Just the other night, I watched Aliens for the umpteenth time. I was 13 when it came out in 1986. My mum saw it in the cinema, and decided that I should be allowed to see when it came out on video. Yep, that would be VHS! We had to wait at least 6 months for it to come out for rental after it had been in the cinema. And then, of course, it was about getting it from the local video rental shop, and renting or borrowing a VHS player as we didn’t have one.
I was, as many young teens are, quite impressionable, and I went all in with Aliens! Even to the point of recording the audio on cassette to listen to it at night. Audiobooks weren’t really a thing back then, but imagine my dedication while picturing the image of me holding a microphone (no stand available) next to the television speaker for the 2 hours and 17 minutes runtime. I had to pause to switch the cassette of course. Then I would listen to the poor person’s version of an audiobook at night with my… wait for it… prized Sony walkman.
Why am I taking this particular trip down memory lane? Well, it occurred to me that my main characters are predominantly tough, independent women. I could name Fenna, Petra, Havoc and others. I should also name my mum, as she was the toughest person I knew (single parent fighting to get by in a typically male-dominated world). I could also name Sigourney Weaver as Ripley was about as tough as they get. So, if you ever wonder why I write about female action heroes… this is the answer! 🙂
I watched Aliens a couple of nights ago. It might be 37 years old, but as action movies go, it hasn’t really aged. Either that, or I’m completely biased. But when I compare it to all the Marvel movies, and even James Cameron’s Avatar 2, Aliens has heart, story, drama, and some amazing visuals.
Damn, it still looks good, with lots of fabulous theatrical line-ups. While Ripley was my hero, Hicks came in a very close second.
And then, of course, some 30(ish) years later, I’m writing (just not selling very many) sci-fi stories, and playing around with 3D art (you didn’t see that plug coming, did you?) and thus making my own homage to Aliens.
I love the franchise, including the newer movies, but Aliens has a special place in my heart, and, apparently, in shaping my career as a writer. Now, if I could only find that walkman and those tapes!