With The Lights On, Aliens Ain’t That Scary!

With The Lights On, Aliens Ain’t That Scary!

Rarely seen behind the scenes photos destroy the horror of Jim Cameron’s Aliens.

Aliens, directed by James Cameron and released in 1986, was the more action focused sequel to Alien. Featuring a strong Vietnam War motif, the film told the story of Ripley and a squad of over confident marines who take on aliens, not realizing what they are going to encounter.

In the film, the marines visit the huge atmosphere processing plant that has been set up on the planet of LV-426. Obviously this couldn’t be built in real life and production moved to Acton Lane Power Station in West London.

Acton Power station was active until 1983. The Aliens‘ production team would’ve been filming there sometime in 1985.

Acton Lane Power Station as it looked in 1969.

Talented set designers got to work to give the power stations internal structures some upgrades to give it a more futuristic feel. They also built the entrance to the alien hive as well as fixing dummies and skeletons to the walls to represent the alien’s victims.

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This of course looked amazing on screen but when the lights are all turned on, as seen in these photos, it really demonstrates the power of good direction and lighting when used properly in film. It frankly looks like a rather poor haunted house in these lighting conditions.

These photos were found on Imgur, posted by user DeanoSauruz in August 2015. The included text reads,

My friends father recently showed us these images he captured while working as an electrician at Acton Lane Power Station. These are NEVER before seen…until now of course

Photographer: Christopher Archer


Here’s an extra bit of trivia for you. Tim Burton’s Batman from 1989 was also filmed at the same location. In fact some of the more eagle eyed amongst you may even spot the same walkways that were used in both films.

It was also revealed that when the Batman crew arrived at Acton Lane Power Station three years after Aliens, all of this set decoration was still in place and untouched!

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John Abbitt

About the author | John Abbitt

@UKFilmNerd | John loves film, and he used to write for his own website, The Tydirium Hangar Bay, in the late 1990s. Whilst that website became lost in the passages of time, John's love of film did not. He's back, writing for The Unheard Nerd.