Only now does it occur to me... that Michael Biehn and Bill Paxton were good 'ole boy soldier cronies back in 1983, three years before ALIENS.
Based on a novel by Pat Conroy that I read for a high school English class, THE LORDS OF DISCIPLINE is set at a Citadel-esque military academy on the cusp of the Civil Rights era.
Biehn and Paxton play a couple of classic asshole hazer bullies who usually torment the weakest of the new guys
Paxton (far left) and Biehn (second from left) do their thing.
and enacting hardcore harassments, like turning the fat guy into Paxton's personal piggy bank.
Things take a turn for the worse when the school admits its first-ever black cadet, and Biehn and Paxton (along with a shadowy organization called "The Ten," that seems like a blend of the KKK and Yale's Skull and Bones) begin a torturous, drawn-out persecution of the black guy, who's only friend on campus is David Keith (unfortunately, not Keith David).
Biehn chomps the scenery, trying to outdo Paxton's crazy face.
The culmination of all this is probably the scene where Paxton and Biehn sing with the full company of cadets and proceed in a behavior I can only describe as trying to "Out-Dixie" one another. Well done.
Also, Paxton is credited as "Wild" Bill Paxton. It's too bad that didn't stick!
Anyway, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, and one which continued in THE TERMINATOR (1984), ALIENS (1986), NAVY SEALS (1990), and TOMBSTONE (1993).
P.S. There's also a meaty character role (Colonel "Bear" Berrineau) for crotchety old man and cigar-chomping virtuoso Robert Prosky (GREMLINS 2, CHRISTINE). Always good to see ya, Mr. Prosky!