I accepted the offer to direct Aliens 4 primarily because I always wanted to meet an Alien. They just look so indecipherable. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to finally ask one where its eyeholes are or what kind of fun stuff its tongue-head can do. Sadly, I was so caught up in figuring out which penis-looking part is the actual penis that I forgot to make a good movie.

Ripley, the Aliens staple, dies at the end of Aliens 3, so we knew upfront this movie was going to be bullshit. Since there was no non-superfluous way to bring her back, we skipped thoughtful science completely and went straight to cloning. And just for kicks, we gave her heightened Alien senses, low-level acid blood, and those tongue-head things for nipples. Also, she’s pregnant with a Humalien and really rocks at basketball.

Instead of teens at campsites, Aliens movies have badasses in remote space stations. This Aliens film is no exception, excluding how exceptionally not badass everyone is. That’s not for lack of trying, though; I hired both Michael Wincott and Ron Perlman. They actually arm wrestled over who would live through the entire film. Wincott won, but Perlman shot him in the elbow afterwords. I gave it to Perlman and haven’t been invited to a Wincott Family Thanksgiving since. Wasn’t worth it.

Anyway, scientists clone Ripley so they could clone the Queen Alien inside her. It “works”. Subsequent Aliens are placed in cages and studied by the completely normal Brad Dourif. The intention is to somehow weaponize the Aliens. Apparently, there are many wars back on Earth, and guns with Alien tongue-heads might seriously turn the tides. They even have designs for an Alien bomb which transforms all the enemy’s architecture into spines.

But the Aliens think they’re weapon enough as is, so they escape by cutting themselves open and bleeding acid all over the floor. We all knew this was going to happen, but I made you wait an hour for it anyway. Ripley’s all like, “My babies!” and the Aliens are all like, “Mammy!” They go around gathering space badasses for Ripley to eat so her Humalien will be big and strong.

Influenced by the stupid amount of Anime I was watching at the time, I wrongly decided that the film’s main protagonist should be a weak, short-haired mousy boy with big eyes. His name is Pinocchio, and we are all very surprised to find out later that he is a robot.

His robot mission is to kill Ripley. If Ripley gives birth to the Humalien, everything on Earth will die. Pinocchio cannot allow that because without Earth, there will be no scientists to turn him into a real boy. He tries to stab Ripley, but, believe it or not, the gay pixie robot is no match for the cloned Alien warrior bitch. Ripley pounces Pinocchio and eats his soul through his eyeholes, leaving him the mindless, empty toy he was always supposed to be.

But wait! Pinocchio’s soul doesn’t go down well, and the indigestion causes Ripley to go into Humalien labor, which splits her in half. Fleshbaby Alien is all poised to kill Earth, but, being made of flesh rather than Alien skin, its acid blood eats it from the inside-out. WHOOPS!

A disappointed Ron Perlman makes a campfire out of Pinocchio and whistles a sad tune at the stars, which eases the nervousness of a nearby turtleneck decked Alien who doesn’t want to be an Alien anymore. WesAnderlien approaches Ron Perlman sheepishly, and the two become fast friends. Then Joss Whedon accidentally walks into frame, eating a banana. Five seconds later the movie ends, completely broken down and unfixable.

(three stars)