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ALIEN 3 - Skull
Rated R
Copyright 1992 20th Century Fox
Reviewed by Lord Hades on 13 August 2008

The Characters:  

  • Lt. Ellen Ripley - Sigourney Weaver is back, and she's...bald? Decides to bunk in with some convicts, and ends up knocked up with a Queen Alien! Dies (presumably) after said Alien ruptures her stomach lining, falling with her into a tub of molten lead. Can you say, "Terminator 2" rip-off?
  • Dillon - Charles S. Dutton? It becomes readily apparent that the only reason he was chosen for this film was because he was bald already. Is a real tough guy and decides to go 20 rounds with the Canine-lien(tm), Buster Douglas style. Doesn't make it through the first round.
  • Clemens - Charles Dance!? As punishment for his failure to kill the Golden Child, Sardo Numspa was punished by Satan to endure this film as an aging prisoner/doctor with a troubled past. Gets to make sweet, unbridled love to Ripley (with Alien), and shortly thereafter suffers a fatal head wound, courtesy of Canine-lien(tm). More on him later.
  • Bishop I &: II - Lance Henriksen! Appears as both the original Bishop, who is not a happy guy since his drastic weight loss program at the hands of the Queen Alien, and as a new and improved total slimeball Bishop, the Bishop II. Bishop I is taken in 3 moves, while Bishop II presumably lives to plague a possible sequel.
  • Golic - A rather insane, distrustful criminal personage inhabiting picturesque Fiorina 161. Somehow manages to stare Death in its ugly, fanged maw and escape with only minor injuries.
  • Canine-lien(tm) - Apparently, David Fincher wasn't aware that the Aliens never used to take genetic material from their hosts, because this Alien is bad and on all fours now, thanks to a rather unsuspecting pooch host! Eats a vicarious sum of criminal refuse before being simultaneously superheated/cooled, which, as anyone knows, will make something explode into a million shards.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

"In Space, No One Can See Shit Steam."

For fans of the action packed sequel to "Alien," you may be expecting Ripley, Hicks, Newt, and Bishop to have more fun filled adventures in space...You'd be wrong. Apparently, the Queen Alien, who had JUST left the landing gear of the Sulaco prior to showing Bishop what a shish-kebab felt like, had ample time to lay a generous sum of her brood along the landing area, which going undetected by both the ship's systems and the wary eye of Ripley, hatched during their hibernation. The resulting fire (one wonders why these egg sacks don't have life sign readings until they hatch), causes the ship to jettison the crew to safety. Safety, according to the ship's computer, must truly be a relative term, as they end up on a prison world full of horny lifers. Personally I'd rather take my chances with the Aliens. What ensues is a poorly scrawled, incoherent waste of film that would be better served in a bathroom stall as a toilet paper substitute.

Ripley is sans friends (they all died in the crash, conveniently), except for the thoroughly-trashed-yet-somehow-functional Bishop I, an old demon posing as a doctor, and a convicted murderer who likes to box creatures with fangs longer than his arm - David Fincher's anti-xenomorph dream team. She finds out that the pods were jettisoned due to Alien infestation, which makes her appropriately cautious of her fear of being impregnated, a fear which finally comes to fruition. One of the dirty little facehuggers escaped the crash and hides out on an overly friendly dog, implanting it with a Canine-lien(tm) that goes on all fours, has a massive head, and seems worse than the Queen Alien on PMS. Interesting to note that the Aliens that gestate in humans had 'no' such genetic alteration, therefore it is advisable to keep Aliens away from Earth, and its furry creatures, at all costs. No one needs an Alien that makes 'Baaaa' sounds as it's crunching on your head; it's just not right.

The Canine-lien(tm) kills most of the criminals before they realize that, not only does Ripley have an Alien inside her, but that it is a Queen Alien. How did it magically know to become a Queen? Do Aliens have group telepathy and 'know' that the Queen is dead? After this impressive leap in logic is made, they decide that the Alien won't harm Ripley for fear of ending their race. Again, how does this Canine-lien(tm) know that Ripley has a Queen inside her? Do they emanate a smell from the host while they are buried deep in their gut?

