10 Reasons Alien 3 Is A Misunderstood Masterpiece

When was the last time you actually gave the movie a chance?

Let€™s face it, Alien 3 was a mess. After the success of Aliens, 20th Century Fox planned to move ahead with a third installment, but the project was plagued with problems from day one. From Sigourney Weaver€™s reluctance to return to the role to all manner of screenwriters and directors coming onboard, doing some work, and then leaving, even down to a teaser trailer that indicated the movie would be set on Earth. The Internet is filled with legends and stories about the Alien 3 that never was, whether science fiction author William Gibson€™s two-part movie that involved Weyland-Yutani creating genetically-altered Alien warriors or Vincent Ward€™s infamous €œwooden planet.€ What we ended up with, however, was David Fincher€™s first feature film, a movie that was under such intense scrutiny from the studio that it made pretty much everyone on the set miserable. The final film was re-edited without Fincher€™s involvement or consent and since then, it€™s become almost universally despised by critics and fans alike. Fincher himself has disowned the film and refused to participate in the Alien Quadrilogy set that featured extended cuts of all four movies. So instead of a Fincher-observed Director€™s Cut of Alien 3, we got what€™s known as the Assembly Cut. It tries as best as possible to restore Fincher€™s original workprint, before Fox began butchering it. The theatrical version is 115 minutes, whereas the Assembly Cut clocks in at 145, so there€™s a lot of extra stuff. It€™s still not as good as its predecessors, but the Assembly Cut is far better than it€™s given credit for, and actually provides a perfect end for the Alien series. That€™s right, I said €œend.€ Alien Resurrection does not exist in my world. Frequently, I€™ll make a day of it and watch Alien, Aliens, and Alien 3 back-to-back; they form a very effective, coherent trilogy, which is amazing considering there were three different directors, and given all the problems with the production of the third installment. Here are 10 reasons Alien 3 is an underrated masterpiece...

Percival Constantine is the author of several novels and short stories, including the Vanguard superhero series, and regularly writes and comments on movies, comics, and other pop culture. More information can be found at his website,