Alien: A Film Franchise Based Entirely on Rape

By David Dietle Jan 02, 2011
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Horror isn't complicated. You find out what makes your audience uncomfortable and present it to them in the most unsettling way possible. This is why horror movies aimed at young males contain vague allusions to homosexuality -- it's what makes that audience nervous.

So, if you have a country scared that communists are secretly infiltrating society, you give them 1956's Invasion of the Body Snatchers. If you have a nation coming off a recession and spiraling violent crime rates in 1980, you give them Friday the 13th.

And if your country is terrified of people with dreadlocks, you make Predator.

Which Brings Us to the Rape

But Alien? It's all about rape.

And not just the one Joss Whedon wrote.

Oh, we're not joking. Our goal isn't to paste a bunch of out-of-context shots or lines of dialogue to make some spurious case. We'll let Alien screenwriter Dan O'Bannon spell it out himself:

"One thing that people are all disturbed about is sex... I said 'That's how I'm going to attack the audience; I'm going to attack them sexually. And I'm not going to go after the women in the audience, I'm going to attack the men. I am going to put in every image I can think of to make the men in the audience cross their legs. Homosexual oral rape, birth. The thing lays its eggs down your throat, the whole number.'"

Hearing this man utter the words "I'm going to attack them sexually" is more terrifying than all the Alien movies combined.

That's from the Alien Saga documentary.

At the time, O'Bannon was coming off Dark Star, a comedy directed by horror luminary John Carpenter. Dark Star wound up being as big a disaster as a boy scout selling candy in a village of werewolves, so for revenge O'Bannon vowed to make a movie that would allow him to rape movie-going audiences right under their noses.

That's the third worst place to get raped.

Alien fans already know that the creature was designed by Swiss artist H.R. Giger. O'Bannon had worked with Giger on a failed attempt at a pre-David Lynch version of a Dune movie. Giger's biomechanical, sexually explicit art had stuck with O'Bannon after the movie fell through, and the dark imagery helped fuel his revenge-writing when conceiving the story of Alien.

Once the movie was greenlit, O'Bannon suggested Giger to director Ridley Scott, and after seeing Giger's Necronomicon -- a collection of art laced with sexual imagery -- Scott decided that he had to have Giger design the titular Alien.

Left: Giger's Necronomicon. Right: Giger's Alien. Left and right: dicks aplenty.

At that point, Scott was 100% on board with O'Bannon's man-rape agenda.

Once You See It, You Can't Unsee It

Bringing Giger on board turned out to be the decision that shaped the entire movie that itself spawned a franchise and some of the most recognizable images in all of film history. Giger designed the alien, the derelict ship and its captain, and the alien landscape. And every last bit of it is loaded with galactic penises and space vaginas.


Pictured: space vaginas.

None of the sexual imagery in Alien is unintentional. For example, in the picture above the human crew members are "invading" the alien ship, so in effect those are man sized sperm crawling through it. From here, John Hurt's character, Kane, plumbs the depths of the ship's "womb" to find an endless landscape of eggs, which if you're paying attention to the whole sperm analogy makes a whole lot of biological sense.

This throws some of those childhood wet-dream/nightmares into stark contrast.

He comes into contact with one of the eggs, which opens up and births a little alien, so at this point Ridley Scott is essentially smashing his audience in the face with a sex ed textbook.

The alien bursts out, attaches itself to Kane's face and rams its space wiener down his throat while simultaneously choking him in a display of man rape so obvious we're surprised the critter isn't shouting at him to squeal like a pig.

Hurt's future role in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will be no less degrading.

The alien's life cycle is modeled after that of many parasitic wasps, the inside of the face-hugger is a vagina and a penis joined in a Super Friends-esque team-up to force its seed down the throat of its victim.


