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Face-Off: Alien 3 Vs. Alien Resurrection

06.11.2012by: Mike Catalano
Well, just as I thought, our last Face-Off pissed some peeps off that it ended in a tie. People were about as pleased as The Arrow was with the PIRANHA 3DD sequel. Sorry folks, but I call 'em as I see 'em. Thanks for all the responses, though!

Today's Face-Off should come as no surprise, considering the carry-over from all the PROMETHEUS-themed articles on the joblo sites. Clearly, ALIEN Vs. ALIENS would be the obvious choice, which is why it was already tackled at joblo.com back in March. But what about the red-headed stepchildren of the Ripley franchise? Who's gonna give them some love as the prequel to end all prequels sinks its acid-laced jaws into the big screen? Well, here's your mutha-f*ckin' answer:

For at least a good chunk of ALIEN 3, the brilliant David Fincher was in the director's chair (since it was his first movie, the studio was stupid and f-ed with him too much). But I'm guessing that all those creepy shots down those dark, possibly desolate hallways within that penal colony's penitentiary came courtesy of him. You never knew when the alien was gonna strike and whenever it did, you got these wildly intense POV shots of it bounding from the ground to the ceiling amidst the pursuit. Good stuff.
By the time this fourth movie came around, you pretty much knew all that you got with regards to Alien attacks. While the action is pretty tight, the only real frights I remember came when the good guys were fleeing underwater with an Alien hot on their tails. The fact that the Alien was a much faster swimmer made for some sweet tension because, you know, under water, no one can really hear you scream.
Backing up the bald Sigourney Weaver, you've got the original "Roc", Charles S. Dutton with his black-rimmed specs, the baddie from The Golden Child, Charles Dance, thespian Pete Postlethwaite, and a welcomed cameo from Mr. Lance Henricksen. Not bad for a third film in a series. Pretty eclectic, if you ask me. Interesting choice having Ms. Weaver be the only female in the film.
Now, here is some interesting casting to help punch up a sequel. In addition to Ms. Weaver, we get the inspired choice of Winona Ryder playing a Bishop-style cyborg. Can't forget Mr. Hellboy himself, Ron Perlman, as well as that kooky Dan Hedaya and genre veteran, Brad Dourif. In terms of a lively mix of talent, Resurrection wins.
A gloomy penal colony full of all-male inmates with "double-Y" chromosome patterns and histories of physical and sexual violence. Ewww! However, it is kind of an ideal place to let an Alien loose for some violent havoc. Actually, it's pretty damn original when compared to the first two films. I say props to the filmmakers for coming up with such a dark, different choice. Plus, it helped that the colony was equipped with a molding facility for taking out the Alien with molten lead.
We get back to the lone spaceship setting with part 4, this time aboard the military science space vessel USM Auriga. At least it's a freakin' huge spaceship which gives way to a wide range of action set pieces. Plus, the confined quarters provide a chilling reminder that our heroes can only hide so many places.
Body Count
Whether by fan blade, knife, bullets, molten lead, or the Alien itself, this one banged up a bloody bill of 30 total deaths. A large improvement on the previous two films at least in terms of human deaths, both of which had trouble getting out of the single digits.
Following the rule of sequel "carnage candy", part 4 ups the death factor even more with the help of some fine demises by Alien, bullets, blow-ups, failed cloning experimentation, and fire. We even get a friggin' death by chest-burster and I'm not talking about the person whose chest the Alien is bursting forth from! Sweet!
Born out of a dog (the first and only canine Alien birth), this mutha-scratcher was mean, fast, and more than happy to lay waste to all the fresh meat in its new, non-outer-space surroundings. However, what sets this Alien apart from the rest is the strange feelings it shows towards Ripley. The close-up shot of Ripley panting with fear as the Alien slowly inches its face up to hers with the little "alien head thing-y" coming out of its mouth and snarling is, I feel, one of the most iconic images of the Alien series.
The new Alien we get in part 4 was actually birthed by the Alien Queen without the use of a human face-hugger host. This is because the Queen possessed part of Ripley's human DNA since it was cloned from her. Anyways, this new Alien Hybrid thing should have been a freaky, frightening abomination of science. Instead, it kinda looked like this sad, putrid excuse for an Alien. It came off as more a puppy dog than a menacing beast with its sad-looking eyes and strangely smiling jawline. I was not a fan.
Whoever came up with the idea of a bald-headed Ripley was either a genius or a crackhead. Regardless, the look actually works for Ms. Weaver and gives the impression that she truly is willing to go all balls-out to sell this flick. She's never been more bad-ass than here. This is the most evident at the ending where she must make the ultimate sacrifice or risk bringing another Queen Alien into the world.
Thank goodness they didn't take the easy way out and say that Ripley's death in 3 was all a dream because if a part 4 was gonna be made, then I'm glad they chose to go with a mega Ripley clone! Anything else would have most likely been a lame rehashing of the character. The fact that she had enhanced strength, reflexes, and abilities because her DNA had mixed with the Alien's was pretty cool too... but it wasn't actually the real Ripley!
Alien 3
So ALIEN 3 finally gets a little respect! I hope David Fincher is listening. I wonder what you guys think of the final decision. Do I deserve to survive? Or should acid be spewed upon me? I'll never know unless you spit those damn bullets below! And, please feel free to send any future Face-Off ideas to me at [email protected].

Tags: Face-Off



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