Alien 3 (1992)

Alien 3 (1992), directed by David Fincher.

It is an old dilemma: when working with a series or within a film genre, do you make more of the same or try something new? You can't please everyone. Especially the fans.

With the "Alien" series the producers definitely went with the something different each time approach, using different directors and writers for each film. The results:

No one seemed very happy with the third entry at the time. The problems:

In my first viewing of the 2003 re-edit (the "Assembly Cut") I remember thinking it started and ran quite a bit better than the theatrical version, until that last confused act of running around in the foundry maze, which was just as confusing as before. Now after a rewatch: I begin to like it more and it seems less eccentric, more mainstream SF/horror than before, if still unfortunate in some of the plot and tonal choices.

The theatrical cut seemed like a blunt abortion metaphor: Ripley is forced to bear a monster child for the damned patriarchal Company. You can find hints of this in the other films of the series; it seems toned down in the re-cut. It helps that they omit the bit where her unholy monster-child bursts from her chest as she falls to her death. That was strange and out of place.

I also appreciate the craftsmanship and cinematography of the production more now. The film is so dark it pays to watch it on a bright panel.

A lot of familiar faces in the British crew, all bald. This is one of Charles Dance's more humane roles; usually he is rigid and severe.

Photographed by Alex Thomson (Excalibur (1981), Legend (1985), Labyrinth (1986)). Score by Elliot Goldenthal (Michael Collins (1996)).

Available on Blu-ray. My thumbnails are from the "2003 Special Edition" cut in the "Alien Anthology" box-set.

Part of the gang commentary track is from the theatrical release version and doesn't quite fit. They all praise young David Fincher and say he did a good job directing his first feature film. He has renounced the project did not participate in the Assembly Cut or home video extras.

It was a "troubled" production, implying a world of hurt, although the commentators say it was a happy shoot. They are proud of the practical effects and pre-digital filming.

Finally, according to the wikipedia, research on XYY syndrome is somewhat contentious but there does not seem to be a correlation with aggression or sexual violence, however useful that might be to screenwriters.