Alien Quadrilogy : Part 2

So now we look at the 3rd & 4th movies of the Alien franchise and these came out in the 90s. Alien 3 came out in 1992, following the events of Aliens and sees a returning Sigourney Weaver in her lead role as Ellen Ripley. This was the debut feature of director David Fincher and also stars Chales S Dutton, Charles Dance (papa Lannister from Game Of Thrones), Pete Postlethwaite & a small role for Lance Henriksen at the end.

The Sulaco malfunctions in space & experiences an onboard fire and launches an escape pod containing Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) along with Newt, Hicks, and the damaged  android Bishop. We find out that the malfunction was caused by a facehugger and it infectected one of them but we don’t know who. The pod crashes on Fiorina ‘Fury’ 161, a foundry facility and penal colony on an isolated & hostile planet inhabited by all-male inmates with histories of physical and sexual violence. Ripley is the only human who is found alive and is taken into the facility by some inmates. A dog belonging to the prison guards approaches the pod and is attacked by a facehugger. Ripey is cared for by the prison doctor, Clemens (Dance) who started out as an inmate himself and is told that the others have died. Many of the ex-inmates, led by Dillon, have embraced an  apocalyptic, millenarian version of Christianity. Ripley is warned by the prison warden, Harold Andrews, that her presence among them may have extremely disruptive effects. Fearful that Newt’s body might have an alien inside her, Ripley has Clemens do an autopsy on the dead girl but finds no evidence of the alien.

Meanwhile the prison dog nters convulsions, and a seemingly full-grown Alien bursts from its body and soon begins to pick off the guards one by one. Ripley meanwhile tries to reactivate the damaged Bishop who confirms that there was an Alien on the Sulaco and it came with them to Fiorina in the escape pod. Warden Andrews does not buy Ripley’s story of the alien and the threat it poses to the colony. With no weapons their only hope is the rescue ship being sent for Ripley by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. Clemens is killed by the alien but instead of killing Ripley it just pauses after being very close to her and then goes off. The warden is killed as Ripley goes to warn the others. The remaining guards, prisoners & Ripley pour highly flammable toxic waste, which is stored at the facility, into the ventilation system and ignite it to flush out the creature. sing the medical equipment aboard the Sulaco escape pod, Ripley scans herself and discovers the embryo of an Alien Queen growing inside her. She also finds out that the Corporation truly wants the Queen embryo and the adult Alien, hoping to turn them into biological weapons.  They form a plan to lure it into the foundry’s molding facility and drown it in molten lead by trapping it by closing a series of doors. The bait-and-chase style plan results in the death of Dillon and all the remaining prisoners, except Morse, who pours the lead. The Alien, covered in molten metal, escapes the mold and is killed by Ripley when she turns on fire sprinklers and sprays the beast with water, causing its exoskeleton to cool rapidly and shatter via thermal shock.

The Yutani-Weyland team have now arrived at the prison led by the real Bishop, who says he created the android in his image. He tries to convince Ripley  to undergo surgery and says that they will destroy the alien queen embryo in her and keep her safe. Ripley defies them by throwing herself into the gigantic furnace, just as the alien Queen begins to erupt from her chest. Ripley grabs the creature, holding on to it as she falls into the fire. The men lead the sole survivor Morse into their ship and they leave.

The 4th Alien movie came out in 1997 was directed by French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet, with a screenplay by Joss Whedon. Yep Joss Whedon! This was also the first Alien movie filmed outside England and was shot in Fox Studios lot in LA. Weaver returns again in the lead role joined by Winona Ryder, with Ron Perlman, Dominique Pinon, Brad Dourif, Leland Orser & Kim Flowers in supporting roles.

200 years after the events of Alien 3, military scientists on the outer space vessel USM Auriga have clones Ripley using DNA samples taken before her death. They extract the embryo of an Alien queen that had been growing inside her at the time of her death, raise it, and collect its eggs for further use. The Ripley clone is kept alive for further study. As a result of her DNA being mixed with the Alien’s during the cloning process, she develops enhanced strength and reflexes, acidic blood, and an empathic link with the Aliens. A group of mercenaries arrive on the Betty and dock with the Auriga, bringing with them several kidnapped humans in stasis pods. The military scientists, led by Dr. Gediman (Dourif) use the kidnapped humans as hosts for the Aliens, raising several adult Aliens for study. Call (Ryder) recognizes Ripley and tries to kill her believing she may be used to create more Aliens but is no match for the clone Ripley. The Aliens now fully mature escape from the lab damaging the Auriga and killing most of its crew. Alarming to Ripley and the rest is that the ship is now automatically headed for earth, due to a damage protocol.  Ripley, the mercenaries, Wren, a Marine named DiStefano (Raymond Cruz), and surviving Alien host Purvis (Orser)  decide to head for the Betty and use it to destroy the Auriga.

Several of the group are killed by the aliens including the mercenaries leader and his wife Sabra (Flowers) as they try to swim through a flooded section. Wren, betrays them and shoots Call and escapes through a hatch himself but she survives, revealing herself to be an android.  Using her ability to interface with the Auriga‘s systems, she sets it on a collision course with Earth, hoping to destroy the Aliens in the crash. On the Betty, Purvis holds a gun waving Wren’s  head to his chest just as the Alien embryo he is carrying bursts through his ribcage, causing it to go through Wren’s head and kill him. Meanwhile Ripley, having fallen through a hole in the floor, finds out that the alien queen has human abilities as well, in the form of a womb and can give birth to  live offspring without the need for eggs and human hosts. The resulting first offspring is a human alien hybrid, and much stronger than normal aliens, recognizes Ripley as its mother and kills the Alien queen and a captive Dr. Gediman. Ripley is able to make her way back to the Betty and the ship leaves but the hybrid alien catches up and hides in the cargo bay. It kills DiStefano and attacks Call but Ripley breaks a hole through a viewpane, causing the creature to be sucked violently through the hole and into the vacuum of space. The survivors escape in the Betty as the Auriga collides into Earth.

Alien 3 was panned badly by critics and most fans alike while Resurrection was given more positive reviews but I found them out to be about the same in quality with the storylines not offering me much to keep the interest alive. Still some aspects did have merit. I give Alien 3 a 6.5 outta 10 and Alien Resurrection a 7 outta 10!

Leave a Reply


*