Who’s in the mood for a holiday dedicated to bloodthirsty space creatures? Film studio 20th Century Fox has declared April 26th “Alien Day.” Named after planet LV 426 where the doomed crew of mining vessel Nostromo first encountered the deadly creatures, April 26th is now an annual excuse to watch all of the “Alien” films in one day—not that we really need an excuse to do that. The movie studio has planned to unveil all kinds of great xenomorph-centric merchandise—Those Reeboks, right?—in honor of Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi masterpiece that kicked off one of the greatest franchises of all time. The news is in the same vein as Fox’s declaration of “Back to the Future” day in October of last year.
In honor of this landmark event, purveyors of fine geekery such as Dark Horse Comics, Neca, Funko and Loot Crate will be releasing exclusive merchandise to pay homage to the acid-blooded beasts. The Alamo Draft House will be taking “Alien” and “Aliens” on the road to select cities for special screenings, complete with exclusive collectibles, and Audible has also jumped on board, releasing a multicast dramatization called “Alien: Out of the Shadows.” The audio dramatization hearkens back to the days of Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” if Welles wasn’t limited to using sawblades and wind chimes for sound effects. In addition to a stellar voice cast that includes Rutger Hauer, Matthew Lewis and Kathryn Drysdale, the sound effects and pacing make this feel pretty damn visceral.
The story takes place between the first two “Alien” films, and follows a miner named Chris Hooper, whose crew is gathering a valuable substance called trimonite on planet LV 178. Not only do they discover a hive of our favorite dual-jawed extraterrestrials, but a capsule containing Ellen Ripley, fresh from her nightmare on the Nostromo, which crashes into their ship.
I’m often skeptical of these extended universe stories that take place between the established canon—why doesn’t Ripley mention anything about this experience in “Aliens?”—but based on the small audio clip that you can listen to below, it sounds like an exciting and aurally violent production. In addition to acid splatters, shrieking and plasma torches, the clip has some NSFW language—everything you need in a sci-fi/horror story. If you like what you hear, check out Audible to pick up your very own copy of the dramatization, and happy Alien Day!