Alien 3 (1992): For a lot of people, one of the most hated of the Alien films. After Aliens, fans were upset that their favorite characters like Newt and Hicks were killed off. Critics hated it.
“Alien3 takes admirable risks with franchise mythology, but far too few pay off in a thinly scripted sequel whose stylish visuals aren’t enough to enliven a lack of genuine thrills.”
No thrills, no adrenaline-pumping action, no memorable snappy one-liners from Hudson, no colorful characters.
Instead we get drab browns, dark shadows, slow music, slow plot, characters with no moral value that we can admire or cheer for. It’s no wonder no one liked it. For the mass market audience that craves thrills, action, suspense, clear heroes and villains, and humor all wrapped up in a happy ending, they got ripped off. Everyone dies in this one, even Ripley. No one is worth redeeming. There are no heroes in this one. Fans were depressed and angry.
But I loved it! The story of Ellen Ripley is a tragedy. Alien was a horror film, like Halloween. Aliens was an action-thriller, no horror at all. Alien 3 was back to horror but a Gothic Horror flick, like Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Jack the Ripper.
It is a different kind of movie and you have to be in a certain mood to watch it. What it lacks in pulse-pounding action and thrills, it has in gravitas. It is somber, moody, dark. It has plenty of killing and plenty of blood, much more than the original Alien. It is Gothic in tone, pace, and feeling. What is Gothic? A style of fiction characterized by the use of desolate or remote settings and macabre, mysterious, or violent incidents. It is brooding. And it is poetic:
“Why? Why are the innocent punished? Why the sacrifice? Why the pain? There aren’t any promises. Nothing certain. Only that some get called, some get saved.”
“You’re all gonna die. The only question is how you check out. Do you want it on your feet? Or on your fuckin’ knees… begging? I ain’t much for begging!”
And I love Andrews, the prison warden:
Andrews: We’re 25 prisoners in this facility. All double-Y chromos. All thieves, rapists, murderers, child-molesters. All scum. Just because they have taken on religion doesn’t make them any less dangerous. I try not to offend their convictions. I don’t want to upset the order. I don’t want ripples in the water. And I don’t want a woman walking around, giving them ideas…
Ripley: I see. For my own personal safety…
An under-rated, divergent film. But not for everyone and not for the mindless masses.
“It was a dragon! Feeds on minds, it does. Nobody can stop it!” 😈
Ming Duk – Worlds of Tomorrow