Women In Alien 3 Essay, Research Paper
This morning I was struck by the realization that I’ve beengoing to movies for fifty years now; starting when I was eighteenmonths old, my mother would take me on a streetcar every Thursday togo shopping, have lunch, and go to a matinee and stage show at thePantages or the Orpheum in downtown Los Angeles. Clearly I likemovies and I usually find something enjoyable even about bad ones.I can hardly remember a time when I have seriously consideredwalking out of a film. But I considered it yesterday afternoon asI was watching “Aliens 3″; I was thinking it was the mostunremittingly unpleasant film viewing experience I could remember. This reaction has to be seen in the context of my own tastes andbiases. Science fiction and horror films are my least favoritegenres. I don’t enjoy being frightened in the movies, as somepeople clearly do. Nonetheless, knowing that nearly every memberof the women’s community in Tallahassee where I lived at the timewas wildly enthusiastic about Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley, I didbring myself to see “Aliens” the second film in this series, and Ihave to admit, I too, was entertained and pleased by the sight ofthis powerful female hero doing her Rambo number against whatfeminist theorist Lynda Zwinger called “the uncanny alien bugmother.” Since Ripley’s ongoing battles against this monster and againstthe greedy machinations of “the Company” back home, which wants tocapture the monster and use it as a biological warfare weapon, havebecome sort of feminist cult films, I figured I’d better be amongthe first to check out “Aliens 3″ and see what happened to Ripleyand Newt (the little girl she rescued from the monster at the endof “Aliens”). Well, they’ve fallen on hard times. They crash landnear an island used as a prison for 25 of the hardest corecriminals on earth–murderers, rapists, etc.–all of whom havebecome members of a kind of Christian fundamentalist cult thathasn’t done a thing to temper their rampant misogyny. Everyoneelse on the space capsule bringing the sleeping survivors of theNostromo back to earth has died except Ripley. She’s been asleepfor 50 years or so and has been shaken up in the crash, so she’slooking a little the worse for wear with a black eye and deathlypallor. Furthermore in this latter day version of a medievaldungeon she’s landed they dress her in convict gray and shave herhead which makes her fit right in with the inmates. The onlyperson there who’s even remotely pleasant is the doctor, himself aformer inmate, with whom Ripley asks to have sex (it’s been over 50years, you know); while we don’t see them in the act, theimplication was it was purely the utilitarian satisfaction of anurge, still Ripley has to pay the price for it later on. The whole visual milieu of the film is grim. The colorspectrum is dark browns and blacks, dirty tans and grays, fiery,hellish yellows and reds. The only spots of other colors are a fewpieces of turquoise blue stained glass in the doctor’s quarters, tolet you know he had some aesthetic sensibilities, I guess. The setis something like an abandoned underground steel mill with miles of filthy, rotting, decaying tunnels. The only organic matter we seeis blood and gore, the monster, and this wholly gruesome pack ofconvicts who do, out of terror and the notion they have nothing tolose, do come together under Ripley’s leadership to try to kill thething with no weapons but the decaying prison itself to use. “Aliens” at least had some spots of humorous repartee. “Aliens3″ has almost none. It’s grim, grim, grim. And though Sigourneyhas a few heroic moments, she’s sick and weak and not up to her previous standards. Though this time–I think–she finally does inthe alien bug mother and its children. I hope so, I don’t thinkthe world can use yet another Alien movie.