In the summer of 1986, my late stepfather dragged my mother and I to see a film called Aliens. I should point out that I was 8-going-on-9 years-old, and the only aliens I knew of were E.T., Spock, and Yoda. This was the first time I was introduced to the Xenomorph.
The entire film kept me on the edge of my seat – literally, in case I needed to duck and cover, to avoid any potential nightmares. But, there was no need for that. Newt – the child survivor from the colony – provided comfort. Therefore, my eyes remained glued to the screen, as I rode this magnificent rollercoaster.
When my biological father picked me up that following Saturday, for my regular weekend visit, I told him all about it. Sure enough, my father informed me that Aliens was a sequel to Alien. I remember being fascinated by the clever use of pluralization in a sequel title.
My father worked night shifts, so my mornings were his evenings. When we arrived to his apartment, he inserted a particular VHS cassette into the VCR. He yawned, “Enjoy,” and then disappeared into his bedroom. I wouldn’t see him again until sometime in the afternoon. I would usually spend this time watching Saturday Morning Cartoons. But, this time, I remained in the living room with the crew of the USCSS Nostromo.
I should point out again that I was 8-going-on-9 years-old.
Holy shit, what a terrifying film that was! Of course, the chest-bursting scene disturbed the hell out of me, but I absolutely loved Alien. I also admired how the ending blends in perfectly with the opening of its sequel. A few years later, when we had two VCRs, I spliced them together, to make one long movie. Ah, the VCR days…
1986 marked the year I learned how bad-ass filmmakers Ridley Scott and James Cameron truly are.
“They mostly come at night. Mostly.”
Happy Alien Day!