ALIEN 3, from 1992, meant to conclude the series, and bad enough to nearly finish it off for good, carries a line of dialogue that sums up the whole ugly, dispiriting mess: “There’s no reason for any of it!”
Six years after the resounding smash of Aliens, this has the vessel carrying ‘Ellen Ripley’ (Sigourney Weaver) and the three survivors of the previous mission crash onto the barren planet ‘Fiorina “Fury” 161’, home to an all-male penal colony. Things are tough all over: her friends didn’t make it, the prisoners are rapists, killers and assorted degenerates, there’s an alien on the loose, and then Ripley discovers she’s been used to carry the embryo of a queen. And there’s no ammo.
This warm & fuzzy scenario was concocted through at least 10 different writers contributing to the script, including a first go from William Gibson. Screen credit was given to David Giler, Walter Hill and Larry Ferguson. The bill for the multitude of treatments and scripts alone totaled $13,000,000, and shooting began without a finished one in place. After director Vincent Ward was sacked, new blood David Fincher took over, making his feature debut. Studio interference drove him batty, the budget erupted from $45,000,000 to $65,000,000, and when the final product was trounced, it nearly killed Fincher’s career before it got started. His summation: “I had to work on it for two years, got fired off it three times and I had to fight for every single thing. No one hated it more than me; to this day, no one hates it more than me”.
Depending on the cut, running times are 115 and 145 minutes. It did receive an Oscar nomination for Visual Effects. Global grosses were underwhelming at $159,800,000, just 35% of that in the States, where the mayhem came to rest on 28th place.
In the cast, slaughtered one by one: Charles Dance, Charles S. Dutton, Brian Glover, Ralph Brown, Paul McGann, Pete Postlethwaite, Lance Henriksen, Holt McCallany.