It Only Gets Worse From Here

So, let's push it further. We learn that once the alien is attached, it can't be stopped before its load is deposited, or it will kill its victim. Which, you may notice, is the word-for-word agenda of a violent rapist. Kane is literally held down and mouth-boned by an alien bug-dick for about 20 minutes of the movie.

And then comes the unwanted pregnancy with the rapist's baby.

Complete with morning sickness.

Admittedly the guys in the audience get off a little easy -- gestation of a normal human takes 9 months and involves a lot of bloating, puking, and hormonal surges that generally make women miserable. But Kane's man pregnancy results in a sore throat and the need to eat spaghetti. Note the "sore throat" comes as a result of an alien wang having been forced down his throat, which he fortunately does not remember.

The birth, on the other hand, is another story. The film makers purposely went out of their way to present the birth of the alien as violently as possible. This was as much a symbolic representation of men's typically ignorant ideas about pregnancy and birth as it was about scaring the living shit out of everyone -- the event is explosive, bloody and painful, utterly ruining the body it came from.

Oh, and look at that. The alien is a dick.

Again, it's no accident that the newborn looks like a penis that's "erected" its way out of a man's chest. Some people have even speculated that it is the male version of vagina dentata.

By the way...

Dicks, Dicks, Everywhere Dicks

Their ship:

And people say we overdo it with the dicks.

The adult alien's head:

...with a toothy erection that penetrates the victims:

Even the evil android tries to kill Ripley by doing this:

In the sequel James Cameron switched things up by giving the face-huggers a more overtly vagina-like appearance...

But make no mistake, there's still plenty of male penetration:

Nope. Nothing at all sexual in that image.

Obviously we're not the first ones to notice this -- quite a bit of analysis has been done over the years about Alien and its representation of sex. People have suggested everything from the Alien being a representation of the id to a metaphor for women's refusal to bear children.

The imagery doesn't just end with the overwhelming cavalcade of boners hidden in plain sight and various acts of forced penetration. There are even some mild references to failed birth control:

He found this in the garbage with a bunch of airplane bottles of vodka.

The entire series continues on with this thread, with each episode focusing around the strong female lead of Ripley while all the men get raped and murdered by the aliens. The series is credited for creating the first real female action hero in Sigourney Weaver's Ripley, though ironically she was changed from a man in a rewrite of the script just to make things more interesting. The only other woman in the original movie is a blubbering mess that gets raped to death off-screen by the alien's tail.

All of this is a perfect, and incredibly unsettling, example of why people like us (meaning spend time dissecting pop culture. It's not just about saying, "THE ALIEN'S HEAD IS SHAPED LIKE A DONG LOL!" it's realizing that the alien's head is shaped like a dick for a reason. To quote O'Bannon:

"This movie is about interspecies rape. That's scary because it hits all of our buttons."

Much like Alf.

People make fun of "geeks" for noticing things like this, but it pays to notice all of the ways that Hollywood (and advertisers and politicians etc) push those subconscious buttons O'Bannon is talking about. They do that shit on purpose. Because it works.

"I'm going to attack them sexually. And they're going to pay me money to do it."

Show Profanity  

Those thrice damned things were in that Animaniacs game. Which kinda makes this funnier.

0 Replies | Reply | Posted on 2/8/2011 9:50 PM

*sigh* I love you guys. The comments actually read better than the article. (not that the article was at all bad) *pulls out alien*

0 Replies | Reply | Posted on 2/3/2011 11:35 PM

If you say so... I thought it went a little far, such as the horseshoe shaped ship. Yes, Aliens do rape their hosts, essentially, but I don't think everything was based off of sex. As far as the referenced article from Jump Cut, I think those people need to just learn how to enjoy a movie, especially a classic like Alien. I'm not sure if the "refusal to bear children" bit was directed at Ripley, but in the deleted scenes of Aliens, they reveal she has a daughter, who had grown old and died by the time her cryotube was found. I don't know, just personal observations. Overall, good job though. I've been watching the Alien movies since before I could analyze, so I never really picked up on some of the things you mentioned.

