Alien 3 Special Edition is a special director’s cut of the 1992 film, the third in the Alien film franchise.
10 out of 10 stars. This film got seriously knocked when it was released, but there’s a lot here when you see the unedited film.
In the theatrical release of Alien 3, we don’t really see the planet Fury 161. We don’t see the mining operation, just dark indoor shots. There are about 12 minutes of footage of the planet at the beginning of Alien 3 Special Edition that are stunning.
Fury 161 is an off-world mining operation manned by sex convicts abandoned by the government. Twenty-five men are left behind to live there because there’s nowhere else for them to go. That includes the warden Andrews, his assistant Aaron, and the medical doctor Clemens. While Clemens is taking a walk on the planet’s surface, which is covered with oil, he comes across the body of a woman and a crashed spacecraft. He carries her inside and orders the convicts to get the spacecraft. The woman, Ellen Ripley, is still alive.
In Alien 2 (which is actually called Aliens) Ripley, Hicks, Newt, and what was left of the android Bishop survived the aliens and escaped in an escape spacecraft. But when she wakes she finds that Hicks and Newt were killed in the crash and Bishop is seriously damaged. She also finds acid burns like from the aliens around Newt’s capsule so she demands that Dr. Clemens perform an autopsy. He finds no alien, but that’s because the alien has already infected one of the oxen and is running around the plant.
The alien born from the oxen immediately starts killing, first a prisoner cleaning the vents, then two prisoners doing inventory in a tunnel. The survivor of the tunnel killings tells Clemens and Andrews it was a dragon, but no one believes him. Ripley believes him and tells Andrews about the aliens, but Andrews doesn’t believe her.
They burn the bodies and the head of the prisoners’ religious cult, Dillon, says a prayer for them. Ripley thanks Dillon, but his men are angered that there’s a woman present. They’ve all taken an oath of celibacy.
Ripley gets what’s left of Bishop from the wreckage and several prisoners jump her and attempt to gang rape her. Dillon stops them and beats them bloody. But Ripley confirms with Bishop that there was an alien on board.
The rest of the film is the alien killing the convicts one by one and Ripley discovering she’s been infected and has an alien queen growing inside of her. So she hatches a plan with the convicts to kill the alien before she commits suicide in an attempt to kill the alien queen inside of her.
10 out of 10 stars. This film was trashed by most of the Alien fans. I’ve read the screenplay and it’s beautifully written. This special edition is truer to the screenplay than the theatrical version.