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Got Milk?

Winona Ryder Gets Bloody in “Alien Resurrection”

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Luis Guzman
Andrea Renault/Globe Photos

Winona Ryder’s android character in “Alien Resurrection” won’t be wearing a milk mustache, thanks to the film’s special effects wizards. Winona plays one of the albino-blooded androids that aid — and very often ooze on — Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley character. For one gory reason or another (in “Resurrection,” Winona springs a leak when she’s shot in the belly) the ‘droids’ milky blood gets gallons of screen time.

In earlier “Alien” films, creature effects creators Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. used real milk to simulate the android blood. This time around, however, the masters of goo went with a non-dairy product: a cellulose-based food mixture that?s also used to make the slimy alien secretions.

Why the change? Winona isn’t lactose-intolerant, says Gillis, but her robotic predecessor in the “Aliens” series Lance (“Millennium”) Henriksen slid into a problem. While shooting “Aliens,” Gillis and Woodruff needed so much milk for the penultimate scene — in which Henriksen?s character is ripped in two by the alien queen and spits up generous amounts of the white blood — that they ran out of bottles between takes. The milk they rushed to buy from a local vendor turned out to be spoiled. “Lance ended up getting sick that night and we felt terrible,” remembers Gillis. “Since then we?ve stopped using milk and yogurt products.” Talk about blood-curdling horror.