@Seraphiel: Hahahahahaha! Hilarious.

0 Replies | Reply | Posted on 2/1/2011 12:37 PM

Interesting stuff, but got annoyingly self-satisfied and preachy at the end. Please don't do that.

1 Replies | Hide Replies | Reply | Posted on 1/18/2011 4:27 PM

Interesting comment, but got annoyingly critical about nothing during the whole thing. Please don't do that.

Posted on 1/28/2011 12:52 PM

I randomly came across a Giger museum in Gruyere, Switzerland. So. . .many. . .penises. But very cool.

1 Replies | Hide Replies | Reply | Posted on 1/18/2011 8:43 AM

Funny thing... next to the Giger museum there is one on Buddism. Why both these museums are in this little town, which is supremely dedicated to cheese(& more Swiss than Tax evasion), is beyond me...

How did you like the cheese...
that was made out of rape-milk?

Posted on 1/21/2011 7:28 AM

Now I have one question. has there ever been a case of murder when someone used a rolled up magazine and forced it into their victim's mouth and killed them? I never got how that would actually kill anyone. She sure didn't look comfortable, but she does have a nose, so she could breathe. And a magazine rolled up like that still has gaps between the pages for breathing. I guess the idea was that he would eventually force it down her throat, but it might have been more effective to slam her head into the wall since he has super strength, but then she wouldn't be orally raped...? ugh. I never will get that.

2 Replies | Hide Replies | Reply | Posted on 1/17/2011 12:30 PM

Look up "Jack the Stripper" at murder uk dot com to read how oral rape can be used as a murder weapon.

Posted on 2/1/2011 11:23 AM

Well, I can hardly ever breathe through my nose... perhaps Ripley has a deviated septum? Hehe, just a thought. I get your point though. We need a "Deaths By Rolled Up Magazine Shoved In Throat" statistics chart... Then again... why were they still reading magazines? Didn't they have Kindles by then? (Rhetorical Question)

Posted on 2/1/2011 12:39 PM

Just think, somewhere in the world, there's someone looking at the alien penis-head and is masturbating, furiously.
...It might be me.

2 Replies | Hide Replies | Reply | Posted on 1/13/2011 7:06 PM

Meanwhile in j*pan..

Posted on 2/2/2011 5:41 PM


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5 Replies | Hide Replies | Reply | Posted on 1/7/2011 7:07 PM

I knew I'd find you here lincc441... waiting. So, it's come to this I see. Look, just come home, man. Your mother and I are worried sick about you, out here in the comments, pimping yourself out to sell handbags and shoes. It's... it's not right, man. Come back home. We kept your room just the way you left it, stocked to the brim with cheap knockoffs and designer runoffs. You can sell them out of the house, right on the front lawn if you want. Just... come home man, and leave these people in the comments alone already.

What? What's that? "No." Well then f**k off and die Spambot corksoaker! I'm going home to kill your mother now, and burn the house to the ground!!!

Posted on 1/8/2011 5:50 PM

@Buttchocolate please don't stop harassing the spambots. I for one find it endlessly entertaining.

Posted on 1/9/2011 6:12 PM

No offense, but this subject has kinda been done to death.

0 Replies | Reply | Posted on 1/7/2011 5:47 AM

Don't forget that the Newborn from Alien Resurrection dies via abortion

1 Replies | Hide Replies | Reply | Posted on 1/6/2011 5:00 PM

Actually, it's infanticide. The alien was already born O__O

Posted on 1/13/2011 4:24 AM

Speaking of Alien, does anybody remember the original idea for procreation of the Xenomorphs? I don't remember where I saw it, that's why I'm asking, but apparently there was a point in the production of Alien where instead of being a living breathing host, you would turn into the egg. Anybody?

