Sunday, June 7, 2009

Review - Alien (1979)

“Alien”… a space odyssey of a completely different game. Usually considered a sci-fi or an action flick but I see it more as a slasher flick that takes place on a spaceship. Think about it: there are characters with a strong female lead, the killer lurks around corridors and tight spaces and kills off the character individually and you hardly even see what the ‘killer’ looks like. There are ‘jump out’ scary scenes. Although, what I have noticed is that “Alien,” considering that it is a Ridley Scott picture, is a very feministic movie.  Lets break it down.

  1. Ripley is a very strong lead character who is determined, shows signs of excellent leadership, is on a ship manned by mostly men, can get cocky and in your face and she single handedly defeats the Xenomorph.
  2. The beginning scene shows all the crew members in a white, clean, sterile room with sleeping pods that resemble fertilized eggs. The alien ship is very twisted, raw, and falling apart and the central room has a structure that looks like a giant dick.
  3. The Nostromos is also called “Mother,” and the alien ship could be implied as the father.
  4. The Facehugger ‘impregnates’ one of the crewmembers by a long prehensile appendage through his mouth.
  5. The android attacks Ripley in such a way that resembles rape and domestic abuse. Then, using a pornographic magazine, he tries to kill her by shoving it down her throat, resembling…
  6. When the android gets pissed at Ripley, he stares at her and thinks about hurting her and then he starts to secrete a white liquidly substance.
  7. When Ripley is in her underwear and getting into the space suit, the Xenomorph’s second prehensile mouth extends out of its mouth almost as though she was arousing it.
  8. In the end, Ripley cares for Jonesy and while the Nostromo explodes, Ripley takes on the weight of becoming a mother to the cat. 

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I love “Alien” and H.R. Gigers brilliant Xenomorph and atmospheric designs only helps this movie seem so surreal and wonderful. I think that it is, with out a doubt, one of the best science fiction/horror movies made to this day. 


Livvy said...

I agree that Alien is a fantastic sci-fi/horror movie. Its one of my favorites without a doubt. But I think you may be reading too much into the feminism aspect. All the characters are called by their last name and that is the way it was written in the script because it was the intention of the writers to make each character be able to stand on its own without needing to be either female or male. It just so happened that Sigourney Weaver was the best actor who tried out for the part. I think it was important that it didn't matter whether or not Ripley was male or female because when you get down to it the Alien was just there to kill and grow. It didn't care who they were or why they were there it was just very happy that they were there and that is a very frightening concept. Ripley was simply the lucky one. It didn't come down to just her because she was female she just got lucky. Now I haven't noticed all the little things you pointed out and I intend on going home and watching Alien again to look for all the things you said- but if anything I would think that those are either coincidences or little things Scott decided to throw in. Maybe I'm completely wrong and at some point they did decide to make it into a movie with a tone of feminism- but it didn't start that way. Very interesting thoughts however.

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