Alien 3 : Bambi-Burster from an ox

 leading from 

a) Ox hanging up

Giger had created drawings showing the ox hanging up in the abattoir and the bambi-burster burning its way out in a birth sack 

 

Drawing by Giger of the ox hanging by its legs


b) Filming the Ox-Bursting scene

ADI had creared a lanky four legged chest burster puppet as an articulated cable puppet, while they subcontracted the creation of an ox to animal fabricators Val Jones, Alex Harwood and Monique Brown

The final thing was shot but not to David Fincher's satisfaction

He thought that it looked stupid when they filmed it, even with masonite filters on the lens.

To do it right would have cost a couple of hundred thousand dollars and they only had sixty thousand.

So he decided that the ox idea just didn't work and this change of ideas came in post-production


The ox hanging in the abattoir as seen in the extended version of Alien 3

The hanging ox just as the bambi-burster is about to erupt as seen in the extended version of Alien 3
 
The hanging ox just as the bambi-burster is about to erupt as seen in the extended version of Alien 3

The bambi burster plops onto the floor as seen in the extended version of Alien 3

 
The bambi burster begins to rise as seen in the extended version of Alien 3
 
 
The bambi burster shows its face as seen in the extended version of Alien 3

The bambi burster showing off it's tongue as seen in the extended version of Alien 3



c) Behavioural characteristics as another reason for change

Something going on in David Fincher had decided that alien took on behavioural characteristics of the host and so decided an ox would make it less vicious.

He wanted something that was faster and more predatory

This meant to him that instead he wanted to use a dog as the host which would in his view make the creature not as elegant a creature than it was before. Here we have a certain lack of information about what he had decided would have worked well as a design for the grown up version of the Bambi-Burster that had come from an Ox, although HR Giger had supplied plenty of ideas for such a creature.

Fincher thought that this would help when they got into the big chase sequence at the end because it would give the exciting POV and explain the reckless attack mode that the thing was in.

This change would break everyone else's heart because the idea of a dog as a host for an alien creature had been used in the movie "The Thing" in a signficant way. 

(P.S. I don't have personal knowledge of the running speed of either creature but one can look up the running speed of an Ox and find that it can be 40 km/h and the Rottweiller is known to reach up to the same speed but of course one can say that a Rottweiller is much more agile and vicious. It doesn't look as if anyone was that bothered anyway at the time about such details, and it might be strange to start wondering about the alien taking on the emotional characteristics of its host, but it's the direction that they went whatever.)


The Bambi Burster begins to walk as seen in the extended version of Alien 3

The Bambi Burster begins to walk as seen in the extended version of Alien 3

The Bambi Burster begins to walk as seen in the extended version of Alien 3

The Bambi Burster as seen in the extended version of Alien 3


  1.  The next phase of the aliens life-cycle was to be revealed bursting from the carcass of the mysteriously deceased ox. "We came up with what we call the 'Bambi-burster' said Gillis. "It was kind of a lanky four legged chest burster built as an articulated cable puppet. A non-articulated ox carcass was also needed." (Alien the Special effects, p114 , (Articles originally published in Cinefex magazine)
  2. Rather than build it themselves, Gillis and Woodruff elected to subcontract the project out to animal fabricators Val Jones, Alex Harwood and Monique Brown. The ox was equipped with ADI's bambi-burster and shot but not to Fincher's satisfaction 'To really do it right would have cost a couple hundred thousand dollars" Fincher admitted "and we only had sixty thousand.  It looks stupid. We put masonite filters on the lens and we still couldn't shoot the scene so that it looked right.  The ox stuff has never played." Wanting to attain the idea of the alien gestating in an animal. Fincher decided to change the host from an ox to a dog. "I wanted something faster. more predatory than an ox. As a result the final alien is not as elegant a creature as it was before but it is more vicious. The change to a dog broke everybody's heart because it had been done before in The Thing but it helped when we got into the big chase sequence at the end because it gave us exciting POV and explain the reckless attack mode that the thing was in." (Alien the Special effects, p115 , (Articles originally published in Cinefex magazine)
  3. Gillis: The decision to go away from the ox as a vehicle for the birth of the alien in our postproduction phase, because generally it was felt, was, as I recall, that an ox is sort of a cumbersome, slow, non-threatening animal, and that a faster-moving four-legged animal, more aggressive animal would be a more interesting host for the alien and that if it had picked up any of its host's characteristics it would be better if it came, for instance, from a Rottweiler, than from a beast of burden, which was probably a good move. Although all of this stuff with the ox has much more scope to it, which I love (Aliens 3 commentary subtitles. )

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