4 Replies | Hide Replies | Reply | Posted on 1/6/2011 6:15 AM

It's a deleted scene from the original; When Ripley was leaving the ship, she stumbles over Dallas half absorbed and Brett completely absorbed. It was cut for pacing because it completely broke the climax of the film.

Posted on 1/6/2011 10:02 PM

how come it turn into egg? sure it would make sense if the host is female(body start to rot/burst wathever,only the ovary is left shaped like the alien egg)

i just don,t know how it would work in a male host.

Posted on 1/7/2011 4:05 AM

i am extremely creeped out.WHO COMES UP WITH THIS s**t??? WHO NOTICIES I????? i never even had a vaugely sexual thought watching alien, probs because i was laughing so hard at the dude in the rubber suit.

5 Replies | Hide Replies | Reply | Posted on 1/4/2011 8:02 PM

who notices? smart folks. it's just subtle.

Posted on 1/4/2011 9:18 PM

Smart folks and *horny* folks. But for the horny ones, nothing is subtle. "Boobies! Dicks! Wheeeeeeeeeee!"

Posted on 1/5/2011 4:11 AM

Tonight I am going to watch Aliens with some friends and do shots for every obvious Penis/vagina in the scenery.

2 Replies | Hide Replies | Reply | Posted on 1/4/2011 6:42 PM

You might wanna get a barrel then. Also, an ambulance.

Posted on 1/4/2011 7:48 PM

I agree. Maybe beer sips is a better way to go on this one. You've got a lot to work with!

Posted on 1/4/2011 8:38 PM

Well, now that we know it's all about hot drooling-alien-on-men action, does that mean Aliens has to get reclassified as porn instead of horror?

1 Replies | Hide Replies | Reply | Posted on 1/4/2011 5:15 PM

considering how the aliens have sex with people, it should be considered "horror porn".

Posted on 1/4/2011 11:46 PM

I think a little too much is being read into this film. I mean, can't android guts just be android guts without them needing to be symbolic ovaries? Sometimes android hydraulic fluid is just android hydraulic fluid.

3 Replies | Hide Replies | Reply | Posted on 1/4/2011 5:01 PM

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Other times, its a huge throbbing wang. This is one of those times.

Posted on 1/6/2011 10:50 AM
RickyThanos's not reading into something when the creators of the thing blatantly state that it's all about dicks, vaginas and rape.

Posted on 1/7/2011 5:42 AM

NOW I understand why when I saw the movies as a kid, something about it always gave me, a girl, a vague sense of satisfaction.

j/k, actually I barely remember the movies even though I saw it tons of times. But all the man-rape and guys becoming alien baby-mommas was probably why all the boys were scared by the movie.

0 Replies | Reply | Posted on 1/4/2011 4:51 PM

... and I always thought the aliens were so cute.
Thank you, David, I feel filthy now.

0 Replies | Reply | Posted on 1/4/2011 3:52 PM

Wow. I had my first h**osexual experiences the same night I watched this movie. This was way back when it first hit broadcast TV. Hm, I guess the subtleness of it wasn't so much horrifying to me as it was intriguing.

3 Replies | Hide Replies | Reply | Posted on 1/4/2011 11:53 AM

That is so romantic

Posted on 1/4/2011 5:02 PM

Someone get Fox News, they must know how Alien turned someone gay.

Posted on 1/4/2011 11:07 PM

To a film buff and Alien enthusiast, this is a whole article of "duh."

3 Replies | Hide Replies | Reply | Posted on 1/4/2011 9:04 AM


Posted on 1/5/2011 6:06 PM

Sorry not everyone buys the special edition and actually watches the commentary on how it was made

Posted on 1/17/2011 7:41 AM

I am definitely going to watch this s**t now.

2 Replies | Hide Replies | Reply | Posted on 1/4/2011 7:40 AM

Alone, at night, with the lights turned off. With surround.

Posted on 1/13/2011 4:20 AM

and a box of tissues

Posted on 1/14/2011 10:23 AM