Hello again, I’m Adam and welcome to Day 15 of my 31 Days Of Horror, and tonight it’s Alien Cubed! Once again, we’re jumping in with the sequels this time round, as I’ve covered by Alien and Aliens on my blog in the last two years of doing this, so, uh, yeah. Guess I’m on this one now.
Do you remember Aliens? You know, the eighties action blockbuster-come-sci-fi-horror that blew everyone away? The one where the heroes blast their way to freedom, with Ripley and her friends settling in for a new life of optimism and peace?
Yeah, well, forget it. Alien To The Power Of Three kicks off by revealing that EVERYONE IS DEAD. Fuck everything. Well, I say everyone, there is one survivor on board the escape pod – Ellen Ripley, who, from her perspective, is having the worst week of her life right now. The pod crash-lands on Fury 161, a penal colony and metal foundry on a desolate rock somewhere in deep space.
The colony is home to the deranged, the desperate and the mad – all made up of the finest and most recognisable British actors of the time. Things take a quick turn for the worse, however, when it is revealed that there was another survivor on board the escape pod – one with more malicious intent. Free to roam the colony, this face hugger latches onto the first thing it finds – Spike – a rottweiler – or, if you’re watching the special edition, Babe! The oxen.
Whatever happens, the creature that bursts out of the insert four legged creature here, is a little different to what we’re used to. Stuck with a band of inmates, on a desolate rock, with no hope for survival, with a running xenomorph after her, things are looking bleak.
Too bleak for most audiences, as it happens. Alien The Third is fairly universally hated, as films go. It’s dark, it’s depressing, and it’s all just a bit… disappointing. You can blame the studio involvement for that. David Fincher is credited as the Director, not that he would like to be, as the production is said to be a nightmare.
There is an Assembly Cut of the film, which goes some way to improving it, but man. Not even the truly exceptional performances of actors like Charles Dance, Brian Glover or, of course, Sigourney Weaver, is enough to make this an enjoyable watch. That opening still turns my stomach like it did the first time I saw it, but hey, maybe that’s the point.
I’d stick to the 1979 Alien, myself. See you tomorrow!