Bad Bitches of Horror #2: ALIEN

Bad Bitches of Horror #2: ALIEN

                I don’t need to tell you how cool Ridley Scott’s 1979 horror/sci-fi classic ALIEN is. You’ve seen it. You know. But ALIEN is unique in that it gave us something we, in the Year of our Lord 2017, still do not see enough—a substantial action heroine. There have been many attempts to give women more representation in film, but often those attempts, while well-intentioned, result in female characters with decisively male attributes. Ellen Ripley isn’t having that shit.

                It’s no secret ALIEN is a metaphor for sexual violence, and at every turn, it subverts the audience's expectations. Often in stories with female leads, our character derives her strength from some history of sexual trauma. In ALIEN, we watch on as the predominantly male crew members fall victim to the overtly sexual attacks of the Xenomorphs. Whether the crew is being forcefully impregnated, giving violent birth, used as incubators, etc., ALIEN subjects its male characters to violation generally reserved for women and exploits male fear of being used like women.

                Ellen Ripley is a different sort of final girl. From the beginning of the action, she is witty, rebellious, and resourceful. She isn’t invulnerable to the Xenomorphs—she’s not even invulnerable to an angry android trying to suffocate her with a porno mag, but she doesn’t need to be invincible, she just needs to survive. What makes Ripley such an iconic character is that it’s not her purity that allows her to survive, as is typically the case with final girls—it’s her pragmatism and simple drive to fight, overcome, and get the fuck out. Ripley set the standard for the right way to present badass women and ALIEN would not be the horror staple it is with a generic male action hero in her place. Furiosa, I love you, but you owe it all to Ripley.

Signals From Next Sunday, A.D.: Mystery Science Theater 3000

Signals From Next Sunday, A.D.: Mystery Science Theater 3000

Bad Bitches of Horror #1: THE WOMAN

Bad Bitches of Horror #1: THE WOMAN