It's in an ox. Or a dog, depending on what version you're watching.
"You've been in my life so long, I can't remember anything else."
— Ripley, talking to the Alien
Alien³ (1992) is the third film in the Alien film series. It was the first film directed by David Fincher.Hypersleep goes on the fritz again and Ripley's ship crash lands on a prison planet, killing all occupants except her. Another facehugger slips into the colony and infects a dog (or an Ox, depending on which cut you're watching), which quickly gives birth to a quadrupedal alien.This film introduced the concept of aliens having different shapes depending on their host bodies.The project went through several producers, writers, and directors before finally settling on David Fincher's rewrite, with predictable results. Fincher has since disowned the movie due to the Executive Meddling he had to endure during production.
This film provides examples of:
Anyone Can Die: The survivors of the previous film, after fighting through all of Aliens and surviving, all die right in the beginning, except for Ripley. The prisoners are all killed one by one, with a lot of them completely unexpected. Clemens, the only sympathetic and interesting character in the film is among them. Ripley herself even dies at the end.
Asshole Victim: Most of the characters in the film are convicted murderers and rapists. Some even try to rape Ripley at one point, and Golic is straight-up Ax Crazy. It therefore becomes hard to root for a lot of them when the Alien kills them.
Atomic F-Bomb: After Mr. Andrews is suddenly killed by the Alien, Morse blurts out the appropriate response.
Attempted Rape: Some of the inmates try to rape Ripley when she wanders off by herself to retrieve Bishop’s damaged body. They are stopped just in time by Dillon.
Ax Crazy: Golic. Even though he didn't kill the two inmates that the others suspect him of having murdered, he is still a homocidal nutcase. When he's contained in the infirmary in a straight jacket, he turns to Ripley and suddenly reminisces about a few women he knew back home. Then he looks her in the eye and says that she's gonna die too.
Book Ends: The film ends with a recording of Ripley's last spoken sentences in the first movie.
The Cavalry: Subverted. Weyland-Yutani has send a rescue expedition to Fury 161 which arrives by the end of the film, but they don't care at all about saving the prisoners or Ripley; they just want to retrieve the Alien.
Clemens asks Ripley several times why she is inspecting Newt's corpse and her reasons for wanting to cremate both her and Hicks's body, and her need to retrieve Bishop to check the flight data. Ripley continually deflects the question (one time by sleeping with Clemens) because he probably won't believe her.
Ripley asks Clemens several times how he came to Fury 161, but he deflects the question repeatedly. Eventually he does tell her – he was previously an inmate.
Cryonics Failure: The cryopods fail for real. This indirectly causes Hicks to get impaled by a support beam and Newt to drown in her own pod. Ripley's pod also gets a hole smashed in it (due to the facehugger on the Sulaco), and she's seen moving around in discomfort as the pods get loaded into the EEV.
Darker and Edgier: This is a much darker film compared to the one that preceded it. Aliens was a fairly standard action film with an overall happy ending (and that isn't a bad thing). Its sequel however has an air of hopelessness that just pervades the entire thing. Two major characters are killed right at the start and another one is damaged beyond repair, the film is set on a grimy prison planet populated by murderers and scum, there is almost nothing to fight the alien off with so more characters, even likeable ones, die left and right (often with no build-up), and even Ripley is killed off at the end because it's the only way she could stop The Company from bringing the Alien gestating inside her back with them.
Deadly Rotary Fan: One of the prisoners (Murphy) is killed by falling into a ventilation fan.
Death Seeker: Ripley sums up her attitude towards the Xenomorphs as;
Ripley: You've been in my life so long... I can't remember anything else...
Dead Star Walking: Dr. Clemens is set up to be the main male character, but gets killed about an hour in, and Dillon takes over the role for the rest of the film.
Defiant to the End: Dillon during his Heroic Sacrifice simply stares down the alien and tells it "Now, fuck you!" When it charges him, he is still heard screaming for the thing to "come on!" even when the alien is tearing him apart.
Diabolus ex Machina: Alien 3 makes the end of Aliens this retroactively when it is revealed that an egg made it on the ship, not only causing it to crash but infecting Ripley with the new Alien Queen, necessitating a Heroic Sacrifice.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: Newt, Hicks and Bishop are all unceremoniously dumped. There's only a brief scene with Bishop in which he asks to be turned off because he'll never be top of the line again.
Embarrassing Nickname: Aaron is called "85" by the inmates. It refers to his IQ score, which they found out when they took a look at his personel file.
Even Evil Has Standards: Dillon may be a convicted murderer and rapist, but since he has found religion he won't stand for it anymore. He unleashes a monumental beating on the other inmates when they try to rape Ripley.
Jerkass Has a Point: Mr. Andrews (the nominal Warden of the prison) is a pretty big Jerkass, but he has very legitimate grounds for not wanting Ripley to walk around the prison freely. He has to keep a population of convicted murderers and rapists in check, who are still very dangerous even if they have found religion. Ripley almost gets raped and perhaps even killed when she wanders off alone. Also, her story about the Alien (which has never been seen on any other planet than LV-426) is admittedly a little hard to believe, when from his perspective the more likely scenario is that Murphy's death was just an accident, and that Golic was simply an insane murderer who killed two other inmates.
