Private First Class Daniel Spunkmeyer was a Cheyenne dropship Crew Chief with the United States Colonial Marines. He was the dropship co-pilot and was dispatched as part of a squad to investigate the sudden loss of communication of the Hadley’s Hope colony. He was killed after a Xenomorph stowed away on board the dropship and killed him and Captain Ferro. Spunkmeyer appears in the 1986 film Aliens and is played by Daniel Kash.
Mission to Hadley’s Hope
In 2179, after contact is lost with the Hadley’s Hope colony, a team of Colonial Marines is dispatched to investigate LV-426 along with Carter Burke and Ellen Ripley. When the Sulaco reached LV-426, they exited hypersleep. Spunkmeyer listened to Ripley outlining the mission. As the Marines prepared for the mission in the cargo bay, Spunkmeyer was loading ammunition into the dropship using a Power Loader. He took his place next to Captain Ferro as the dropship copilot.
The other Marines boarded the APC and into the dropship and dropped down into Hadley’s Hope. While the other Marines secured the complex, Spunkmeyer and Ferro stayed in the air to provide air cover. Once the complex was secured, Ferro landed the dropship and Spunkmeyer delivered supplies to Bishop who was studying the Facehugger specimens.
The squad realised that all the colonists had been taken to the Atmosphere Processing Plant and the squad set off in the APC to investigate. Spunkmeyer and Ferro remained in the complex. After the chaos battling the Xenomorphs in the hive, Corporal Hicks and the other survivors escaped the hive in the APC. Hicks called on Ferro to pick them up in the dropship. They were planning to evacuate Acheron and nuke the site from orbit.
Ferro ordered Spunkmeyer back into the dropship. As he came aboard, he discovered some slime on the cargo ramp. Spunkmeyer never made it to the cockpit and it is assumed he was killed outright or incapacitated by the Xenomorph. The Xenomorph appeared in the cockpit and killed Ferro, causing the dropship to crash onto the surface.
Personality and Traits
Spunkmeyer was an important member of the squad, being the copilot for the dropship. He was also capable of using the Power Loader to move supplies.
Weapons & Equipment
He wore a standard-issue USCM flight suit and flak jacket. In terms of weapons, he carried a Heckler & Koch VP70.
Actor Daniel Kash originally read for the role of Private Hudson.
The final dialogue spoken by Spunkmeyer after discovering the slime on the dropship was not actually spoken by Daniel Kash. When it came time to do ADR in post-production, Kash was in a play so James Cameron acquired another actor to record the dialogue.
There’s a deleted scene where Spunkmeyer wakes up from hypersleep, he says “I’m too old for this shit” – a line made famous by Danny Glover in the Lethal Weapon series.
You can read more about Kash’s experience on Aliens, by reading our Daniel Kash Interview.
Aliens Novelization (1986 Novel)
In Alan Dean Foster’s novelization of Aliens, Spunkmeyer appears like in the film.
Aliens: Bug Hunt (2017 Novel)
Spunkmeyer appears in a short story in the 2017 anthology novel Aliens: Bug Hunt. In the story Blowback, this is a mission before Aliens where Corporal Dietrich and her squad including Spunkmeyer are dispatched to a toxic world to kill indigenous lifeforms.
- In James Cameron’s original treatment of Aliens, Spunkmeyer is called Hay.