* Only 6 Alien suits were used.
*- Most ALIENS Research and Development time was on the ‘Motion’ of the Alien.
*- Gymnasts and Acrobats were in the ALIEN Suits.
*- Carrie Henn was ‘discovered’ on a Military Base.
*- The Background images during the Inquest contain great info (you can see on the DVD.)
*- Syd Mead (Visual Futurist for Blade Runner) designed the SULACO.
*- A Mirror was used in the hypersleep chamber to make it seem bigger.
*- The SULACO pressure door was designed by Syd Mead.
*- The “land rover” (ALIENS SE) was designed by James Cameron.
*- A ‘Half Moon’ is seen on the landscape.
*- ALIENS gave the planetoid a more formal nomenclature, “LV-426,” and its name Acheron. In Greek mythology, Acheron is the river of woe and pain, in the underworld land of the damned.
*- One of the sets was kept intact after filming. It was later used as the Axis Chemicals set for Batman (1989).
*- More on filming locations:
Thanks to Jon – The scene when the marines have the fire fight with the Aliens in the Hive was filmed at a former British Power electrical sub station. Actually this is not the only film that this substation has apeared in. I believe that this same location was used in the film Batman with Michael Keaton as the chemical works.
Pete adds – The power station used in Aliens is called Battersea Power Station – it’s in London and yes, it was also used in Batman. The place supplied power to the area until 1980. It’s a very distinctive building, with a tall chimney at each corner. The band Pink Floyd used it on the cover of their “Animals” album (I think) so you can probably catch a peek of it from there. I heard that a Canadian circus company has recently bought it! When the crew working on the film “Batman” used Battersea power station, they actually found large parts of the alien hive from ALIENS still intact. This might be from the Legacy DVD box set, so you might already know this.
*- 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.
*- Michael Biehn’s character gets bitten on the hand by another character. This happens to him in every James Cameron movie he’s in – see Abyss, The (1989) and Terminator, The (1984).
*- In an early draft of the script, Bishop claims to have been made by “Cyberdyne”, a company from Terminator, The (1984).
*- The mechanism used to make the face-huggers 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 face-hugger work; one person for each leg and one for the tail.
*- The APC was modelled after an airplane tug.
*- More on the APC/TUG:
Jon reports – The working APC was actually a retired Jumbo Jet tug from London Heathrow airport. Apparently the film production crew heard that the tug was being retired and was up for sale so they brought one. They stripped it down from 72 tonnes to 28 tonnes (getting rid of 4 inch steel plating and the lead lined wheels). Then they put 1/4 inch steel around it and dressed it up. It had four wheel drive and four wheel steering and was driven by one of the airport staff. However being limited in speed and manaueverability, a lot of the APC shots were sixth scale models. [Big thanks to Jon!]
*- “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.
*- During the scene inside the APV preparing for battle, “El riesgo vive siempre!” can be seen scrawled in white across Vasquez’s armor. This is Spanish for “Risk lives always.”
*- Dropship 2 is called “Smart Ass”, with the motto “We aim by PFM” (Pure Fucking Magic)
*- Frosts T-shirt “Peace through superior firepower”
*- ALIENS made $10m (US) on its opening weekend (18 July 1986), in the US and Canada.
*- ALIENS domestic gross was $81.843m (US).
*- ALIENS has made $43.753m (US) in rentals.
*- 1987 Academy Award Nominations for ALIENS:
*Graham V. Hartsone, Nicolas Le Messurier, Michael A. Carter, and Roy Charman for Best Sound.
*James Horner for Best Music (Original Score.)
*Peter Lamont and Crispian Sallis for Best Art Direction / Set Decoration.
*Ray Lovejoy for Best Film Editing.
*Don Sharpe (winner) for Best Sond Effects Editing.
*Robert Skotak, Stan Winston, John Richardson II, and Suzanne M. Benson (winners) for Best Visual Effects.
*Sigourney Weaver for Best Actress.
*In a famous scene, restored only in the director’s cut of ALIENS, Ellen Ripley looks at a photograph of her daugter, only to find out from Carter Burke that the child died while Ripley was in hypersleep. The photograph she looks at is actually of actress Sigourney Weaver’s mother.
*- Condoms made up some of the ‘tendons’ on the ALIEN creatures.
*- The Milky White fluid that burst out of Bishop near the end of the movie was Yogurt & Milk. “It was a mix of milk and yogurt,‘ Henriksen says. ‘It made me very sick, because the prop people had done a mix of it early in the morning, and then left it out as we worked all day, and it went bad. The first time I tasted it, I got so sick from it, but I just had to keep working , no matter hom sick I felt. I was spewing that stuff 10 feet and the fact that it tasted absolutely horrible helped get it out, and with my ‘death-throes’ espression.’ Now you know.”
