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Aliens 1986 Special Edition

Reviewing: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entert. Alien Quadrilogy Set  |  Rating:
John Gugie By John Gugie on
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57 years after the events of Alien, a salvage ship finds Ellen Ripley in hyper sleep, along with Jonesy, a cat, on a pod ship detached from the Nostromo. Upon investigation of her action's previously, her license is revoked and she works robotic lifters. Unbeknownst to Ripley, a colony has been put on the alien planet, where the original movie took place, to settle it and create an artificial atmosphere. When the transmissions from the colony suddenly ceases, Ripley is recruited to lead an expedition made up of a group of heavily-armed marines and a salvage company representative to descend on the planet and investigate the alien presence. Ripley's once again thrown back into battle with the aliens -- only this time there's hundreds of aliens and their Queen!

the story starts out where the previous movie ended but 57 years in the future. It's not as mysterious as the first movie because we already know that aliens are there in the alien spaceship. Ripley told them about it when they recovered her. It's basically more of a action movie this time. Some of the eeriness is still present but this time the people are soldiers with tons of firepower. But even their weapons can't hold out for long. It's action-packed and never boring.

The atmosphere is one of intense and building tension. Which way will they attack? How many? When? Where? The set's again, mostly, inside the dark, shadowy confines of a space compound on the same body of land where the aliens were first discovered 57 years previously. Only this time there's hundreds of aliens and tons of explosive firepower. When the best soldiers with the best firepower run in terror, you know it's bad!

There's over a dozen characters to keep track of but most aren't too important. There's a few key characters. There's more tension between characters than in part one.

Sigourney Weaver is back as Ellen Ripley, the star of this series. This time she's more angry, expressive, and even more determined to kill the aliens. She's great as usual but even a more experienced actress who holds nothing back.

Carrie Henn plays Rebecca 'Newt' Jorden, the little girl and only human survivor found on the compound. It's her first dramatic role and she's a natural actress, very believable.

Michael Biehn plays Cpl. Dwayne Hicks who assumes command later. He starts out nervous and a bad leader but becomes good and courageous towards the end.

Lance Henriksen plays Bishop, the android. He plays the part without flaw, great actor.

Paul Reiser plays Carter Burke, the representative of the company which authorizes this expedition to find out what happened to the unresponsive colony. He starts out nice but turns out to be selfish and greedy. Reiser does a good job as the annoying character who everyone loves to hate.

Bill Paxton plays Private Hudson, a rather gung-ho soldier.

William Hope plays Lt. Gorman is the original officer in charge. He's strict and follow the rules.

Jenette Goldstein plays Pvt. Vasquez, the small but strong and feisty female soldier who's very competitive with the guys. I found her character as annoying as Reiser's but a good job.

Al Matthews plays Sgt. Apone Sgt. Apone, the black officer in charge of the first troop to enter the compound. He used to be in the military so his acting's authentic.

Directed by James Cameron. He did a great job of taking over for Ridley Scott.

The camera work is superb. No shot is wasted.

The SFX are vastly improved over Alien while maintaining the characteristics of the original. There's better weapons and a much larger and more complex set. The tank vehicle is impressive as are the robotic lifter suits. There's more gore, blood, violence, aliens, everything. The aliens are great but the queen alien's awesome! She's huge and well-sculpted. The music and audio effects are great. Jerry Goldsmith's classic music from Alien is used and added to by another great, James Horner.

This is a great sequel to Alien. Some fans like one or the other movie better but I think I consider them as one cohesive and continuous story. Cameron stayed true to Ridley Scott, Dan O'Bannon, and Giger's original vision and concepts. A must see by horror fans!

This is part of the Special Edition 9-Disc Alien Quadrilogy set. It contains one disc for each of the four Alien movies, one disc of extras for each movie, and one bonus disc. The jam-packed extras for this movie are below.

Audio Commentary - 1. Michael Biehn, Jenette Goldstein, Carrie Henn, Terry Henn,

Lance Henriksen, Gale Anne Hurd, Pat McClung, Bill Paxton, Dennis Skotak, Robert Skotak and Stan Winston

1986 Theatrical Version

1991 Special Edition Version

Introduction by Director James Cameron


57 YEARS LATER: Continuing the Story


BUILDING BETTER WORLDS: From Concept to Construction

THE ART OF ALIENS: Conceptual Art Portfolio


PREPARING FOR BATTLE: Casting & Characterization

CAST PORTAIT: Still Gallery


THIS TIME IT'S WAR: Pinewood Studios, 1985



THE RISK ALWAYS LIVES: Weapons and Action


BUG HUNT: Creature Design

BEAUTY AND THE BITCH: Power Loader Vs. Queen Alien


TWO ORPHANS: Sigourney Weaver and Carrie Henn


THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: Music, Editing and Sound


ALIENS UNLEASHED: Reaction to the Film

Film Finish & Release