Aliens Vs. Preadator 2: Requiem really left an afterimage on my retina for me to have written so many posts on that movie in the past week. Here are all the posts collected for your reading pleasure:
Last night I went to an excellent party hosted by Kolter in nearby Akron. As the evening went on, I was talking with Professor Raja’s wife, Jenny (she’s a Renaissance Studies PhD candidate at Florida State, and she has a healthy appreciation of SF) about AVP2 Requiem and my thoughts about the Alien-Predator hybrid as previously discussed on Dynamic Subspace.
Jenny hasn’t seen AVP2 Requiem, but based on my description of the scenes I was most struck by, she gave me another reading that’s more feminist than queer. Thinking back to the scene where the Alien-Predator hybrid forces itself on a pregnant woman to impregnate her with its monstrous offspring, this image can be reduced to the enforcement of male patriarchy on women. Men (as signified by the Alien-Predator) are incapable of creating new life. This is the one thing that women can do that men cannot. The image of the pregnant women reinforces this signification through her role as creator and progenitor of new human life. However, the Alien-Predator hybrid takes away her chance to give birth by impregnating her with its voracious and violent spawn that devour her and her child from the inside-out, and erupt from her belly/uterus in an explosion of blood and tissue.
If you think about this, AVP2 Requiem, through this scene, continues to promote the problematic at the heart of SF that goes back to its founding as a genre. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus is about this very issue–man attempts to usurp woman’s ability to give birth. There are many examples of this throughout the history of SF, and its clearly an issue that continues to challenge the feminist project (as I read it: the elimination of patriarchy in order to establish equality regardless of sex or gender).
Another interesting aspect of AVP2 Requiem is the appearance of the Cigarette Smoking Man from The X-Files. Okay, so the character is called Colonel Stevens, and he’s played by Robert Joy and not William B. Davis. However, he serves a similarly shady function within the AVP2 narrative. This American government/military official donning a black suit instead of uniform, orders the nuclear strike on the small town Alien infestation. Additionally, after the survivors make it out of the blast zone, they are intercepted by Special Forces members, who disarm them of the Predator energy weapon. This weapon in turn is then given by Col. Stevens to Ms. Yutani (Françoise Yip). This is an interesting development, because it serves to strengthen the bonds between government and corporate bodies. As you may know, Yutani is the other half of Weyland-Yutani, the mega-corporation from the original Alien and Aliens films (the Weyland aspect of the corporate puzzle is explained in AVP with the appearance of Charles Bishop Weyland played by Lance Henriksen). AVP2 does not go into the reasons why a government official would give otherworldly technology to a corporation, and my assumption is that this is a retelling and continuation of Cold War tropes embedded in Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex. Perhaps this signifies the hard currency payback by the government for its wholesale purchase by corporate interests in the here-and-now.