Ripley. "You've been in my life so long, I can't remember anything else."
The convicts qualify as well, as profoundly stated by Dillon.
Dillon: You're all gonna die. The only question is how you check out. Do you want it on your feet? Or on your fuckin' knees... begging? I ain't much for begging! Nobody ever gave me nothing! So I say fuck that thing! Let's fight it!
The film features an outrageously straight version of this trope. "All right. Let me get this straight. You want to burn it down and out of the pipes, force it in here, slam the door — and trap its ass? And you want help from us Y-chromo boys?" One can only wonder how Ripley managed to explain the plan in a way convoluted enough that Dillon had to get it straight.
My Greatest Failure: This is how Clemens got to Fury 161. He was previously a doctor, but he got addicted to morphine in medical school. When an industrial accident caused the deaths of a lot of workers, he was called in. Eleven people died not because of their wounds, but because he was so out of the world that he prescribed the wrong dosage of painkillers. He was jailed for seven years on Fiorina, and his medical license was reduced to a Class C. When the facility was due to be closed down, he elected to stay on as the medical officer when the inmates didn't want to leave.
A Naked Shoulder To Cry On: Ripley and Clemens make love for this reason. Ripley has lost two people who meant a lot to her, and Clemens has spent a large part of his life on a bleak prison planet to atone for his past mistakes. Ripley also does it to deflect a question that Clemens asked her, but why she chose this way to deflect it is this trope ("I've been out here a long time", she says).
Never Trust a Trailer: The film's very first trailer, promising, "On Earth, everyone will hear you scream," suggested that the film would take place on earth. The film went through eight or more screenplays during its early development stages (some of them, incidentally, were written by people who seem to have never watched the previous films). The trailer in question was made before the final script was even selected.
Obstructive Bureaucrat: Mr. Andrews. When Ripley tells him about the Alien he won't help her and confines her to sickbay, because he finds her story very implausible and he has a much simpler explanation for the recent deaths.
Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Averted. Christianity is still a thriving religion in the 23rd century, even if it's only prominently seen amongst a band of prison convicts.
Penal Colony: The setting for the film is a shut-down prison planet, where the remaining convicts adopted a monastery culture and chose to remain, becoming more like indentured janitors. Escape is impossible, because there's nowhere to escape to.
Plothole: All the Aliens were destroyed in the previous film, and the Queen tore off her ovipositor when she went after Ripley. In this film however there is somehow an Alien egg on board the Sulaco. Actually two of them. Popular fan theories are that the Queen keeps an extra egg stored in some other part of her body for emergencies.
P.O.V. Cam: The fishbowl view of the running Alien.
Redemption Equals Death: Junior in the special edition. He leads the gang trying to rape Ripley, but when she tries to distract the Alien from him in the attempt to trap it in the bunker, he instead runs inside, taking it with him. It rips him apart of course, but the mission succeeds because of him.
Reliable Traitor: Downplayed. Golic, who helped the Alien escape... but he worshiped the Alien and was obviously insane.
Robotic Reveal: Inverted when someone suspected of being an android is violently attacked, only to start bleeding very human red.
Scannable Man: The prison convicts have bar codes on the back of their necks. Clemens has one too, leading Ripley to think that he is one of the inmates. As he later tells her, he was one previously.
Screaming Woman: Ripley screams when the gang of inmates attempt to rape her.
Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: At the beginning of the film, the Sulaco launches an escape pod which lands on a planet. Newt and Hicks are both killed in gruesome ways (the gory aftermath is shown), while Bishop has one scene in which he asks to be turned off. Interestingly, the Comic Canon (quite a lot of which was written before 3) sees Hicks and Newt survive, and quite a few fans consider it superior for that reason.
Dr. Clemens is built up as a main character, but then he suddenly gets grabbed by the Alien and killed off.
The prison warden is killed while yelling at Ripley, in a room full of other people no less!
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The inmates plot to kill the alien by pouring several tons of molten lead on it. It survives the lead, but not being doused with water immediately after, which pops it like a balloon.
Wall Crawl: The Runner Alien crawl across the ceiling at various points. We are shown this when we see the POV of the Alien as it's pursuing one of the convicts, and the screen suddenly takes a 180 degree turn as it climbs up a wall and onto the ceiling.
What Happened to the Mouse?: The theatrical version removed the subplot in which Golic escapes and releases the alien only to be killed by it, and so he seems to just disappear after Dr. Clemens is killed.
Why Isn't It Attacking?: The creature gets to Ripley, who is helpless, and... hisses, and leaves. Of course, it's because Ripley is hosting a queen alien.
You Are in Command Now: After the death of Mr. Andrews, somebody has to take charge of the remaining prisoners. Aaron steps up to the task, but most of the inmates balk at this idea. Dillon is offered the job, but he refuses because he doesn't consider himself the "officer type". Ripley then nominally leads the group in taking out the Alien.
Ripley: [playback of a recording, interrupted by static] Ash, Captain Dallas are dead. Cargo and ship destroyed. I should reach the frontier in about six weeks. With a little luck, the network will pick me up. This is Ripley, last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off.