As they have no weapons in the colony, the convicts construct an elaborate catch and kill plan, where they run around through dark, abandoned smelting tunnels hoping to lure the creature to its doom. Eventually, after all but three of the criminals meets a fitting demise (one foolishly lays his head against a window and gets a surprise). In an act of previously uncharacteristic heroism, Head-Buster Douglas boxes the Canine-lien(tm), until Ripley can climb to safety and coat it with a generous helping of molten lead. Somehow, it survives temperatures that turned the T-100 AND the T-1000 into slag, and is dispersed by a generous helping of water - which was the special effect highlight of this dismal movie.

Bishop II and a crew of toadies, meanwhile, appear and attempt to persuade Ripley to join them so they can destroy the Alien inside of her! With Ripley nearly persuaded, the remaining expendable convict clubs Bishop, revealing him to be just another android with a plan; he tries to lull Ripley by his desire to study the Queen and xenomorphs in general. All this after having his men empty a few bullets into one of her buddies. "Think of what we could learn!" His foot irrevocably shoved in his throat, Ripley jumps into the tub of molten lead as the Queen finally busts free and attempts to escape, illustrating more of that telepathy the writer used to make his story somehow believable. Golic, who somehow managed to survive, Bishop II with a wounded ego and in need of a plastic surgeon, and the toadies make good their exit from the prison planet, thus ending what is easily considered the most abysmal secretion in the series, which is saying a lot considering how the Queen Alien reproduces.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • You do not need to be a talented director to land an award-winning franchise.
  • Apparently, Aliens take on the characteristics of whatever host they gestate inside of. Funny, I don't remember the Alien that was inside Cain speaking with a British accent. "I say, do you mind terribly if I eat your face?" Director's cut, anyone?
  • Most prisoners on isolated penal colonies are nice guys, particularly when they haven't seen a woman in 30 years.
  • Molten lead cannot kill an Alien, only piss it off. Cold water, on the other hand, is devastating.
  • Boxing an Alien is simply 'not' the thing to do, unless you are tired of breathing.
  • Recipe for a sequel: Add 1 part talentless hack writer, 1 part burned out director, mix with a colorful cast of characters fighting a dog-like Alien and engaging in tired banter, film overnight. Serves: none.
  • Sardo Numspa really DID go to hell.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 8 mins - So the Queen Alien had enough time between crawling out of the landing gear on the Sulaco to lay all these eggs? Busy xenomorph.
  • 15 mins - Gratuitous 'hey I'm dead' Newt scene. Where is Hicks? Curse you, Fincher, and your little dog too!
  • 30 mins - I'm not feeling so well; maybe it's the prison food.
  • 35 mins - Satan: "And for your failure you shall now go to 'Last Action Hero,' Sardo!" Sardo: "Noooooooo!"
  • 40 mins - And now the criminal element shall be snuffed out, one by one.
  • 60 mins - Boxing an Alien was not how I imagined spending my last day.
  • 74 mins - New and improved Bishop II, with the Lie-Chip!
  • 115 mins - I cannot believe I just sat through this senseless drivel.


  • Superintendent: "As some of you know, a 337 model EEV crash landed her at 0600 on the morning watch. There was one survivor, two dead, and one droid that was hopelessly smashed beyond repair. The survivor is a woman."
    Convicts: "Waaahooo!"
  • Bishop I: "How are you? Oh, I like your new hair cut."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note alieniii1.wav Ripley: "We have to do an autopsy."
Clemens: "What?"
Ripley: "I told you: we have to make sure how she died."
Clemens: "And I told you: she drowned."
Ripley: "I'm not so sure, I...I have to see inside of her."
Green Music Note alieniii2.wav Dillon: "Yeah, well you don't want to know me, lady. I'm a murderer and rapist of women."
Ripley: "Really? Well, I guess I must make you nervous."
Green Music Note alieniii3.wav Ripley: "We have no weapons. Is that correct?"
Aaron: "Right."
Ripley: "I haven't seen one exactly like this before. It moves differently."
Green Music Note alieniii4.wav Ripley: "If this organism gets off the planet it will kill everything. The Company doesn't care about that. They just want it for their bioweapons division, okay? So, we can't let them come here."
Aaron: "F**k you! Look, I'm sorry you've got this thing inside you, but I'm getting rescued. I don't a s**t about these stupid prisoners, but I've got a wife, I've got a kid!"

