Can you believe Aliens first hit theaters 30 years ago on July 18th in 1986? There have been a few more additions to the franchise since then, but none of them have been quite like Aliens. Here are 30 facts about Aliens to celebrate 30 years of chest bursting horrors!
1. Sigourney Weaver was the first actress to receive a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for a role in an action movie because of this film.
2. Aliens was never shown to test audiences because it was not completed until the week before its theatrical release.
3. The Hungarian title of the original Alien film is The 8th Passenger: Death and the Hungarian title of Aliens is The Name of the Planet: Death.
4. The Alien screams are Baboon shrieks altered in post production.
5. The Alien Queen required 14 to 16 operators to bring it to life.
6. Unlike the warrior Aliens, the Alien Queen has translucent teeth.
7. The face-hugger required nine operators to move. Eight people were needed for each leg and one person to move the tail.
The technology used to make the face-huggers move in the science lab came from an earlier film of James Cameron‘s titled Piranha Part Two: The Spawning.
8. The film shows 12 hypersleep capsules, but only 6 of them were actually real.
Due to budget restrictions, the movie could only afford 6 capsules because they each cost over $4,300 to to make. To solve this problem, they used mirrors and camera angles to make it look like there were 12 capsules aboard the Sulaco.
9. The film only used a total of six Alien suits.
They were mostly latex on black leotards and the appearance of numerous Aliens was a result of clever planning, editing, lighting, and some slime.
10. The set designers and model makers reconstructed the Nostromo shuttle from the first Alien film by re-watching the original movie.
None of the models or the original designs could be found from the first film so they had no other choice but to re-watch it.
It was used as the set for the Axis Chemicals where Jack Napier falls into acid and becomes the Joker.
12. One of the Alien eggs from the movie is now on display in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
13. The film takes place in 2179.
14. Al Matthews (who plays Marine sergeant Apone in the movie) was also the first black Marine to be promoted to the rank of sergeant in real life.
He was promoted to sergeant during his service in Vietnam. According to his website, he spent six years in the US Marine Corps and holds thirteen combat awards and decorations including two purple hearts.
17. Bill Paxton (who plays Hudson) improvised many of his lines including “Game over, man! Game over!”
18. Hudson says the word “man” a total of 35 times.
19. The word “fuck” is said 25 times in the film and 18 of them are spoken by Hudson.
Not too big of a deal though as Henn later said that she didn’t mind because she really didn’t know what any of the words meant.
21. When filming the scene in the duct, Henn (Newt) kept messing up the scene on purpose so she could keep sliding down the vent.
James Cameron promised her she could play on it as much as she wanted if she completed the shot first. Henn finished the shot and Cameron kept his promise.
22. Carrie Henn’s part as Newt was her only acting role and she later became a teacher.
23. James Cameron had the Marine actors personalize their own armor and fatigues to make them seem more realistic.
For example, Bill Paxton has “Louise” written on his armor which is a gesture to Louise Newbury, his wife in real life.
Michael Biehn was given James Remar’s armor after he left but he disliked the bright red heart Remar painted on the chest plate. He felt it looked like a bullseye and made himself an easy target to aim for.
25. Remar still appears in the film when the Marines enter the Alien nest.
The scene had already been filmed before Remar was replaced by Biehn and would have been too expensive to reshoot. As a result, James Remar can be seen as Hicks when he has his back towards the camera.
26. Cameron filmed the scene where we meet the Marines last so that the camaraderie of the team came off as genuine.
The scene takes place early in the movie but was filmed after the actors had spent months working together so they had time to bond with one another.
27. Cameron had difficulty winning the respect and cooperation of the British crew because many of whom had worked on the first Alien film and loyal to its director, Ridley Scott.
In an attempt to prove his talent and skills, he set up a screening of The Terminator for the crew to watch. However, most of the crew chose to ignore the invitation and didn’t show up.
28. Cameron makes a cameo as a voice over in the opening deep salvage team.
At around 4 minutes he says, “Bio readouts are in the green, looks like she’s alive!”
29. The knife trick scene was not in the original script.
30. The sound of an Alien egg can be heard opening at the very end of the credits.