Alien 3, or Alien Cubed as I often call it, is my least favourite Alien film. And this includes AVP and actually… wait… AVP Requiem could be worse, I apparently just unblocked memory of that film. Well if nothing else, Requiem was technically horrendous in that you can barely see what’s happening throughout the film, but I’ll put a pin in that; now is the time to complain about Alien Cubed.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen it and as you can guess from the paragraph above I’m not fond of the prospect of re-watching it. Keep reading to find out whether I did or just complained about it from memory. Hey, even I don’t know the answer.
Right, so after the end of Aliens, we have four survivors including Bishop, but why bother keeping those characters around? Everyone but Ripley dies! Their craft crashes and everyone else’s stasis pod is destroyed.
Fortunately they land on an inhabited planet, that planet being an all male prison colony, so we have a dower tone going already that will persist throughout. Oh, I’m sorry, it wasn’t just Ripley that survived but a facehugger that was also inexplicably on board.
Here’s where I’d get a bit iffy on the details (more so the sequence of events but in the grand scheme of things I don’t think it matters too much).
The all-male prison colony is all but abandoned and there’s only one or two administrators there. There are two prominent prisoners, one serving as the colony’s doctor and one as the religious leader. The majority follow a religious doctrine of abstinence, making them all pissy about Ripley being there.
I watched the director’s cut which, given the nature of the xenomorph in it, makes less sense. In the theatrical cut, it gestates within a dog but in the director’s cut it’s in a cow. This just doesn’t make sense given the nature of the alien in the film. It’s smaller than the prior films’ xenos and is almost always on all fours. The all fours makes sense whether cow or dog, but the size and some of its mannerisms leads you to think it would make more sense in a dog than a cow.
Probably more important is that it’s hard to find the alien intimidating as it’s in CGI! It looks horrendously out of place and terribly integrated with the scenery.
At one point Ripley reactivates the remains of Bishop only to find out that there were two facehuggers in their ship. And somehow, inexplicably, one of them got to Ripley while she was in stasis. Somehow it got into the pod without interrupting the sleep or being affected by its mechanisms at all. This bugs me so much that it’s never explained.
And now it’s a matter of Ripley’s death being inevitable. Also, SOMEHOW they know it’s a queen gestating within her. This is also never explained.
It culminates with the death of the alien followed by the arrival of Weyland Yutani folk looking for Ripley. They also somehow know of the alien in Ripley, offering a surgical removal to keep her alive. She denies the offer, dropping herself into a vat of molten metal to avoid the Xenos being weaponised by capitalism. Amidst all the other nonsense, at least it’s a noble way to end the series.
What are your thoughts? Is Alien 3 as bad as you remember? Let me know in the comments!