‘That’s it, man. Game over, man. Game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?’
With those words Bill Paxton seared himself into the collective consciousness of geekdom. His performance of the frit marine Hudson in James Cameron’s classic Aliens (1986) is full of endlessly quotable lines, much of it ad-libbed by the actor himself if Hollywood legend is to be believed.
I’m obviously writing this in the sad knowledge of Bill Paxton’s passing on Saturday at the far too young age of 61. To the children of the VHS generation he’ll be forever remembered as the aforementioned Hudson, as well as in roles in other iconic films of the era such as Kathryn Bigelow’s wonderfully downbeat vampire noir Near Dark (1987), as the sociopathic Severen, and the histrionic Predator sequel, as the wisecracking Detective Jerry Lambert.
For my money though, Paxton’s finest hour is in his criminally underrated directorial debut Frailty (2001), where he also stars as the widower dad of two young boys who may or may not have been tasked by ‘angels’ to slay ‘demons’ that, of course, only he can see. Well worth checking out as part of the Bill Paxton tribute filmathon that I’m sure many of you are planning, that’s if you haven’t done so already of course?
So long Mr Paxton, and thanks for all the movies. You will be missed.