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Alien (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on December 24, 2010

At last, I’ve decided to dig into the massive, intimidating “Alien Anthology” box.  I dunno if I’ll get through ALL the extras, but we’ll see.  Alien has perfect casting, a great Goldsmith score, some astounding art direction, a gripping horror/sci-fi premise, and some effective scares.  But what really makes it special are its twin themes of sexual violence and motherhood.  You’ve got the phallic Giger design of the alien, whose preferred method of killing is violent penetration.  You’ve got a ship named MU-TH-UR (“You bitch!” Ripley exclaims when “mother” fails to protect her) and an alien whose means of reproduction is forcible impregnation (Ash refers to the new alien as “Kane’s son”).  You’ve got Ripley’s maternal instincts towards the cat.  You’ve got oozy, viscous substances as residue from the alien.  You’ve got Ash literally trying to suffocate Ripley with a phallus made of pornography.  You’ve got the final showdown, which absolutely reeks of rape.  You’ve even got a computer panel with a button labeled “SHAKTI” (Hindu “mother goddess”) and also buttons labelled “LINGHA” and “YONI” (Hindu icons representing the male and female genitalia).  It’s a Freudian wonderland!  Cameron’s sequel explores these ideas to some degree (most obviously focusing on the motherhood angle) but does it with far less finesse.  But it’ll be something to keep my eyes and ears open for as I wince through all that tough guy dialogue.  Rating: 9


One Response to “Alien (rewatch)”

  1. […] 8. Alien (1979, Ridley Scott) […]

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