*- One interesting note is that the role of D. Hicks, which was portrayed by Michael Biehn, did not start off with this cahracter. It was James Remar who held the role for a few days into shooting. Cameron and Remar had “artisitic differences” (rumoured to be drugs…), and Remar was out; and Biehn, who had worked with James Cameron before on ‘The Terminator,’ was in.
*- “These movies have so much smoke and incense….every time I go into a church now, all I can think of are Aliens, Aliens, Aliens!” – Sigourney Weaver [From mid-1997 magazine]
*- An arcade game of ALIENS was created. It had a picture of Ripley on one side, and either an Alien or Hicks on the other. You could take the role of Ripley / Hicks and blast many Aliens in this shoot-em up adventure. [Thanks to harshlanguage13 for sending that in] As Mark L. reports “Ripley looked like Ripley for once.” In the ALIENS arcade game, which he found at Niagara Falls, and right around the falls, kind of underground there’s the arcade game. [Thanks Mark!]
*- The second dropship is named “Bugstomper”. It has an image of an eagle wearing sneakers and the text “we endanger species” written beneath it. [Thanks to Martin H!]
*- Ferro, the dropship pilot, has “Fly the friendly skies” written on her helmet, hinting to a United Airlines slogan.
*- From Pepe, clarifying the meaning of ‘Ferro’, the nickname of the pilot in ALIENS.
I studied latin 5 years and i must say that “Ferro” does not mean “to carry”. The guy mad a small mistake, because actually “to carry” is translated into “Fero”. “Ferro”, instead, means exactly “Iron” in italian language.
*- Scott Oliverson passed along some information on the ALIEN WAR attraction.
In this WALK-THROUGH attraction, based on the four hit films you and other guests are invited to an OPEN HOUSE at the WAYLAND-YUTANI CORPORATION laboratory complex on a remote planet to see some ALIENS who have been captured by the weapons division and being held in suspended animation or frozen sleep. UN/NATO Colonial Marines escort you through the base while telling you about the monsters when suddenly another marine comes running up, face white as a sheet. He explains that the creatures have escaped their containment systems due to a breach in the system and now are hunting their prey. So now you and the other guests are running for your lives in terror through darkened corridors & hallways while trying to avoid being captured or killed by the ALIENS! Suddenly the xenomorph monsters jump out of hiding, hissing and screeching in triumph from all directions as they attempt to kill you but the marines retaliate by blasting the creatures with their pulse rifles & smart guns. In the end you and the others escape to safety back into the real world!*
- - Scott also sent some ALIENS: Ride info.
This turbo-ride, motion-based simulation is located at San Francisco’s Pier-39. It too allows visitors to reenact a scary scene from one of the ALIEN movies. First you are standing in the queue preshow room before the main ride begins. Your commanding officer of the UN/NATO COLONIAL MARINES briefs you as cadets or recruits about a dangerous mission you are about to undertake. He tells you about a colonist base on the planet Archeron/LV-426, yet another homebase built over the same spot where the previous one stood in the 2nd film…Suddenly the transmission jams or breaks in with an S.O.S. incoming message from a lone, frightened surviving marine. He starts telling about his squadron being massacured by the ALIENS as they attempted to locate human life inside the complex. Unable to find any survivors (Just like the marines did in the 2nd film), the soldiers decide to plant a bomb to detonate and destroy the base, killing all the monsters in the explosion. Suddenly the ALIENS attack the soldiers, capturing or killing them. He pleads for somebody, anybody to come rescue him before the bomb explodes. So now your commander orders you to accompany another squadron of marines to rescue any survivors on Archeron before it is too late.
Now you enter the turbo-ride simulator designed to look like the Armored Personnel Carrier or APC from the movie. The seats are programmed to move in sync with the film on the BIG SCREEN creating an illusion as though you are reenacting a scene from a movie! Once you and your fellow marines disembark from the mothership orbiting the and your fellow marines disembark from the mothership orbiting the planet, the dropship carries you down to the surface of LV-426 and arrives at the colony base. Then the APC rolls forward into the complex and begins searching for the 1st Squad survivors. Some survivors are found hiding inside the wreckage of another APC, ALIVE! Suddenly the ALIENS attack our squad and those we’ve come to rescue and the wargames commence. Next begins a series of shootouts, being chased through the corridors & hallways of the base by the monsters, and the grand finale is the confrontation with the QUEEN ALIEN herself! But we do escape before the bomb detonates with the survivors and return safely to the mothership in orbit high above. [Nathan’s Note: This ride was featured on TV a few times, including segments on the Discovery Channel.] *From David T.: I went to an Aliens ride in Granada Studios, Manchester,England. It was a ride where you sat in special seats that shook you about while you watch a piece of film that is similar to the scene in Aliens where most of the marines die. I’m not sure if it was the same scene because I can’t remember.