Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The One Where I Scream A Lil Bit At The Alien 3 Detractors

Alien 3 and I go way back.

Waaayyy back.

It all began with me buying a series of comics (Dark Horse), that in hindsight the Newsagent should never had sold me. It was full on gore.

Then in 1992, my Dad kindly took me to the Point cinema, in Bracknell. He went to see Alien 3, and I went to see California Man.

I saw Alien 3 on a pirate VHS the same night I saw Childs Play 3.

Then, on a magical Xmas morning, much to my surprise, Dad had got my a proper VHS copy of it...

Cue stomach churning...

I still get it in situations where Dad and I go to the cinema. Maybe it's my guilt racking up - or the fact I've got even more into my movies since being a kid, that I was worried the enjoyment of seeing films like that would be plastered all over my face.

The truth is, it was a watershed moment in my watching films. A point where Dad decided I was old enough to own my own VHS of an 18 movie. (And a video game)

And ever since, I'll defend Alien 3 to the hilt.

I'm watching both versions of this, during my Alien marathon.

The reason is simple. They are two totally different films.

The opening crash landing in the movie is very tastefully done. Lots of fade to black. (And never looking sharper, by the way - the transfer is class).

In the Directors Cut - the whole thing is given room to breath.

Charles Dance's character is given a proper intro, and maybe explains his infatuation with Ripley. For a start, she is found on the beach, covered in lice. Not only does this justify the hair cut, I know they mention it in the cinema release, but the effects are really good - and, as with most other scenes, it should never have been cut.

The problem is, the total running time is bumped up to 2hrs 35, and that's too much for the average cinema goer - although it's worth noting the DC of Aliens is about the same.

There's little doubting that the wooden planet idea would have been worth pursuing (Monks on a planet/monastery, made entirely of wood - you can see some elements survived.) But the truth is, this film had to be how it is. It had to be this glorious failure. One, it sent the undeniably talented Fincher onto to do Seven (Next on my list to watch, me thinks). Secondly it is effectively to blame for killing the franchise.

I've thought about it quite a bit - and I'm not quite sure how you could top Alien and Aliens. It had to go a different route altogether, and I'm sure there will be (small) elements I still like seeing in Resurrection, when I watch that next.

Clearly from an ending stand point it made it difficult to carry the series on (Fincher flicking V's at Fox, after a torrid time on his first film?). As well as that, we get the birth of a new Alien.

Weirdly, I'm OK with it here. My thoughts on the PredALien are well known, and I'll never (ever) forgive Fox for going that route.

Here, in the original, we get a Dog burster. Beautifully played out as the funeral of Newt and Hicks goes on - which in itself suggests Ripleys fate.

It seems the Alien will take on elements of it's host. What's really intriguing, and why you must watch the DC, is that in that version it is an Ox that it bursts from.

That's fascinating that two versions of the same story were kicking around - and it really gives you an idea of what must have been going on on that set.

I still think Fincher has had the last laugh. Seven, Fight Club and Zodiac show he is one of the most talented Directors around. Throw in Social Network, and he turns (almost) everything to gold.

I also have a nagging feeling about the new Alien prequels, detailed here. Space jockeys as sex slaves? In fact, gay sex slaves?? In 3-D???

I have a bad feeling that they may tarnish the "franchise" (gurh), even more.

What would I do? Give it to Fincher, and let him reinvent the series.


Anonymous said...


Of all the one's to go gaga about you chose Alien 3.

Even 'Resurection' was better than that.

Just think though, if the theme park in the Trocadero had been open that day in London, what a fine time we could have had. I just wanted to be a marine, even for a short while......

@maverick99sback said...

Haha - "gaga"?? *shakes fist!*

You need to watch the Directors Cut of 3 and eat your words.

And you need to re-watch the Reborn in Resurrection.

And you need to get a Google account.

And you...