Monday, 22 May 2017

Having calmed down ...

Okay. So, now, having calmed down, and've replayed the latest Alien in the brain cell, let's talk mastery. See, the darnest..est thing, EVERYBODY loves Alien movies. Don’t know if it’s the times, the culture or what, but these things gross OODLES. They’re making more than Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, a movie DESIGNED to be indulgent. And it’s a HORROR movie… Do you know how rarely a horror movie invites masses of such magnitude? Nobody likes intelligent horror but nerds, who, yes, also love sci-fi, but we are rare, so rare. That said, and even though they sacrificed the entirety of the Prometheus premise, the monsters of Alien verse – be it human, beast or synthetic – inspire EVERYBODY. It made back a third of its budget IN A DAY.

Well.. You could argue Transformers do the same, and Marvel movies do the same and even Avatar did it and then some. But that’s all shiny bombastic shit you go in expecting orgastic chicken feed for the most basic sensory criteria. Nobody will go into Wonder Woman and worry they’ll be faced with God and what they will ask and what the answer to: “Why do you hate us, what did we do wrong?!” might be… You’ll go into Wonder Woman thinking: “Uuu, fuckable. She kicks ass AND is completely clean shaven EVERYWHERE. Me likey.”

The reason why so many of us liked Prometheus as much as we did was because it dived so heavily into existential philosophy it never came out again. Not even with all the Space Jesus/Christianity crap, whose answer to most existential questions is usually: because God said so. 

It is one of the strongest Eros/Thanatos metaphors we have so far. Sex is incredibly rampant in these films, and not just in a sense that reproduction is everything: everyone, from monsters to preservation of female characters. Even the odd urge for sexual expression from androids manifests in almost every scene of violence. In the very first film this is planted in fertile ground: the facehuggers fuck people in the face extremely blatantly; the birth of a new life/baby is bloody and violent, and even the android tries to ‘rape’ a woman – not sure why he wants to or how exactly he should do it – by shoving a rolled-up magazine into her mouth. 40 years later in Covenant the trend continues: the violent overthrowing of parents, the fatal births, the android trying to fuck people. Actually, he’s just trying to kiss people or blow them. He’s innocent in that sense. These fundamental urges, complimented with constant reference to food – there is almost always some sort of a diner scene (Or Last Supper as we’re told.) - make for the three out of three most basic human/animal instincts: fear of death, feeding healthy until of mating age and reproduction.
It begs the question what the Engineers considered basic, to implement such strong and simple rules.

Did they make us because they could or because they had a plan?
Where do we come from? Are we truly engineered? Did some blue-skinned hottie with a Fibonacci face sacrifice himself on a protein level to start life on this here our pretty planet? Did he have brothers who did the same elsewhere? Did he have a dirty cousin who did something similar in secret and created monsters? Like the Yautja?
Why did they want to kill us? Why would they want to kill us with a pathogen that destroys flesh but creates primitive monsters? What would those monsters do after they ate us all? Die out? What sense does that make? Or is that like the ultimate safeguard in global annihilation: knowing gas, virus and/or gunfire won’t get the job done in one go, but smaller and smaller monsters would? But why kill the whole planet just because of one foul species? What have pigeons ever done to anybody? (And what alien would sprout out of them, I wonder?)

If the Xenomorph is considered perfect – and it needs to spawn from a HUMAN – does that mean we are the necessary link, one rung beneath perfection? But Xenomorphs are dumb. They can’t even see very well. If you want dumb tough guys, just go back to the dinosaurs era. Is that what the Engineers do – travel in time, to the very dawn of cyanobacterial stage of population and push it forward?

I have A LOT of these questions. I’ve watched Prometheus 20 times and all of the extra scenes and making of, plus read all the forums and YouTube commentary to get some of the MOVIE answers, yet very few of the questions there-in asked.

As for the Covenant … while it abandons the premise of them doing the Engineering bit, surrendering it to a deranged android, there are still questions-in-asking. Was that the only planet/city where the Engineers lived? It seemed a little primitive and heavy for a civilisation that built such fancy ships. Why were they so happy to see one of their long lost ships returned? How come they were entirely unprepared for the bombardment, even though they had experienced poisoning with their own pathogen before: it happened on the very ship – were they not in communication? If they were able to design such a poison, couldn’t they create a countermeasure?
If David regurgitated two face-hugger embryos – even if they were both queens or one queen and one drone – what sense does it make to infect the entirety of the colonial population? The whole point of having a parasitic life form is: it can never run out of hosts. If it runs out of hosts, then it runs out of food and then it dies out. And then what – it just waits and hopes some dumb crew of seven will come by and push things just a little bit along?
Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense for David to turn the ship around and invade Earth? Or some planet already populated (it’s said in one of the movies Earth is a dump… Which does not necessarily mean NOT populated plenty …).

I have many more questions. I’m sure up-coming documentaries and debate groups will answer some of them. As always, I will write down the whole list and then check it off as I find my riddles solved. You’ve gotsta give it to the old sod – he sure knows how to sell a monster movie on a tray of smart-as-fuck subtext.