This is not a joke. I have for the past several years dreamed of mounting a full-scale, Times Square quality musical production of Alien vs. Predator. Ask around, people know this about me. I’m talking full costumes, giant puppets, singing, dancing, the works! The difficulty being I don’t have the resources or the connections to make this happen. However, I just watched Julie & Julia the other night, so I figure if some gal (played by Amy Adams) can capture the hearts and minds of middle America’s amateur blog enthusiasts, then tarnation why can’t I? Not to mention that I also recently meditated on a Julia vs. Predator spin off where Julia Childs (played by Meryl Streep) dons jungle camo and apron to match wits and culinary skills against outer space’s most dangerous hunter, but first things first.
Here is the pitch people of the world, I will periodically post on this blog details of why Alien vs. Predator is uniquely adapted for musical theater. I believe that over time I can convince you that not only would such a project be relevant entertainment (probably even profitable *wink*), but also how our culture as a whole could be enriched by the endeavor.
Then, you the public, if convinced, can offer support in whatever way you can. This could be as small as an encouraging comment and telling a friend about the project, or as large as committing money or time to making this a reality.
I know you’re skeptical, but I also know I can sway you. Inside my floppy head is a majestic vision, the details of which can lead to—with your help—the most spectacular science fiction musical epic since Cats!
The focus of this first post will be to convince any naysayers of my passion and commitment. A project of this scale succeeds or fails on the conviction of its leader.
My Personal History with Alien vs. Predator
I have been a relatively unapologetic fan of the Alien vs. Predator franchise since I first played the 1994 Capcom arcade game. There was something inexplicably magic about the combination of the Alien and Predator creatures. They seemed to have a shared energy that made their union undeniably appropriate (more on this later in Alien vs. Predator: Gender Politics). My hometown didn’t have a video game arcade, but on occasion my mother would drive almost two hours to the nearest mall, you know for mall-things like novelty t-shirts at Spencer’s Gifts, or some Panda Express. I would sneak off to the mall’s arcade because it was dark in there and I looked like this as a kid. If I was lucky, we would be there for the Lens Crafters to update my glasses prescription. On these ventures I could easily spend over $20 in quarters on the game in that hour it took to make the lenses. The whole time they had the game, I played it almost exclusively, the day that they replaced it with some Tekken game, I was pretty distraught. Though ultimately it was probably for the best since staring at a flashing lit up screen for that much time was only going to make my Lens Crafters appointments more frequent.
The game, if you haven’t played it, is what I understand is referred to as a “brawler” style game. You beat up a bunch of Aliens then some more come and you beat them up, and that continues until you’re broke, it was so great I really wish I could play it right now. You could be one of the two human marines, though I can’t imagine why, or one of two Predator characters. Click here if you want to watch some guy play it for an hour.
Another thing my hometown didn’t have was a comic book store. “The Safeway” (for east coasters, that is like “Stop & Shop;” for west coasters, yes, they really have a grocery store called “Stop & Shop”) did offer an inconsistent collection of comic books among the fashion mags. By fate or by luck they did end up carrying the Alien vs. Predator comic book, or at least three of a five comic series and not exactly in order. I bought them thought they were genius. A loyalist, I have refused to return and re-read the original comics and risk changing my mind as to their quality. Through some wheeling and dealing (in a time when buying stuff off the internet was still considered a little lewd) I got some trade paperbacks of Alien vs. Predator: War and Alien vs. Predator: The Deadliest of Species (a strangely post-modern meditation on issues of identity, who knew). Not completely understanding what gave comic books worth, I read both books wearing rubber gloves and turning the pages with tweezers, I’m not kidding. So certain was I that I had discovered something genius and precious with Alien vis-à-vis Predator that I had no doubt that these books could only accrue more and more wealth. I could retire on these things. That was why I forced my parents to store them in their fireproof safe next to the firearms, also true.
In these ways and others, the Alien/Predator franchise enriched my adolescent life. In a later post, Alien vs. Predator: Box Office Poison, I’ll touch on how attempts to take the franchise to the big screen butchered my memories and made my inner 11-year-old cry with shame for ever liking that stupid video game. It’s been a long road to recovery; I need this musical to be whole again.
Long story short, don’t you want to help that far-sighted, uncomfortable pre-teen boy inside all of us conquer his demons and overcome his social alienation with the one thing every little boy needs, a high budget musical production? It’s time to heal.