It was 30 years ago today, give or take a week or two, James Cameron taught us sequels didn’t have to suck. Aliens mixed high-octane action with the horror elements of the original, but it wasn’t your average, run-of-the-mill science-fiction movies.
Aliens was nominated for seven Oscars. One of those Oscar nominations was to Sigourney Weaver in the Best Actress category. In 1979, Ridley Scott showed the world a woman could be a strong presence in an action movie. Cameron and Weaver proved a woman could not only carry an action movie to box-office success, but could create a franchise too. A lot of people, including Hollywood, have forgotten this fact.
Aliens opens with the Company, later in the franchise we would learn its name as Weyland-Yutani, discovering Ripley floating in space. Although the events in Alien were decades in the past to Ripley they had occurred only moments before. The director’s cut of Aliens goes deeper into Ripley’s personal loss (her daughter growing up without her and dying as an old woman) and emotional state (nightmares of the alien) after learning everything she knew had been gone for decades. It’s this loss the Company preys upon to lure her back into space.
Carter J. Burke, the Company’s yes man, convinces Ripley into returning to LV-426 under the pretext the colonists on the planet need help. Of course, they’re plans are far more nefarious than helping colonists.
Loot Crate’s normal book of box contents illustrates the Company’s plan to use the alien. The booklet has been designed to look like a top-secret file. The outside is a nice design and has a nice layout. The inside could have been designed a little better. There are pictures of the items included in the box and a brief synopsis of the movie. In keeping with the top secret theme, the inside could have been designed to look like top secret information.
Ah, the glorious Corp where every meal is a banquet and every paycheck is a fortune. If Ripley was the heart and soul of Aliens the Colonial Marines were the backbone. The Colonial Marines were brass, rude, and not fond of authority figures, especially Lt. Gorman. Most of the Marines were wiped out during the first encounter with the aliens, but the remaining members left a lasting impression on fans. No matter what Bill Paxton does with the rest of his life he’ll always be remember as the whiney marine Hudson. All this being said, the marines gave as good as they got. The t-shirt in Loot Crate’s box commemorates the awesomeness of the marines.
The design on the shirt could have easily been the nose art on the Sulaco. Nose art, primarily good girl art, was used to decorate WWII aircraft. In more modern times, the military banned good girl art and ordered art to be gender neutral. Nose art can range from the Statue of Liberty to a portrait of Death holding playing cards. Who knows what nose art will look like in the future. Why not a hawk with a machine gun? The name “Bugstompers?” The Colonial Marines were never called the Bugstompers, but Hicks did say the mission was a bug hunt. The green is fits the overall military theme, but more importantly it’s not black. It’s unfortunate the only endangered species in Aliens were the Colonial Marines.
The action starts almost as soon as Ripley and the Marines touch down on the planet. When Ripley last saw LV-426 it was “a rock devoid of any indigenous life.” Now it was a planet being terraformed for habitation by humans. Of course, the colonists stuck their noses where it didn’t belong. Humans are pretty good at doing that sort of thing. This time it would cost a lot of people their lives.
Things may have gone easier for Ripley and the Colonial Marines if the alien eggs had been contained in this awesome egg carton. Loot Crate calls in an exclusive and, in a way, it is an exclusive. This egg carton has four eggs and two facehuggers whereas the other carton on the market has six eggs and three facehuggers. The eggs are made from a strong plastic/vinyl with a texture that mimics the alien eggshell. I can only imagine what alien eggs feel like, but if i had to guess this would be it. These eggs also glow in the dark!
By the end of the movie, Hicks has been put in stasis after taking a face full of alien acid blood, Bishop has been torn in two, and Newt has been tucked away for a long space nap. Of course, this only leaves Ripley to fight the alien queen.
The alien queen was big, nasty and had some major issues with Ripley for killing all her spawn. Hey, what mother wouldn’t have issues with the person who killed all her children, all thousand of them? Like in Alien, Ripley defeats the queen by blowing it out of the ship’s airlock. If there’s one gripe about the film it would be the lack of originality when it comes to killing aliens.
Titan, the same company behind the alien for Loot Crate’s Versus box, brings us a special alien for the Aliens 30th Anniversary box. She’s just as nasty as the alien that inspired her and looks just as mad. Unlike the alien in the Versus box this alien stands a whopping 6.5 inches tall. The design, with its claw hands, is similar to the smaller alien. This alien has bone detail that pops off the lime green coloring of the alien. Also, it glows in the dark. We love glow in the dark stuff.
(Titan Alien: A)
No Loot Crate box would be complete without a comic book. I’ve pretty much glossed over the comic books in all the toy subscription boxes. A long time ago, I actually liked comic books. I had closets full of “coffin boxes.” My mother would joke about small vampires coming out them at night. It’s been a long time since I’ve been interested in comics. It’s been a long time since comic books were interesting.
Dark Horse was one of the first creator owned companies turning out solid, creative work. Paul Chadwick’s Concrete was a critical and commercial success. Matt Wagner’s original Grendel still has a devout following. Mike Mignola has had two movies made based on his Hellboy comic. Dark Horse also got the rights to produce comics based on Aliens.
The original story found Newt and Hicks dealing with emotional stress of surviving the alien attack. Like Ripley, the two survivors are called on to help locate the alien home world. Overall, it’s not a bad story and the art is some of the best black and white art to come out of Dark Horse Comics. Dark Horse did a great job reproducing the series in a hardback edition. Loot Crate made a great choice including it in the 30th Anniversary box.
Month in and month out, Loot Crate does a great job bringing out its monthly boxes of geeky goodness. However, it pulls out all the stops on its specialty boxes and anniversary boxes. The Aliens 30th Anniversary box is a must have for any fan of the movies.