James Cameron remasters the classic sci-fi blockbuster, adding 17 more minutes of creepy carnage

Just when you thought it was safe to stop screaming in space, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is releasing VHS and DVD editions of James Cameron’s Aliens with some 17 minutes of footage added. Part of a remastered 20th-anniversary collection of all four films in the Alien saga that the studio is calling The Alien Legacy, this latest repackaging — in stores June 1 — is for all intents a director’s cut, seamlessly splicing in several scenes trimmed from the original theatrical prints, including a dread-drenched sequence depicting space colonists’ too-close encounter with the titular monsters before Sigourney Weaver arrives.

”This is footage that [Cameron] was glad to have the chance to put back in,” says Deborah Mitchell, VP of marketing for Fox Video. Fact is, though, the director made the additions for the 1991 laserdisc release. (An earlier expanded cut was shown on CBS in 1989 without the above-mentioned scene.) Other quasi-virgin territory is traversed on the DVD of Ridley Scott’s 1979 Alien, which is supplemented with 10 deleted scenes and Scott’s long-view commentary, recorded in January, that reveals how cheap the pre-CGI thrills came. Of the destruction of Ian Holm’s robot head and innards he says, ”Today that would cost a million dollars. I think it probably cost about 200 quid.”

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