Aliens: Ride at the Speed of Fright was a motion-simulation ride based on the film Aliens. It operated in San Francisco in 1994 and was also run in the United Kingdom, where it was still being shown in October of 1995. An interactive movie ride, it consisted of a film presentation linked to motion-simulation seats that would move, vibrate and jolt in an effort to fool the viewer that they were actively experiencing events being shown on the screen.
The ride was produced by Praxis Films in association with Iwerks Entertainment. The American version was shown at the TurboRide Simulation Theater at Pier 39, while the version in the United Kingdom was an attraction at the American Adventure theme park in Derbyshire, England.
The attraction was roughly 20 minutes long, evenly divided between the introductory movie and the ride itself. Both the film and ride footage consisted of stock footage taken from Aliens (chiefly model shots of ships and vehicles or close-ups of Xenomorphs) combined with original footage filmed especially for the ride. The introductory movie consisted primarily of an original scene set aboard the Conestoga-class ship New Jersey and featuring a cast of Colonial Marine characters, while the ride segment included many original model shots as well as further brief scenes with the Marine charters. The lead Marine character, Hyer, was played by actor Jeffrey Combs, known for his work in the cult horror franchise Re-Animator and who would later go on to have recurring roles in several Star Trek series.
The Colonial Marine costumes are based loosely on the outfits worn by the Marines in Aliens, albeit with what appears to be British DPM pattern camouflage clothing replacing the safarilague used in the film. However, the Marines' armor seems to be a replica of the M3 Pattern Personal Armor used in Aliens. Notably, the Marines are not armed with the iconic M41A Pulse Rifle in the ride footage, but instead carry the same customized Muzzelite MZ14 Bullpup rifles built for the 1990 film Total Recall, which coincidentally starred Predator's Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The ride began with a short introductory film that established the situation and plot — an escape shuttle carrying a lone Colonial Marine named Hyer is recovered by his ship, the New Jersey, and once aboard Hyer informs his superior officer that his unit was ambushed by Xenomorphs during what was supposed to be routine reconnaissance mission on the planet Tekeah-3. Overwhelmed by hundreds of the hostile creatures, Hyer's squad activated a nuclear bomb on a ten-hour timer to sterilize the planet before attempting to escape. However, during their retreat, the squad's APC crashed and was badly damaged. Many of the Marines were killed or injured, with Hyer the only one to escape. Finding the unit's dropship destroyed, he instead located an emergency shuttle at the colony and fled into space.
Determined not to leave wounded men behind, Hyer's superior officer decides to return to Tekeah-3 with a second squad of Marines, hoping to find and rescue the missing men before the nuclear failsafe detonates. Despite Hyer's fear and reluctance, he is ordered to accompany the team, being the only one who knows where the wounded men are likely to be found. The Sergeant leading the squad tells his men — and the viewer — to board their APC and buckle in, before the ride itself begins.
The ride starts with the dropship plummeting towards the colony. According to AvPGalaxy user Corporal Hicks, "If I recall correctly the chair shakes to simulate the turbulence until you land and the APC drives out." From this point on you're in the APC, as if you're the driver. The riders "drive" through the interior of the colony complex, avoiding various obstacles and mounting debris (the chair moving to simulate) until the APC arrives at the wreckage of A-squad's APC.
B-squad gets out and carries the wounded marines into their APC while fending off an Alien attack. The Marines then pull out of the complex in the APC. After crashing down a hole, the APC arrives in the Queen's lair and using the turret manages to kill her. The APC then uses the turrets again to blast a hole to the outside and escapes, making it back onto the dropship in time. As the dropship heads back into orbit, the bomb detonates, then a Facehugger drops into frame.
- Two of the Marines in B-squad are obviously based on Apone and Vasquez from Aliens; as well as remarkably similar personalities, the squad's Sergeant and the unnamed female Marine wear almost identical outfits to their movie counterparts.
- Both the introductory movie and the ride footage are included on the Anthology Archives disc of the Alien Anthology Blu-ray box set.
- American Cinematographer, Vol. 77 #8 contained an article on the ride.
- Alien Legend - Rides -- Aliens: Ride at the Speed of Fright
- Aliens - Ride at the Speed of Fright - AvPGalaxy
- Aliens: Ride at the Speed of Fright (1996) - IMDb
- Read "Aliens: Ride at the Speed of Fright" by Robley, Les Paul - American Cinematographer, Vol. 77, Issue 8, August 1996 | Questia, Your Online Research Library
- Weyland-Yutani Archives: Aliens: Ride at the Speed of Fright