Monday, April 06, 2009

Aliens, Tulsa, 1986

{every so often i want to write about memories of particular films--these posts might be more about who i was with, where i saw the film and my memories rather than the movie itself. this is the first of the film memory series of posts.}

In 1986 my best friend Scott lived with my family for the summer before he moved to Memphis. There were conversations between his family and mine about him staying with us in Pryor Creek throughout our senior year of high school. That did not happen so near the tail end of summer, before Scott left Oklahoma, a small group of us went on a movie binge at the Eton Square Theatre in Tulsa.

Theatre hopping, as we called going to watch two or three films in a row after only paying for one, was a frequent weekend treat for me and a few friends. We'd drive the forty-five minutes from Pryor Creek to Tulsa and see multiple films for the price of one--thank you multiplexes! This Saturday night we saw more than one film but the only one I remember seeing was the last, and best, of the night--Aliens.

Aliens is the high octane, science fiction/action film from director James Cameron
(the original Alien by director Ridley Scott in 1979 relied less on bullets and more on terror and suspense. For the record, I love both films.) that has Sigourney Weaver reprising her role as Ripley. She escorts a motley crew of Marines to a planet that might have a killer alien species on it. Well, let's be honest, there will be carnage and mayhem thanks to the aliens that exist on this planet, that should be no surprise to anyone.

We talked about going to see Aliens for weeks before it came out so we were watching it opening weekend. Despite being a late night screening, we sat in the middle, closer to the front, surrounded by others in a packed house--the perfect environment for a film like this. Aliens is an adrenaline rush of a film and all the way home we were buzzing about it and our favorite scenes ("We're history man!") and whether or not it was better than the original.

By the time we got back to Pryor Creek and home, around 2am, the night was full of bittersweet emotions. I'm still good friends with Scott, yet in 1986, when he packed to leave a few days later, our future friendship was more uncertain. Teenage friendships don't often survive cross country moves. We were happy that we got to have that last going away theatre hopping event where we saw one of our favorites from the 1980s--Aliens.

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