ALIENS:

SPECIAL EDITION
HOME REVIEWS FEO'S STUFF FEO AMANTE THEATER SCIENCE MOMENT UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
FEO FEED BACK?
NEWS?
SUBMISSIONS?
Read:
SUBMISSION
GUIDELINES

MOVIES
FEO AMANTE THEATER
My Short Films
LAST CALL

THE NIGHT MY MONSTER DIED
SCIENCE MOMENT
TOP TEN SCARY MOVIES
UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
RACIAL CLICHÉ RESPONSE
INTERVIEWS

STORY TIME

COMICS

CONS

HORRIBLE NEWS

Movies E.C. McMullen Jr. Review by
E.C.McMullen Jr.
Aliens SE
Bookmark and Share
SHOULD YOU?
TIP JAR
ALIENS
MOVIE REVIEW
AN ALIEN SCIENCE
ALL ALIEN SCIENCE MOMENTS
ALIENS: SPECIAL EDITION - 1999
20th Century Fox
Ratings: USA: R

As so often happens with movies, hundreds of hours may be shot for every one hour you see onscreen. Often this extra footage is nothing more than various camera angles of action and dialog. The director and editor sit together with the first rough draft and figure out what shots best suit the flow and emotion of the movie.

Director James Cameron has already established himself as a master of movie pacing. After all, he took a movie about the most famous ship disaster in the world and made it exciting. How you can keep people on the edge of their seats over a movie that they already know the end to is amazing, but Cameron can do it like very few others. His secret is: All Action is Character Driven. Despite what may be going on with the trucks, the helicopters, the ships, or the spaceships, he makes us see it all from the perspective of the witness.

In TERMINATOR 2, we are in the helicopter with the pilot and see the liquid metal Terminator smash the glass and flow into the opening, his chrome reflecting the shocked pilot's face.

In Titanic, we are with the people on the aft of the ship as it upends and we see the folks below us falling into the water and bouncing off of the railings. When you watch other disaster movies, for example The Posiedon Adventure, you see the disaster happening from a place of safety. We view the scene as a bystander, as a witness. James Cameron makes us feel the danger.

ALIENS was so damn popular in 1986 and ever since that it wouldn't normally be something we would review here at Feo Amante's Horror Movies, but this movie is a Special Edition with 17 additional minutes of footage. As with the first ALIEN, Walter Hill (WARRIORS) shares the writing credit. Hill is a great partner to have on any action film as he really knows how to inject adrenalin into a script. Why he has never tried his hand at novel writing I have no idea.

Narcissus

So how does ALIENS: SPECIAL EDITION hold up?

To refresh your memory, Warrant Officer and First mate of the Nostromo, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver: ALIEN [all], GHOSTBUSTERS [all]), is the sole survivor of the Alien attack that killed her entire crew in the first film, ALIEN. Adrift in a lifeboat, she is found by a salvage ship, still in suspended animation, after 57 years: everyone she ever knew is gone.

Hardcore ALIEN fans have long been aware of Ripley's unfilmed history. We know that Ripley's daughter was written out of the final script for ALIEN. ALIENS: SPECIAL EDITION brings her daughter back, if only as a deceased 67 year old woman (it makes you wonder why people are still dying of old age, at 67, in the far future. No other explanation is given for the daughter's death.) The scene is brief but powerful, and serves to remind us of the loss Ripley feels. She is truly alone in the Universe without a friend.

Newt
NEWT: IN OVER HER HEAD
Now we return to the infamous planet LV-426, where the crew of the Nostromo first landed and brought back the Alien. Only now, the "Company" is terraforming the planet and there are over 100 families living there. Way back in 1985, many of these actors played their parts never knowing that they would wind up on the cutting room floor. 17 minutes is one big chunk of movie. The extra pieces are fine right up until we find ourselves in the land rover with Mom, Pop, and the kids. This is Rebecca's family; Rebecca (Carrie Henn) being the child we know as Newt,

"Only my brother calls me Rebecca."
Their discovery of Giger's alien craft is nothing new and not worth the time it takes from the film. One can see why it was originally left behind. Of the 17 minutes, only about 10 of it "enrich" the movie (" . . . enrich the emotional impact of the film", as the blurb says on the box.).

The company, punishing Ripley for having destroyed valuable cargo (see ALIEN and the review of the originial theatrical ALIENS) on the pretext of trying to destroy a "Monster" loose on the ship, has now lost contact with colonists on LV-426. They ask for Ripley's help - just in case there are monsters after all. They make promises, offer incentives, a bonus plan, return to former status, etc., and protect her with a mess of aggressive, ready for ass-whupping, Colonial Space Marines. Ripley agrees, they return, they land on the planet, and Merry Mishaps occur.

UNDER THE CHIN

Too bad this movie has an

!!!UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT!!!:
There are plenty of black folk and a white woman who plays a Hispanic. They are all of course, slaughtered in the time honored Horror movie cliché of Kill All The Black People/non-whites. This is not to say that the movie doesn't have its share of white characters getting killed too. It does. The UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT is to let you know that, no matter how many victims or how many people from different races in the movie, the whites and ONLY the whites were cast as the survivors.

