Okay, this isn't particularly insightful, but I wanted to do it:
Ridley Scott’s Science Fiction epic “Prometheus” has stirred my mind and reinvigorated my love for the Alien monster, much like its titular allusion. When I was 9 years old I became obsessed with the Aliens and the Predators much to my family and friend’s chagrin, as I quite simply couldn’t shut up about them, and wanted to endless debate who would win in a fight, and once the movie came out who actually won. (I pulled for the Alien, by the way) Nevertheless, it would have been impossible for my young mind to comprehend what the original black monster stood for, one of the most horrifying crimes that can be committed by man.
I don’t read too much into symbolism, and I don’t feel the film says much about this topic, but I can’t help but think of what’s obviously implied: that the Alien is a symbol of rape, having a somewhat feminine figure, while being riddled with various phallic symbols. (Head, inner mouth, tubes on back, piping through its body, ect.) This connotates that it isn’t merely eating people, but violating them, destroying what intergrtiy we are born with, depriving us of our humanity through alien means. I don’t feel this is some kind of political statement about “Rape can be prevented by saying yes” or something, but merely a tool to emphasize the monstrousness of the beast, making it scarier in the process.
It isn’t only the creature’s physical body, but everything that goes into its creation. First comes the astronauts penetrating the vagina-like openings on the derelict spaceship, which in turn looks like some kind of fallopian system. They find a skeleton (And it IS a skeleton) with a hole in its body, sitting at a rather phallic structure. Next they descend into a field of eggs, which bloom like an aforementioned symbol, releasing a bony parasite that rams a tube down its (male) victim’s throat. It dies, leaving the alien monster in the man’s body, giving birth to it a few hours later. This birth is one of the most famous scenes in all of cinema, when the gooey, bloody-thing makes its own birth canal in his chest, killing him in the process.
Once the monster gets loose, it picks off the crew slowly, abducting one in a dripping wet chamber, (In a deleted scene, we see it suspended near the roof, its arms stuck out like a cross) ambushing one in a very dark ventilation system, and two at once near the end. When we see it killing, it grabs its victim, holding them paralyzed in fear, as its mouth slowly peels apart, looking all the while like a dripping, withering vagina, and out springs an inner mouth, demolishing their face when it’s done. In one instance, when it attacks a woman, you can see its tail slither up between her legs as she cries about her certain doom, and then the camera cuts to another character, running throughout the ship to aid her friend, hearing somewhat orgasmic cries of pain, as though the monster was actually doing the deed it stands for.
At the movie’s conclusion, we see Ripley in very skimpy underwear, nipples peeking through a white shirt, the crack of her ass poking up through the elastic band of her panties. She has one final encounter with the monster, it sticking its hand out and sending her into a closet. She observes it from her safety point, watching it stick its inner mouth out, as though mocking her. If you’ve seen the film, you know how it ends.
As I said, the monster is feminine, though more phallic than the average male restroom. It lacks any visible genitals in its crotch area, though this could be interpreted as the monster being female, which would further serve to add to a man’s terror of being killed by a creature “lesser” than him. (Feminists can shut the Hell up) This also shows that it isn’t a male villain, like so many before it, specifically in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween. (Friday the 13th was yet to come) showcasing the terror that women felt at that time, while giving a woman a view to what it is being a man.
Now this is all mainly just symbolism: Yes, it’s all clearly laid out, but what does it all mean? Well, it serves to add to the fear and horror of what’s going on. It creates a sense of timelessness: There will always be the fear of rape, of penetration, (especially with men), the idea that a female is more powerful than you, all blended together and spliced so as to create not just a great horror movie, but to satirize the entire “slasher genre” like the motifs set up in films before it. It is a horror film, and a Science Fiction, but it is first a human film, showing-off our deepest fears.
Good, but not great. I'll have some better ones soon.
Before it can be filmed, drawn, acted or programed, it must be written.