Nine films. Nine xenomorph-filled nightmares.
It started in 2004 with a nickname, 'Aileen vs. Predator'. AvP had just been released and my mate (the class clown of our year) created this gem in the back of history class. I'd only seen Alien years ago & the beginning of Aliens because I remember the 80's get up.
(Of course, I would remember the 80's get up.)
But it wasn't until recently, I realised I had not finished them or even seen Arnie's Predator. Something had to be done about it and because I don't do anything by halves; a movie marathon was proposed. So here goes...BE WARNED. THERE MAY BE SPOILERS.
Genuinely cannot believe this was made in the 70's. The sets look retro but not totally dated. From the beginning this film puts you on edge as the music adds so much tension and suspense. I have already jumped out of my skin seven times so far.
The famous John Hurt scene still makes me squirm every time. I was so right not to trust Ash (Ian Holm) his insides look like PVA glue, bubbles & spaghetti. Essential ingredients in the making of androids. Right?
Ripley can take him though...she is badass. The scariest part for me was when the Alien was in the shuttle with her & she had to clamber into her astronaut suit. That is the stuff of nightmares. The Aliens are scary enough but I have a hunch that what Weyland Corp are up to is possibly worse. Flan Rating: 9/10.
Of course Bill Paxton is in this film. Was there a rule that he had to appear in every film between 1986 and 1996? So much testosterone in this cast; Paxton's character embodies the classic 'if you are overconfident and cocky...you will die' theory. He does deliver some great lines in this film, "Game over man! Game over!"
The Queen/Mother Alien is absolutely terrifying. My jump count is up to eleven now. It's touching to see Ripley as a mother figure although Newt is a terrible name. She does deliver my favourite line of the film so far:
Ripley carrying both a child and a gun whilst fighting aliens is quintessentially the reason why we love her. She's compassionate but also kicking xenomorphic ass at the same time. Talk about multi-tasking. Flan Rating: 8/10
Alien 3 (1992)
No one told me this film had a Doctor AND a Game of Thrones star in it?! Personally, I do not know how they made Charles Dance sexy but they did. Most of the prisoners are well known British actors it felt like a who's- who of British talent. However, casting alone cannot save this film which is truly awful. Nevertheless, it did deliver in my opinion the scariest scene of the franchise.
From reading about the arduous pre-production journey it took before Fincher got a hold of it which greatly affected his story and production decisions (eg. having to use sets that were already created) I can totally forgive him. Did you know they started principal photography before there was even an ending?! Speaking of the film's ending, HOW CAN THAT HAPPEN IF THERE IS A FOURTH ALIEN FILM? Flan Rating: 5/10
Alien Resurrection (1997)
Well, to answer my question, there can be a fourth Alien film with Ripley if they can clone her DNA... not only is she a clone but she's gone frankly insane.
They have ruined the one of the staple ingredients in an Alien film; which is Ripley being the level headed badass. Now, Ripley is mother hen to her alien child that kept her alive in Alien 3 and her spidey-senses are tingling.
Not even her weird relationship with Winona Ryder can save this film and the idea that it could is hilarious. Predictably, Brad Dourif plays a creep and Ron Perlman is just well, doing the Ron Perlman-thug routine. When Dan Hedaya (who I will always see as President Richard Nixon from Dick) is your favourite part of an Alien film...something has gone very wrong. Flan Rating 4.5/10
Who knew a little mud bath could be so beneficial?! Arnie is incredible, physically and his acting chops aren't that bad either. However, I did go in expecting the utter worst so I was pleasantly surprised. Arnie was made for this role; wasn't he?
What I liked about this film is that it is a self contained story, not too much exposition or explaining the predator technology. It almost feels like a Vietnam War action film meets a crazy villian from an episode of Star Trek. I laughed when the Predator took off its mask, I really could not take it seriously or find it scary at all which was a let down. Flan Rating: 6/10
Predator 2 (1990)
Predator 2 did NOT want to be a Predator film. It wanted to be another 80's police action film in disguise. Also, no Arnie this time which is a shame. What is that about? And is Danny Glover is just playing the same "I'm too old for this sh*t" character from Lethal Weapon? Evil Gary Busey and the return of Bill Paxton are the best things in this film.
I know it was just 1990 but the Predator infrared-style vision technique just get's worse every time I see it. Flan Rating 5/10
Not as bad as I'd thought it would be. In all honesty, this is the one I would watch again although the ending was so disappointing. The start is exciting and intriguing. Definitely stayed watching it for Adrien Brody who turns in the best performance. Laurence Fishburne deserves to be in much better films than this. He is Morpheus, don't you know?
This Hunger Games style hunt was interesting to watch with both sides using stealth and scare tactics which made the Predators feel really threatening for the first time. Flan Rating 5/10
Alien vs. Predator (2004)
It took ages for an Alien vs. Predator fight to even begin. Ewen Bremner and Tommy Flanagan do their best to bring some comic relief and depth to this film but it wasn't enough. I felt like they wanted to go down the same path as John Carpenter's The Thing with Kurt Russell but failed. Both in arctic conditions with terrifying creatures. Sanaa Lathan gets points for really trying to hold this film together but I did not believe that her and a predator could become allies.
Even more preposterous is the alien and predator flashback to when the Predators ruled the world. Flan Rating 2/10.
Alien vs. Predator 2: Requiem (2007)
I can't even describe to you what I have just watched in any way that won't upset me or you or the makers of this film. I miss Ripley. I miss Arnie, Glover, Paxton and even Adrien Brody! I am only giving the one of ten to The Good Wife's Steven Pasquale for turning up and looking pretty. True Blood's Sam Trammel should have known better. It really felt like two completely separate films had been edited together to make one: all the previously unused Alien vs. Predator footage & a small town coming of age drama. I also cannot shake the image that the predators look like John Travolta in Battlefield Earth. Flan Rating: 1/10
Well, I survived.
Best moment of the marathon? This classic Ripley line...
The further away the films got from their original premises the worse they became then you get films bereft of any decent story, no character arcs or surprise twists, no connection to the characters. *coughs-The AVP films*
When you look at back at Alien and at Predator, it's more about the suspense and the build up to the reveal of the creatures. Then the final act alone is fighting, kicking ass and hopefully the characters learn something about humanity along the way...if they survive.
Whether you loved or hated my views on each film; I'm just so happy I made it out alive. What is your favourite film of the Aileen vs. Predator marathon?
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.