It's nigh impossible to market toys based on the Aliens franchise. Acid-blooded xenological killing machines + chortling happy moppets = unintentionally hilarious commercials for us...and a lifetime worth of grief counseling for anyone under 10.
What's so plum absurd about the following commercials is that they more or less try to turn the pants-poopingly scifi/body/isolation horror film icon into The Great Gazoo from The Flintstones. Future anthropologists will look back at these ads, massage their nine chins, and muse, "Hmm, a savage culture they were. Children's play centered on acid mutilation and the demonization of the vagina."
(PS: I'm assuming that in the eyes of many a child, the above device wasn't a plaything, but an unenviable alternative to not finishing one's tuna tetrazzini.)
These kids are so dead and they don't even know it. Notice how their idea of a suitable alien evasion plan involve leaving the blinds ajar and paralyzing him with a reading lamp. Had they seen the R-rated movie (which they didn't), they would've known that their only hope was to curl into balls like little anthropomorphic shepherd's pies and pray that the alien was full from eating their parents. The children are also lucky that this particular alien is less concerned with devouring them and more preoccupied with strong-arming them off their property. He's on par with a corrupt landlord or the evil rich guy from Roadhouse.
Wow, Kenner. Not only do you relegate the world's most famous female action hero to sidekick status, you put her in a pink shirt. Also notice that the black space marine is the only one to get a face full of acid.
What I love about this ad are the space marines' comically impractical ways of killing the aliens. Ripley's M.O. of dressing up as a futuristic forklift is a terrible idea, but at least she's gutsy. Atax's xenomorph Mata Hari modus is 100% unnecessary - is it even possible to spy on aliens? I'm no physicist, but something tells me mounting a RPG on Atax's forehead will dogshank Simply Red's cervical vertebrae into next week. Also, the EVAC fighter could use a few more missiles and one less giant snow globe.
I could probably find this 1990s ad in English, but I prefer it in Spanish. It reminds me of all those movies in the 1970s in which Santo the luchador teamed up with Wolfman and Frankenstein to fight Charo and Señor Wences.
Dear Robert Rodriguez and Nimród Antal,
If you cannot squeeze the Whipping Dreadlock Predator into Predators, at least give him a director's cut cameo when you make Predatrio.
(I also love the incredulous expression on Spike Tail's face as he gets oozed. He expected a horrible death by evisceration but instead suffered a mild embarrassment on some low-budget alien version of "You Can't Do That On Television.")
What the hell? Did two people just die in this commercial? Name the last time a flesh-and-blood person died in a commercial you were you watching. You can't, because that's an insane marketing strategy. I posit that the alien is courting the guy's mother, and the kid freaked out because he has abandonment issues and is afraid to let a new male role model into his life. Look, back in the 1990s Atari Jaguars didn't grow on trees. It was an over-extravagant birthday gift from the kid's real dad. Pops obviously feels guilty about sleeping with his secretary.
[Top photo via When Is Evil Cool?]