Cast and Crew: Walter Hill (Co-Writer, Producer); Gale Ann Hurd (Producer); James Horner (Score); Stan Winston (Effects); Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jeanette Goldstein
What It’s About: Ripley’s (Sigourney Weaver) survival capsule is picked up in deep space 50 years after the events of Alien. The planet where her crew encountered a new, deadly alien life-form was colonized. When all contact with the colony is lost, Ripley is recruited to join a group of Colonial Marines in their mission to discover the fate of the colonists. Will the firepower the Marines bring with them be enough to fight an entire army of aliens-and can Ripley get them to listen to her long enough to survive?
Why Watch it Today?: Alien was Weaver’s, born on this date in 1949, breakout role, but it was in Aliens that she made Ripley into the bad ass that most people think of when they think of the films. Whereas the first film is a deft blend of science fiction and horror, today’s follow-up from writer/director James Cameron stirs in some amazing high-octane action, giving a movie that still packs some icky chills but was more friendly in the action movie loving environment that was the mid-1980s.
Other Choices: Want something seasonal but funny and not scary? Check out Weaver in another 80s classic, Ghostbusters.