Aliens is a near-perfect film. Even if xenomorphs bursting out of the chests of humans while space marines treat androids like second-class citizens aren’t your thing, everyone can appreciate how a badass Ripley/Sigourney Weaver. In the span of just a few hours, she utters some of the most famous lines in action movie history and made a whole generation of kids want to work with advanced forklifts.
Aliens just worked on multiple levels. It’s a war movie. It’s sci-fi. It’s got scares. The soundtrack is amazing. Even thirty years later, you have to marvel at the strong female lead when 1986 was full of oily, bulging muscles and Austrian accents.
This leads to just about everyone loving the movie for different reasons. Even Aliens director James Cameron and producer Gale Anne Hurd have very different views on why the movie has sustained such a passionate love (beyond just being a well-made film).
The former husband and wife filmmaking duo had a brief conversation with ScreenRant at San Diego Comic-Con about the timeless sci-fi/action/horror film. After considering the question for a moment, it’s clear the two legends in the business have a pretty good idea why their movie is so beloved after thirty years…
“I have to take my filmmaker hat off and look it as a fan and think, ‘Well, I really like those characters. I really think those are the right actors to play those characters.’ There’s certain lines, moments, you remember moments. It’s satisfying, it ends in a satisfying way. I always believe that movies work best when there’s a planned payoff, and I believe there are several planned payoffs in that film… But I actually think it’s those characters. We can all relate to Hudson running around ‘What the hell are we gonna do now man? What the f*** we gonna do?’ We all know that guy.”
Gale Anne Hurd had a completely different take on why everyone loves Aliens. She believes it’s now on the level of a Rocky Horror Picture Show as far as a community event:
“It’s a great midnight screening movie because you can talk back to the screen and you can have this group experience. It not only makes you feel something, it makes you cheer, it makes you jump. When you think of all the things that something can do, which is projected on a screen, it ticks all those boxes and it makes you laugh.”
I’ll take all of the above, then mix in Paul Reiser.