming aliens!) they used a lot of models too. The "child" alien really comes into its own for all those close up almost intimate moments and because it a puppet and costume its far more "real" than what we'd have had with CGI (esp CGI of that time). Indeed whilst their method of bringing Ripley into the 4th film was dire I really loved that film for the way they took the aliens in a different direction of interpretation - they brought some of Giger's sensual elements of the Alien into that film - a neat contrast to the stealth and brutality we'd seen before.

Personally I think its a shame they never followed the comics that came out around that time. There's a wealth of them which flesh out both general "horror in the dark of space" stories and also build into a long campaign history of war on Earth, warring Alien subfactions and alternative alien forms - there's a great one on a sea-world where the aliens infest shark creatures and there's shark based aliens leaping up at colonists etc..
 

paeng

New Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2019
Messages
2
Solid action movie, and great when coupled with the first movie, which is horror. Too bad about the rest, though.
 
Top