For a complete list, go to UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT.

James Cameron personally supervised this Special Edition, and while it doesn't say "Director's Cut" on the box, the addition of the 17 minutes is certainly a lot better than the Director's Cut of movies like BLADE RUNNER and DAWN OF THE DEAD. If this is Cameron's leftovers, Wow!

If this were the original ALIENS, I would give it 5 Shriekgirls, no problem. But since I'm mainly looking at this movie's additional 17 minutes and how it relates to the rest of the film, I'm knocking off one Shriekgirl for the Newt Family Scene. A totally unnecessary bit of exposition that chokes the pacing of the film. This still doesn't ruin the movie, and ALIENS: SPECIAL EDITION is still worth seeing. Even with 7 so-so minutes, ALIENS: SPECIAL EDITION still outshines ALIEN 3 and 4.

20th Century Fox could do us all a big favor by releasing a DVD with the original ALIENS as well as the Special Edition, instead of sticking us with the SE version only.

Shriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2003 E.C.McMullen Jr.

Bookmark and Share Aliens (1986) on IMDb

Go to the ALIENS Review

Return to Movies

E.C. McMullen Jr. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

FEO AMANTE'S HORROR THRILLER Created by:
E.C.MULLEN JR.
COME FOLLOW ME -
AMAZON
BLOG
DEVIANT ART
ECMJR - PORTFOLIO
FACEBOOK
IMDB
PANDORA
ROTTEN TOMATOES
STAGE32
TWITTER
YOUTUBE

 

ALIEN NEWS

PROMETHEUS

You like the Science in your Science Fiction? Check out our article,
AN ALIEN SCIENCE.

TRIVIA

Hardcore fans of ALIEN are going to love this
ALIEN MAKERS

 

ALIEN
IN 30 SECONDS
(re-enacted by bunnies)

How do all the ALIEN movies fit together?
For that matter, how do they fit with the PREDATOR movies?
Get your mega-dose of Geeky Goodness with Kelly Parks and E.C.McMullen Jr.'s

ALIEN VS. PREDATOR?

There really are little alien types that get inside us living folks and mess around. And here are some fun links with Phun Photos!

BOT FLIES LOVE EYES!

MAGGOT BRAIN

TAPEWORMS

 

BUY BOOKS FROM
E.C. McMullen Jr.
WILLOW BLUE
Willow Blue
"'Willow Blue' will burrow under your skin and stay there long after you've put the book down."
- Jeffrey Reddick, Creator of
FINAL DESTINATION

PERPETUAL BULLET
Perpetual Bullet Paperback
"'Some People' ... may be the standout story in the book."
- John Grant, Infinityplus

IN OTHER BOOKS
E.C. McMullen Jr.'s

short story
CEDO LOOKED LIKE PEOPLE
in the anthology
FEAR THE REAPER
Fear The Reaper
"This Ray Bradbury-esque is one of the most memorable and one of the more original stories I've read in a long time."
- Amazon Review

HORROR 201: The Silver Scream
PAPERBACK

Horror 201: The Silver Scream
Filmmaker's Guidebook
featuring
RAY BRADBURY,
JOHN CARPENTER,
WES CRAVEN,
TOM HOLLAND,
E.C. McMULLEN Jr.,
ED NAHA,
GEORGE A. ROMERO,
and many more.

Extensively quoted in
Phantasm Exhumed
PHANTASM EXHUMED
The Unauthorized Companion


Robert S. Rhine's
SATAN'S 3-RING CIRCUS OF HELL
Satan's 3-Ring Circus of Hell

Forward by
GAHAN WILSON,
FEO AMANTE.
Featuring comics by
WILLIAM STOUT,
HILARY BARTA,
STEVE BISSETTE,
SPAIN RODRIGUEZ,
FRANK DIETZ,
JIM SMITH,
TONE RODRIGUEZ,
FRANK FORTE,
ERIC PIGORS,
ALEX PARDEE,
MIKE SOSNOWSKI,
OMAHA PEREZ,
DAVID HARTMAN,
D.W. FRYDENDALL,
SHANNON WHEELER,
VINCENT WALLER,
JACOB HAIR,
NENAD GUCUNJA,
STEVEN MANNION,
NORMAN CABRERA,
and more!

ALSO
IN CINEMA
E.C. McMullen Jr.

HEAD PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Mine Games
MINE GAMES
(Starring:
JOSEPH CROSS, ALEX MERAZ, BRIANA EVIGAN)

I will take you home...Feo Amante's Horror Home Page, Feo Amante's Horror Thriller, and feoamante.com are owned and
Copyright 1997 - 2017 by E.C.McMullen Jr.
FAIR USE - PRIVACY POLICY - OWNERSHIP - CONTACT
All images and text belong to E.C.McMullen Jr. unless otherwise noted.
All fiction stories belong to their individual authors.