a) Behavioural characteristics as another reason for change
a.i) A need for a faster and sleeker alien
Something going on in David Fincher's mind had decided that alien took on behavioural characteristics of the host and so decided an ox would make it less vicious.
They found the most conceptually interesting stage to be the 'Bambi Burster, a puppy like creature that jumps out of the Rottweiler's chest and scampers across the floor.
David Fincher thought it would be more sleek if the monster came out of a dog, and the Rottweiler is a pretty brutal animal to start with.
He wanted something that was faster and more predatory than an ox
a.ii) Dog as a host
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.
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 significant way.
a.iii) Shooting of the dogburster scene
In November 1991, it was known that Jon Landau supervised effects filming at ADI in November, shooting a scene in which the alien bursst forth from a dog
Norman Cabreira sculpted, painted and did the finishing cosmetics for the dog lying dead after the chestburster
(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. At least a dog sized alien would be more maneuverable in the chase sequence in Alien 3 rather than a lumbering creature the size possibly bigger than an ox)
|My source https://monsterlegacy.net|
|Norman Cabrera: Rottweiler
dog after chestburster we made at ADI. I sculpted, painted and did the
finishing cosmetics. Fur transfer again by the great, Norman Tempia.
The top is the finished dog, bottom left is me blocking out the sculpt.
Bottom right is the head with “under painting” before the synthetic fur
is transferred on. This dog was made for re-shoots to show a
chestburster came from one of the dogs. Always a blast working with my
pals, Alec and Tom at ADI! #alien3 #puppet #specialfx #normancabrera #amalgamateddynamics #makingmonsters #chestburster (https://www.instagram.com/p/B-PiGB-p0iX/)|
a.ii) See: Alien 3: Dog Puppet with Dogburster Alien
b) Whippet used in ADI's Bambi-Burster
David Fincher needed something that could walk and be photographed from every angle, which made him think about putting a dog in a suit to supplement a cable-controlled puppet.
Woodruff thought that it seemed very much an idiotic idea but this dog in a suit became at least something exciting to try out, whatever the result. He saw possibilities in what they produced and would have liked it to have been liberally painted with more deep, dark shadows and have some creepy sounds added
Originally for the Bambi Burster, they planned to have a Whippet dog in a suit, but it wouldn't perform on set. Once they put him in the latex costume, the animal locked up. All they wanted him to do was trot down the hall, but it stood there unable to movie. So they ended up sliding the dog into shot.
|Whippet in Alien suit without alien head|
|Whippet in Alien suit with alien head|
- 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)
- Tom Woodruff: The most conceptually interesting stage is the 'Bambi Burster', a puppy like creature that jumps out of the Rottweiler's chest and scampers across the floor. David Fincher
thought it would be more sleek if the monster came out of a dog, and
the Rottweiler is a pretty brutal animal to start with. David needed
something that could walk and be photographed
from every angle, which made him think about putting a dog in a suit to
supplement a cable-controlled puppet. That seemed like a pretty dumb
notion at first, but the more we thought about it, the better this idea
sounded. (Fangoria # 114)
- 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. )
- Some reshooting has taken place. Fox executive producer Jon Landau supervised effects filming at A.D.I. in November, shooting an opening scene in which the alien bursts forth from the body of a dog. Fox was reportedly still interested in shooting a new ending. Previews of the work in progress in mid-February showed little evidence of the film being "fixed.’ (CINEFANTASTIQU
E MAGAZINE. ALIEN 3 COVER. VOL 22; #6. JUNE 1992)
- Tom Woodruff: The Whippet looked great, but it wouldn't perform on set, We couldn't even get it to trot down the hall, which was all it had to do! So i ended up sliding the dog into shot. (Fangoria # 114)