The 1992 science fiction horror film Alien 3 is distributed by 20th Century Fox. Its stars include Sigourney Weaver as Lt. Ellen Ripley, Charles S. Dutton as Dillon, Charles Dance as Clemens, Brian Glover as Superintendent Andrews, and Ralph Brown as Aaron. The producers are Gordon Carroll (Red Heat), David Giler (AVP: Alien vs. Predator), Walter Hill (AVP: Alien vs. Predator Requiem), Ezra Swerdlow (The Good Son), and Sigourney Weaver (Alien: Resurrection). The director is David Fincher (Se7en).
The film’s storyline picks up not long after the events of Aliens. Due to a fire aboard the starship Sulaco, Ripley and her companions are put into an escape pod and ejected from the ship while still in hypersleep. The pod crash lands on a remote prison planet known as Fiorina “Fury” 161 where the entire population is male. The lone survivor of the crash is Ripley. She quickly befriends the chief medical officer Clemens and he shows her what’s left of the escape pod. The lieutenant spots a burn mark on one of the cryotubes and demands that the doctor show her the bodies. After examining Newt’s corpse, she asks the medical officer to perform an autopsy. He reluctantly performs the autopsy and reveals nothing out of the ordinary. After Superintendent Andrews catches them doing an this unauthorized action, Ripley tells him that the bodies must be cremated. During the cremation ceremony, the prison dog Spike begins to give birth to another alien, oblivious to everyone else. It is later revealed that the prison has no weapons with which to fight the newborn alien. All the men and Ripley are now trapped on the planet with no way to defend themselves. In addition to all that, Ripley is beginning to show signs that she may herself be pregnant with an alien.
This entry into the Alien franchise is somewhat different from its predecessors. To begin with, we learn that a facehugger, the spider-like being that impregnates its host with the alien embryo, does not have to have a human victim in order to do it. The alien that the characters fight in this film was, in fact, born from a dog. As a result, it moves and acts somewhat differently than any of the previous ones Ripley has encountered. When an alien is born, it inherits many of the traits of its host which, up until now, have all been human.
Another difference is the amount of gore shown on-screen. In the previous two films, there had been relatively little gore visible. In this entry, the deaths are much more graphic. In Alien 3, there is a somewhat gruesome autopsy where we can hear the cutting tool tearing the skin and flesh off the bones. Next, we see a man sliced to bits after catching sight of the alien and also see his body parts all over that area. A man getting his head literally ripped off his body leaves a lot of blood and stunned viewers. Finally, we are treated to a man getting his brain eaten right out of the top of his head. It is pretty safe to say that if you are not a fan of gore, then you shouldn’t see this movie.
Throughout the late seventies and eighties, feminists hailed Ripley as one of the first female heroes in a successful film franchise. In this film, she actually shaves her head and, thus, looks more masculine than she had previously. Ripley has to because of a lice problem that Clemens had warned her about. But the script writers may have put this in to make the lieutenant seem tougher and more intimidating to viewers, which was the initial impression I had.
To wrap, Alien 3 is, in my personal opinion, more of a gorey horror film than a classic science fiction flick. But if you are a die-hard fan of the Alien franchise, then this entry you may enjoy!