Aliens represents a cinematic milestone in the history of the science fiction genre. James Cameron’s 1986 sequel to Ridley Scott’s classic is viewed by many as one of the best sequels ever and is on the short list for top science fiction films. The film’s version of a grimy future where blue collar workers still toil away, just now in space, is juxtaposed with advanced technology, albeit scratched and used, as they are all thrown into a struggle to survive against the vicious alien xenomorphs. The film stars Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton and Carrie Henn, and follows Ellen Ripley as she returns to the distant moon LV-426 where her former crew was killed by the Alien. This time, however, Ripley returns with a team of battle-hardened space marines.
Aliens was one of the highest grossing R-rated films at the time and was nominated for seven Academy Awards. The film won for Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Visual Effects. The nominations are notable because Sigourney Weaver received a nomination for Best Actress. Though she did not win her nomination is still monumental because the science fiction and horror genres were given little recognition by the Academy (AMPAS) during this period.
Aliens was one of the first R-rated films I ever watched. I’m a die-hard Star Wars fan through and through, but this version of science fiction was terrifying and dark! I had never seen that kind of duality in a genre before. This is a great film with great characters, great action, great suspense, and great special effects! I went to a special theatrical screening of the film just last week, which was sold out. With this year being the 30th anniversary of the film, going to the screening made me realize two things. First, I’m getting old. However, more importantly, I realized that Aliens has definitely stood the test of time. The production values still hold up today and the film is just as fun to watch now as it was thirty years ago!
The fact that Comicpalooza, Texas’ largest comic and pop culture convention, is hosting the film’s 30th anniversary cast reunion right here in my hometown of Houston is unbelievable! To commemorate the anniversary of James Cameron’s blockbuster film, Comicpalooza is welcoming almost the entire principal cast. On hand will be Academy Award nominee Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Paul Reiser, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Jenette Goldstein, Lance Henriksen, and Mark Rolston. This will be the first ever Aliens cast reunion on U.S. soil! In fact, there has been only one other Aliens reunion ever, and that was in Canada in April 2014. “Last Year someone asked me how we were going to top Comicpalooza 2015,” said John Simons, Founder of Comicpalooza. “This is our game changer.” Indeed, John. Indeed!
The actors will be available to sign autographs and take photographs with fans, and you won’t want to miss the special 30th anniversary panel with the cast. Who knows what stories will come out once all these actors get together and begin to relive memories of making this classic film?
Comicpalooza will be hosting other celebrities as well, welcoming Underworld star Kate Beckinsale in one of her first convention appearances. Others guests include Lennie James (The Walking Dead), Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), Eliza Dushku (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Walter Koe
nig (Star Trek), Norman Reedus (Walking Dead), David Prowse (Darth Vader), New York Times best-selling authors Mercedes Lackey, Leslie Klinger, and Sherrilyn Kenyon as well as comic book greats Adam Kubert, John Ostrander, and Mike Zeck.
In just six years Comicpalooza has grown by leaps and bounds to become one of Houston’s largest conventions, offering unique programming that goes beyond comic books. This year will feature performances, art shows, writers’ conferences, cosplay contests, anime, a Japanese fashion show, roller derby, professional wrestling, games, panels, a film festival, and more. It will be enough entertainment and activities to fill more than a million square feet of event and exhibit space.
Last year, the convention was attended by more than 40,000 visitors with 16,000 hotel rooms booked, with an overall economic impact of $20 million. This year, Comicpalooza has partnered with the Greater Houston Conventions and Visitor’s Bureau (GHCVB). “Working with the Convention Bureau opens doors for us,” said Simons. “It allows us to build stronger relationships throughout the community so that we can serve the artists, writers, film makers, publishers, industry professionals, and most importantly the die-hard fans from the youngest to the oldest. We can now think about how to serve not just the fans of Houston or Texas, but of the entire United States.”
This year’s Comicpalooza 2016 will be held on June 17-19, at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Due to scheduling constraints Sigourney Weaver and Bill Paxton will only be appearing on Saturday, June 18. Paul Reiser and Lance Henriksen will only be appearing Saturday and Sunday. For the most up to date information on guests, schedules, admission prices and packages, please visit www.comicpalooza.com.