The Curator of Schlock #417: Alien 3 (The Assembly Cut)

I walked softly on the hardwood floor of The Fifth Cord exhibit, the Revenging Manta trailing close behind. It was then that I saw the most horrifying sight. One of the punks that had taken over The Museum of Schlock had vandalized the centerpiece of the room, a marble bust of the great Franco Nero. They’d spray painted his hair red and his face white. A bright cherry grin was splattered over his mouth. They’d turned Franco Nero into Ronald McDonald!

These filth held nothing sacred.

— To be continued.


Life is full of disappointments. Back in 1992, Alien 3 released in theaters on May 22, one day after my birthday. I expected to see more terrifying adventures with Ripley, Newt, and Hicks as they faced off against the deadly Aliens once again. Instead I got a turd of a sequel that I never bothered to watch again until last night. Why did I watch it again after all these years? Because there’s an Alien 3 Special Edition that promises to fix all that is wrong with the original film.

Known as the Assembly Cut, this new edition adds about another thirty minutes to Alien 3. We get added scenes and changed scenes. Director David Fincher refused any participation with this new cut as he’s still angry over the studio’s interference with the theatrical version over thirty years ago. Why re-tarnish what has turned out to be a great directorial career?

From what I’ve heard, Murphy’s Law was in effect on this production. I think famed science fiction writer William Gibson even turned in a screenplay that was eventually rejected by the studio in favor of whatever the heck the movie turned out to be.

I still don’t like this movie. We still have a dead Newt and a dead Hicks. We still have a prison colony with a bunch of grody prisoners with shaved heads. They still have British accents and are still hyper religious. The only standouts are Charles Dance as Clemens, a disgraced prison doctor, and Charles S. Dutton as Dillon, the prison preacher. Honestly, all of the other prisoners just look alike to me. Maybe it’s all those shaved heads and burlap sack clothes they wear.

And then we have the Alien which gestates out of the carcass of an ox as opposed to a dog in the theatrical version. Apparently, the Alien assumes the attributes of the host it hatches from so this one runs around on four legs and is super fast. That’s kind of dumb and doesn’t make any sense to me, but whatever. Maybe this new rule was created to sell action figures. You could have a bear Alien and a leopard Alien. Just imagine the possibilities.

Bishop (Lance Henriksen) still dies. Yes, he’s an android, but he was still a character we cared about and he just asks Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) to disconnect him because he’ll “never be top of the line again.” And if you’re thinking Ripley makes it out of this new cut alive, you’d be sadly mistaken. She still makes the ultimate sacrifice so the Weyland Corporation doesn’t get their hands on the Alien Queen growing inside her. And that’s that.

This movie still doesn’t hold up. The direction and set design are second to none, but what we have here is a morose picture that doesn’t excite or engage and newly-introduced characters that I don’t care about. And the Assembly Cut is a half hour longer and I kept watching the time, waiting for this to end.


Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131episode 284episode 441episode 442episode 443, episode 444episode 450, episode 477episode 491episode 492, episode 493episode 495episode 496episode 545episode 546episode 547episode 548episode 549, and episode 575) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

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