On Forced Deep Throat in Aliens Vs. Predator Requiem

On Christmas Day, 2007, I went to see Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem with Ryan, Jarret, Bert, and Stacey. Considering the poor quality of the first Aliens Vs. Predator film, and the general decline of the franchise in general (Aliens is clearly the high-water mark), I wasn’t expecting much from this film. Despite the dreadful story and horror film hijinks, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was something worth discussing embedded within the film. However, I don’t say that flippantly, because it involves serious subject matter in need of reflection away from the glare of the big screen.

This latest installment of the Aliens vs. Predator films is extremely troubling regarding gender, sex, and sexuality. As has been commented elsewhere, Giger’s Aliens are phallocentric with mouths extending beneath the foreskin of the upper cranial case. The crab-like parasites that implant/impregnate potential hosts with the alien egg/embryo are traditionally the means by which the Alien life cycle is completed (Queen lays egg > crab-like parasite implants host > an Alien emerges from the host, developing in part based on the genetic material of the host). Also, the crab-like parasites have a long tail for strangulating the host/victim and thereby forcing the host to accept the implantation from the parasite via a long penis-like extension from beneath its body that enters the mouth and throat of the host to implant the egg/embryo.

Predators on the other hand have never been shown to reproduce on film, but it’s unavoidable to note the terrible resemblance between a Predator’s mouth and the myth of the vagina dentata. It’s only due to an assumption that I first considered Predators male. In the films, their sex and reproduction systems are not explored. They could be a species involving male/female sexing, or considering the fact that these are aliens, they could have a multiplicity of sexes involved in reproduction. In any event, what’s important to consider is the chosen appearance of Predators to have the male anxiety producing (disfigured) vagina dentata.

Aliens Vs. Predator Requiem begins where AVP left off. The fallen Predator warrior initiate is brought onboard the Predator starship, and a new, before unseen Alien potential bursts from the Predator’s chest: an Alien-Predator hybrid. This hybrid wreaks havoc onboard the Predator ship, which subsequently crash-lands in the woodland area near small town America. In this environ, the Alien-Predator hybrid matures into a formidable creature combining Predator strength and Alien voraciousness. Crab-like parasites onboard the Predator spacecraft escape and impregnate human hosts, which begins an epidemic in small town America.

It’s assumed that through some biological process, an Alien hive produces a Queen much like with ants or bees. However, the Alien-Predator hybrid of Requiem is unlike any previously presented Alien Queen. In the other films, an Alien Queen is very large and (initially) stationary in a warm place to lay eggs containing the crab-like parasite. The Alien-Predator hybrid of Requiem develops into a new kind of Queen. Instead of having an ovipositor (using ant terminology) at the rear of its body, the Alien-Predator hybrid is an evolutionary leap that does away with the need for the crab-like parasite.

The Alien-Predator hybrid has a unique delivery system for implanting hosts with an egg/embryo. As shown in the hospital scene toward the end of Requiem, the Alien-Predator hybrid leans over a pregnant woman, opens its Predator mouth folds (think: labia with claws), and forces the Alien-derived mouth extension down her throat. This represents an unavoidable image of forced deep throat, gagging, and swallowing. This already pregnant woman is made to swallow the “seed” of this hybrid sexed creature that in this juxtaposition fills a male role, but an unnatural one of oral impregnation. The result of this impregnation is graphically revealed when multiple Aliens burst forth from the woman’s belly (possibly having devoured the uterus and the unborn human fetus).

What does the Alien-Predator hybrid mean in a wider cultural context? Is this the extreme SF retelling of Knocked Up? Is this an example of male anxiety over childbirth and childrearing? Or, is this new film image a reflection of the backlash against women’s rights following Third Wave Feminism? What about modes of production and reproduction? Each of these are possibilities, as are others, and they should be considered further in regard to this latest film in the popular and on-going Alien and Predator series.

It would be interesting to learn more about the films written, produced, and directed by the team behind Requiem. Is this film part of a trend, or is this a one-off produced to titillate and gross-out the audience (building on the overt horror theme of the film)? Just glancing at the work of The Brothers Strause, they come from a visual effects background, so this could be nothing more than originating from a geek impulse to push the effects envelop. Nevertheless, this image is projected for many people to see, so it has significance beyond the intentions of the films creators and that’s the aspect in need of exploration.

For my friends not familiar with my work as an academic–this is the kind of research that I do. I look at the significance of cultural works in order to interpret and discover meaning. The intentions of the creators, perhaps compelling or interesting, are nonetheless unimportant and generally disregarded in terms of the way the work figures into a wider cultural sense. How can a work be read? How was a work produced (not necessarily literally by hands, but out of a cultural milieu or historical epoch)? How might a work reflect some aspect of culture, and what does that mean?

