When James Cameron was still relatively cool, he made this terrifying piece of sci-fi creature porn. That is to say, he made a highly suspenseful sequel to one of the scariest space horror movies ever (Ridley Scott’s 1979 Alien) and turned it into a pretty good action film as well. Where the first film had just one creature stalking a small crew on one small spacecraft, Cameron’s sequel has a whole nest of the double-mouthed, acid-blooded, slimy beasts, including a gigantic queen alien whose birth canal scene is truly a stomach-turning experience.

When Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is called upon to investigate a colony that seems to have disappeared on the very planet that spawned the egg that the first alien came from, she is thrown into a hive of the creatures. This time, however, she’s got a lot more weaponry (and Marines) to back her up, and the head-to-head she has in store for her with the alien queen is one of cinema’s great battle scenes. This one will make you jump in your seat and rethink any desire you thought you might have had to explore space.

Aliens (1986)
Friday, September 2; Saturday, September 3; and Sunday, September 4
Midnight (both nights)
IFC Center
323 Sixth Ave., New York
Tickets $13