Parallels of the Alien and Cube franchise - A dark look at society
For those unfamiliar with the Cube franchise, the premise is basically about an enormous 3-dimensional rubix cube trap in which people are placed and forced to live or die in. Each cube has 6 openings on each face, all of which lead to other cubes. Each cube potentially contains deadly and gruesome traps like Acid showers, protruding spikes, razor wire etc. Periodically the cubes re-align their position within the greater cube. Each opening on the cube face contains a sequence of numbers allowing inhabitants to try and plot their position within the cube, and the position of the exiting bridge cube.
The fictional Cube device in the film was conceived by David W. Pravica, a mathematician. It consists of an outer cubical shell (the sarcophagus) and the inner cube. The inner cube consists of 263 = 17,576 cubical rooms (minus an unknown number of rooms to allow for movement, as shown in the film). Each room is labelled with three identification numbers, for example, 517 478 565. These numbers encode the starting coordinates of the room and the x, y, and z coordinates are the sums of the digits of the first, second, and third number respectively. The numbers also determine the movement of the room and the subsequent positions are obtained by cyclically subtracting the digits from one another. The resulting numbers are then successively added to the starting numbers.
The Cube's true purpose and function is never revealed and wrapped in ambiguity, like the Xenomorph.
Much like the Alien Franchise the idea of who the hell would build this death machine is a fundamental theme.
The Xenomorph currently appears to be the product of a circle of creation and destruction led by the perils of Artificial Intelligence. In the case of the Alien Franchise the answer to who created the beast manifests in humanity's arrogance and pride. Elizabeth Shaw asked the question that started it all.
In Prometheus we arrogantly sought the meaning of life from our creators by travelling across the stars to knock on their door and strut around LV223 like we owned the place. In the same breath we refused to give the same answer to our creation - AI.
The Cube on the other hand has a far personal answer for the same question. It is a frightening look into a society which doesn't ask questions. It is quite easy to see something the Cube happening!!! Everyone immersed in their smartphone screens, just there for the paycheck. Easy to look the other way etc!
Both incorporate themes of "Kafkaesque" in which bureaucracies overpower people, often in a surreal, nightmarish milieu which evokes feelings of senselessness, disorientation, and helplessness. Most notably Fincher's Alien 3.
The Cube on the other hand was ran by a secret government project whose construction and design was departmentalised and just continued to grow into this insidious machine with no real function. Much like the Alien, you have to ask who would make such a thing? In this case it is humanity's paranoid nature and greed.
This is an accident, a forgotten, perpetual public works project. You think anybody wants to ask questions? All they want is a clear conscience and a fat paycheck.
This may be hard for you to understand, but there is no conspiracy. Nobody is in charge. It, it's a headless blunder operating under the illusion of a master plan. Can you grasp that? Big Brother is not watching you.
Contrasting answers for a similar question in which the Xenomorph and the Cube construct are both insidious killers without any true agenda. Both are the product of Humanity's flaws and trappings. Both are creations built upon our failings as a society and individuals. A dark mirror of the parts of ourselves we refuse to acknowledge. Nihilistic themes of hopelessness and the absolute apathy of the universe are rife through both franchises.
Interestingly, there was to be a direct link between the Alien and Cube franchise with Jon Spaihts, who penned both the original Prometheus script (Alien: Engineers) and a now stalled 4th instalment to the cube Franchise.
And overlapping similar themes again "Cubed" was to explore AI and Creation...
Cubed will build on the set up of the original film and is described as “a sci-fi survival thriller about artificial intelligence, humanity and the birth of a new ‘digital’ race.”
Cubed is/was to be directed by newcomer Saman Kesh who gained attention for his sci-fi short film Controller which also explored the dark depths of our society. Lionsgate is now producing a fulll-length film based on it.
Watch the short film here
For those that don't recognise my Avatar, it is Mr. Jaxx from Cube:Zero, an avatar I've used for about 95% of my time here. As a fan of both franchises this character and the Kafkaesque themes he represents is the perfect foil between the franchises, you could easily see Mr. Jaxx as a W-Y Rep for example.
It seems unclear if it was going top be a remake, retooled remake or quasi prequel. It sounds interesting but could dillute the original. Like the Alien franchise, I hope there are some things never answered and left ambiguous. Cube Zero left a lot to think about. I wonder why Vincenzo Natali isn't involved.
Yeah agreed. Like our friend the Space Jockey some mystery's are better left unsolved. Better for the imagination and left was to wonder about.
As for any 4th instalment for the Cube I think no news is bad news in this case sadly :( a Jon Spaiht's Cube wouldve been interesting.
Did you watch that Controller clip? Interesting and clever video clip, Saman Kesh worth keep an eye on.
I saw the clip and it had some interesting action. I didn't really understand it though. Maybe a longer version would flesh it out.
Yeah lol a lot of it went over my head too. Apparently it is very deep and meaningful though. Im sure some of the members on here far smarter than me can fill us in?
I don't want/need things spoonfed to me but abstract concepts are beyond me. XD
just watched the short film. would be lying if i said that I understood much of anything.
food ain't that bad! - Parker
I love the Cube franchise. I remember watching it as a young child. I was at a movie store and just wanted something different. I settled on the first Cube movie as a random selected joke. All three were available to pick from though. I thought it would be best to get the first one, starting right at the beginning. My mom somehow said yes and we got it! I watched it and decided I had to see all of them.
It's been so long since I watched a Cube movie. They were like gold that I couldn't possess during my childhood, but the memories of them have stuck with me for a decade. EDIT: decades, not decade
Nice topic and interesting backstory on Jon Spaiht. Thanks for sharing! The same goes for your avatar source!
Were there any drafts or concept art lying around? I am starting to wonder if it might have been more of a prequel to Cube Zero and I am now more curious about what happened to Mr Jaxx's eye. We already know the mystery of.......well.....no spoilers here.
I Moon Girl thank you, yes the films are little gems :-)
dk so after a bit of digging I found that Vincenzo Natali is not a fan of sequels and only wanted Cube to be a standalone film so I doubt we will ever see a return from him.
He is also a renowned concept artist and another link to the Alien/Predator franchises, he did some concept work for an unreleased Predator film project....
He also avidly posts his concept art for various films on his Twitter account. Ati (as our artist guru) are on you on to this :-) ??
Hmm... I looked around at Vincenzo Natali and Splice popped up. That looks kind of interesting. Anyone seen it?
Splice! Yep its good. Confronting.
Different to Cube, its about genetic engineering and playing god basically. Natali could easily do an Alien film, he nails the dark human/social psyche vibe and isnt afraid to be confront us with hard truths. A visual director....like Scott is capable of doing concept art work to push the visual themes he wants in his films
Worth a watch
I did not see Splice on the Netflix but will check again. For now I am about to watch The Giver (kind of Orwellian ). Thanks IRaptus. I think Splice looks really good!
It might sound a little off-topic, but I recently re-read Stanislaw Lem's SOLARIS, where humans try to understand the "purpose" of the "intelligent ocean", if it is alive or if it really "thinks" - humanity always looking for a mirror on which we could project what we are.
Amazingly enough, the ocean, whether a single creature or not, whether intelligent (in our own terms) or not, does not seem to care about us at all, apart from playing senseless tricks inside Solaris. Our existence doesn't actually matter to it, no more than its unusual creations.
dk The Giver, Ill check it out, thanks!
ScorpioStar definitely on-topic my friend! Im ashamed to say I haven't read Solaris but I know of it Sci-fi pedigree! I speak from complete ignorance but I imagine it offered much influence and inspiration to the original Alien/Starbeast premise?
It is a book on my bucket list of books to read!!
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