I am a professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on 20th/21st-century American culture, science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Review, Science Fiction
13 comments on “On Forced Deep Throat in Aliens Vs. Predator Requiem
  1. […] More AVP2 commentary on Dynamic Subspace here and here. […]

  2. […] On Forced Deep Throat in Aliens Vs. Predator Requiem […]

  3. […] This episode focuses on SF film, and I’ll be reading an 8 minute review based on my “Forced Deep Throat in AVP2” blog […]

  4. Bo says:

    Let me expound on my statement in a post you were adding another point to this one. I’m not sure why I read all of it, but I feel compelled to point out that I believe you are trying very had to draw cultural insinuations about something that really isn’t there. As a biologist, looking at a predator’s mouth, I only see something that is intended to be frighting. Further, from a functional stand point the claws and flaps are more than likely for holding prey than they are too look like a vagina.

    If you want to see a vagina everywhere you look perhaps you will. Maybe you could paint some suspicious flowers and be famous.

    As for any deeper over arching meaning on anything in the movie let me deflate them simply by pointing out that the movie is not that intelligent. Exhibits one through 258 will not be broken down in this post. Instead, just watch the movie and drive a truck through all the plot holes, bad lines, and poor research. Just how often does third generation night vision equipment get sent home with a soldier?

    However, to dissect your deep throating scene I would hazard a guess that since this movie has a basis in horror the idea is to have aliens reproduce in the most terrifying way possible. Thus, they force something into the body and it explodes through the chest. Our options are orally, through the anus, genitals, or perhaps ears. I think ears are disqualified for being to round about of a way to get to the chest and the sexual ones for these movies not wanting to cross over into the smut genera.

    As for why the woman is pregnant:

    Simply for fear and disgust factor. I highly doubt a fear of ambiguous sex played a major conscious or subconscious role in the decision making process. I could further delve into a tangent about how the writers tried poorly to make the hybrid a true protagonist, which was completely unnecessary, but I will refrain. However, possibly killing pregnant women was to further us as an audience agreeing with ourselves that, “yes, I do hate this alien hybrid and ache for predator victory.”

    Then again, it did have some awful writing and I don’t think it was that deep.

    Anywho, get a real job hippie.

  5. […] On Forced Deep Throat in Aliens vs. Predator Requiem (10,230 visits) […]

  6. Wilbi says:

    To Bo : I’m sorry to say that your interpretation as a biologist has very little value here. Those things do not exist. Hence, it is irelevant to discuss biological functionality of something coming out of human imagination. But it is interesting to wonder if the mind behind it, is representative of a wider cultural context.

  7. J says:

    “Is this an example of male anxiety over childbirth and childrearing? Or, is this new film image a reflection of the backlash against women’s rights following Third Wave Feminism?”

    Are you serious?

  8. Hi J,

    Thanks for your comment. To answer your question: Yes.

    Best, Jason

  9. J says:

    I am in no way trying to offend you by this but when I first read that I thought you were on of those womem running around shrieking about how men put them down had written this (I did not notice your name below the brain statue).And I seriously did not get your point either. Care to explain?

  10. J says:

    I guess not.

  11. Hi J,

    Unfortunately, I am very busy at the moment with my new job. However, I did want to say that this blog post (and a number of others) are interventions on my part to challenge some negative depictions of women’s bodies in popular culture. In a sense, it is against the idea that you formulated when you first thought that I was one of, “those womem [sic] running around shrieking about how men put them down.” I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog, but I am left wondering about your distinction between me and “those women.” Can you tell me more about what you think about women and feminism in general?

    If you have the time and inclination, there are a few resources that I recommend you check out. A concrete starting point is Margaret Walter’s Feminism: A Very Short Introduction. If you are very ambitious, there is a fantastic reading list with more books, journals, and other sources here: .

    Many thanks, Jason

    PS: I will get back to any future messages from you as soon as possible.

  12. […] slightly with occasional spikes. However, the spikes were always regarding older writing (like my deep-throat Aliens vs. Predator post, various tech posts such as this one about installing Linux on MacBook Pro retina, and Lego posts […]

Comments are closed.

Who is Dynamic Subspace?

Dr. Jason W. Ellis shares his interdisciplinary research and pedagogy on DynamicSubspace.net. Its focus includes the exploration of science, technology, and cultural issues through science fiction and neuroscientific approaches. It includes vintage computing, LEGO, and other wonderful things, too.

He is an Assistant Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY (City Tech) where he teaches college writing, technical communication, and science fiction.

He holds a Ph.D. in English from Kent State University, M.A. in Science Fiction Studies from the University of Liverpool, and B.S. in Science, Technology, and Culture from Georgia Tech.

He welcomes questions, comments, and inquiries for collaboration via email at jellis at citytech dot cuny dot edu or Twitter @dynamicsubspace.

Archives

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 852 other followers

Blog Stats
  • 492,248 visits