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipalieniii1.mpg - 3.8m
Ripley announces, "It's here!" just seconds before the Superintendent (who did not believe all this Alien claptrap) is grabbed by the head and pulled into an air shaft.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 2 [3] 4 5
Re: Alien 3
Reply #17. Posted on August 18, 2008, 09:50:46 PM by AndyC
Alien 3 has a charm to me, and even though it can be called bad (I call it bold choices), the real stinker of the Aliens franchise is Ressurection. AR is an absolute abomination - there is not a single good scene, where as Alien 3 has quite a few.

Funny, I kind of thought Resurrection had some good characters and good scenes, although I agree it was the crappiest overall.

Alien 3, I agree, had a number of faults, but was an entertaining movie overall.
Re: Alien 3
Reply #18. Posted on August 20, 2008, 06:38:26 AM by Scoldog
You know the crazy thing?  Since 3, the quality of the Alien franchise of films has steadily gone down, and yet they still keep churning them out.  I mean, WTF are they planning for AvP3 (Yes, they are actually making it). 

AvP2 has got to be a fairly rare movie, in the sense there was no point making or releasing it, and also the fact that it actually sucks much worse than AvP (That's got to be hard to do, even deliberately). God knows what the film studio who made it was on. How many people from that company not only believed it was OK, but that it could actually be released the way it was?
Re: Alien 3
Reply #19. Posted on August 20, 2008, 01:37:13 PM by Panic_Attack
A SKULL? Seriously?

I like Alien 3 quite a bit.

The reviewer doesn't seem to even know what he's talking about. First off, it's not Bishop II, it's a human, and second, the alien died from thermal shock, not just a sprinkler.

And...other garbage like that all over.
Re: Alien 3
Reply #20. Posted on August 21, 2008, 09:55:11 AM by AndyC
AvP2 has got to be a fairly rare movie, in the sense there was no point making or releasing it, and also the fact that it actually sucks much worse than AvP (That's got to be hard to do, even deliberately). God knows what the film studio who made it was on. How many people from that company not only believed it was OK, but that it could actually be released the way it was?

Alien 3 is a veritable masterpiece compared to the AvP movies.

I rented AvP2 a while ago, just to check it out. I was amazed. I expected it to be bad, but how can a movie with Aliens and a Predator loose in a small town actually manage to be so utterly boring for most of its length? I didn't much care for AvP, but it at least held my attention. Didn't help that much of AvP2 was so dark I couldn't tell what was going on.

The story seemed like it was just pulled out of somebody's butt. When things actually started to happen, the characters, including the highly-advanced Predator, were dumb as rocks and did things that made absolutely no sense. Nobody in the entire movie even entertained the thought that the Predator might be a potential ally, nor did the very intelligent Predator seem to consider that. Pretty obvious they both had the same enemy, but they kept blasting away at each other at every encounter, in spite of the circumstances.

And perhaps the worst thing about AvP2 was that once the action started, it seemed to make up for its initial slowness by going too far in places. For example, Aliens in the maternity ward were something I didn't need to see.

About the only thing I liked was the nuking at the end. It looked cool and it made sense. A shame they had to follow it up with the captured alien technology cliche, or the movie might have at least ended on a good note.

