Thanks to the fabulous Amazon sale last week, I was able to pick up the Alien Anthology Blu-ray set along with Last Of The Mohicans for a really great price. I pretty much got Last Of The Mohicans on Blu-ray for free. Got in the order several days ago, and I marathoned the set yesterday and today. They all look great, but it was Alien3 that I was looking forward to the most.
I had seen the Assembly Cut once back in 2004 with my cousin at our Grandpa’s house, and it was great to finally see this alternate version, despite having some problems with audio being inaudible at times due to it being a workprint version.
The Blu-ray version remasters the workprint and the result is a workprint that doesn’t look like a workprint, but could pass off as the actual theatrical cut of the movie. It’s by no means a Director’s Cut, since the Director, David Fincher still refuses to work on it because of problems during the making of the movie, but this is the closest we’ll get to one.
I’ve always liked Alien3. I remember wanting to see it way back when it came out, but my parents didn’t take me to see it, and it was one of the few movies that I actively wanted to see, that we didn’t go see in the theater. I did at least get to see Alien: Resurrection. Around Christmas time of 1993, I was at the grocery store with my Mother, and was rummaging through their ex-rental vhs pile, and found a copy of Alien3. Since they never took me to see it, she bought the vhs for me as a Christmas present.
I was so happy that I was finally going to get to see it. My 9 year old self was not disappointed. Well, that’s not entirely true. I, like everyone else was pissed at the cheap death shocks of Hicks and Newt. Other than that though, I liked the dark atmosphere, and all around foreboding nature of the film. The entire film is like one big downbeat ending for Ripley.
The Assembly Cut adds about 30 minutes to the movie, the biggest changes are the birth of the Alien, and an entire sequence where they actually get it trapped in that toxic waste containment chamber.
First, the birth of the Alien is not through a Rottweiler dog, but rather through an Ox. There’s also a shot of a rather large Facehugger Parasite, which is supposed to be a Super Facehugger, which somehow had both a regular Alien larvae, along with the Queen larvae.
Second is an extension to the foul up, where the fuel gets ignited prematurely thanks to the Alien killing one of the prisoners, and he drops a flare causing the chain reaction. In the theatrical cut, the fire wipes out a bunch of the prisoners, and the Alien gets away. In the Assembly Cut, one of the prisoners, the one with the tear drop tattoo who had tried to rape Ripley, sacrifices himself by running into the toxic waste chamber, and the Alien follows him in and it gets trapped.
Seems like that would pretty much end the movie right? Well, the first prisoner to escape the Alien, and who had referred to it as a “Dragon”, as well as being put in restraints, believes it to be his friend, since he’s pretty crazy, and earlier in the film the 2 men assigned to work duty with him bring that grievance forth to one of the men in charge. He gets loose from his restraints, and kills the prisoner put in charge of guarding it, and releases it.
The Alien3 comic adaptation has this sequence, as well as some others that didn’t make it into the final cut of the film, such as Dillon making it out of the bottom of the leadworks, and the Alien dragging him in, as he couldn’t kill Ripley. The movie version of that is better as Dillon is a badass to the end, taking on the Alien and keeping it at the bottom so they can pour the lead in.
The movie also is great for not having obvious persons be the survivors. There is in actuality only one survivor, and kudos to the writing team for not picking someone obvious to live, and picking probably one of the last people you’d expect to live.
The score is also wonderful, having an almost operatic tone to it. I own the Elliot Goldenthal score on CD, and it’s definitely worth owning.
All in all, the Alien Anthology set is a great addition to any movie lovers collection, particularly for having all of the features of the past 2 releases, and having a great book packaging that doesn’t take up a lot of shelf space. That’s a big selling point, as well as being better than that endless foldout that was the Quadrilogy.
Rene’s song of the day: “Adagio” by Elliot Goldenthal.
Thanks for reading my blog and see you next time!