Where Are They Now?: Catching Up with Aliens’ Chestburster

Unlike most child stars, the Chestburster from Aliens has actually thrived since his time in the limelight. (Sadly the same can’t be said of the iconic one that launched out of John Hurt in Alien, R.I.P.) Nearly 30 years after it appeared on screen, the little critter’s puppet mechanism still works great. In the above video, director Stephen Norrington — of Blade fame and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen infamy — explains the craft that went into making the revised Chestburster for James Cameron’s 1986 sequel. Norrington worked on Aliens as a special effects engineer,and in this video produced by the Stan Winston School for Character arts he muses on the lifelike mimicry of Chesty. The takeaway here? Even without its skin, which I’m guessing the remaining remnants of melted away sometime around 1990, the puppet is still striking to watch. Its organic nature is another check in the column of practical effects over CGI, but I’ll leave you all to debate that in the comments while I prep the next post.