They might not measure up to the first two, but I'll take Alien3 or Alien Resurrection over the steaming crap that has come out since.
Re: Alien 3
Reply #21. Posted on August 23, 2008, 02:48:05 AM by J.D.
I hated Alien 3 when I saw it the first time and I swear it ruined my year.   Wink 
I don't think Weaver wanted to do anymore, which is fine. But the fans wanted more. The torch should have been passed to Newt like another poster suggested and Cpl. Hicks be her mentor. Maybe even making her a Colonial Marine! I think creators of Alien 4 got the ugliest cast they could find (and the worst except for Wincot) for some strange artistic reason. Everything about Alien 3 and 4 IMO just sucks. Now everyone for at least a decade wanted to see an Alien vs Predator movie. But that presented some problems. In all logic it would have to be in the future, but if it's in the future around the era of Aliens then humanity has taken to the Stars. They would have run into these "Predators" at some point in inter-galatic travels. Seeing as how they seem to spend almost all the waking hours hunting. The AvP concept of them coming to earth hunting for Aliens in rites of passage is stupid.
The big fear in the movie was the Aliens getting to Earth. Or Terra as I like to say. But wait! Now they're already on Earth? Opps scratch that. Why hunt something as dangerous as an Alien for a rite of passage then settle for hunting humans? The cast of AvP sucked worse than Alien 4! It was so Politically Correct it made me want to retch! Though I'm glad Lance Hendricksen was in Alien 3. In all the efforts to salvage something from the fallout of Alien 3 they only made it worse each movie.
The adoption of that woman by the Predator was such a corny idea I could not believe what I was watching! I don't even bother watching the rest. I just stick to the first and second movies.
Re: Alien 3
Reply #22. Posted on August 23, 2008, 07:35:02 AM by Jack
AvP was like a Sci-Fi original.  They must have spent the first half hour of the movie talking about how enormously important it was to get this woman to lead them "across the ice", then as it turned out it didn't make a damned bit of difference - they just got in some trucks and it was a two minute drive.  And she's talking about how nobody needs guns in the Antarctic - yeah.  The label on the DVD box said "Alien vs. Predator" and now I've gotta listen to somebody talk about how they won't be needing guns.  And then everything was ripped off from some other movie.  The alien queen chasing them at the end looked exactly like the T Rex from Jurassic Park chasing the SUV, the pyramid thing moved around like Cube, the AvP fights looked like Robocop vs. Robocop 2, and we got so much Slo-mo cam crap that Ewe Boll would have been proud.  And what was with the predator using X-ray vision to see that Bishop was dying?  Like, huh?  And it was stupid  - after the predator takes some alien acid blood and etches something on its helmet, we then have to be told that this is some right of passage.  Oh gee, thanks, my IQ is borderline retarded, and I couldn't figure out what was going on.

Oddly enough I haven't bothered watching the second one.  TeddyR
Re: Alien 3
Reply #23. Posted on August 25, 2008, 12:54:56 PM by TheSam
What the hell? Whoever wrote this review should get a smacking. It's just hate and hate and hate piled on with a bunch of nitpicks.

Man, this brings me back to the Firefly reviews on Sadhoo, or that Call of Cthulhu on that one site. Anyway. I found this review as bad as its score, far to spiteful and hating to actually be entertaining, and also... well incorrect. Ok, granted the scoring is subjective, and Alien 3 might not be the next coming, but it sure as hell don't deserve a skull. I liked it. It was the first Alien movie I saw, and it was entertaining. And scary. And well made. Again, perhaps not the flawless perfection of some fanboy's wet dream, or simply not what he expected out of it, but. Well made.

Ps, being able to respond without having to register? *loveloveloveloveonwhoevercameupwiththis*
Re: Alien 3
Reply #24. Posted on August 25, 2008, 12:59:15 PM by TheSam
PPS AvP is awesome. If you get a couple of friends over and maybe something to eat and then proceed to MST3K the crap outta it. The keyword here is not SciFi/Horror But Classical Romantic Comedy.  Thumbup
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