ByDavid Opie, writer at Creators.co
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David Opie

Alien: Covenant has reminded us once again that the Xenomorphs are soulless killing machines chest-bursting straight out of our nightmares, designed to murder all living things they encounter. However, Alien screenwriter Dan O'Bannon originally had a far more insidious plan in mind for his acid-bleeding critters, one that explains the franchise's obsession with penises. Yes, you did read that right and no, the genitalia on display is anything but sexy in Ridley Scott's horrific series of films.

In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream Rape

From the shape of the ship and the Xenomorph's head to that pointy mouth-thing that the aliens try to drill into Ripley's face, the Alien franchise has always had a thing for phalluses. However, while the more dirty-minded among us may worry we're reading too much into it, Alien screenwriter Dan O'Bannon has revealed that he always intended to use genitalia deliberately in order to evoke more fear.

Alien [Credit: 20th Century Fox]
Alien [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

In the official Alien Saga documentary, O'Bannon admits that he wished to exploit fears of homosexual rape to create a truly harrowing experience for the men in the audience:

"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.'"

As disturbing as it may be, O'Bannon's admission actually makes a lot of sense when you watch the Alien films. After all, when Kane is attacked by a face hugger in the first movie, it's not hard to see the comparisons between this and oral rape. As Kane is choked by the appendage that's been forced down his throat, the face-hugger continues to hold him down until it's finished depositing its load inside. Grim stuff, indeed.

Get Away From Him, You Bitch!

That's not all though. O'Bannon also sought to attack male audiences "sexually" by depicting the aftermath of this "homosexual oral rape" in visceral detail, as the Xenomorph's offspring bursts out of the victim's chest.

Scenes of this nature came to define the franchise, which was surprisingly built more on the idea of rape than murder. O'Bannon himself described Ridley Scott's first Alien movie in this fashion, declaring in the documentary Alien Evolution that;

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

It's also scary, because it's an absolute mindf**k for male viewers, one that continued to become the driving force of Alien movies right up to Covenant in the present day. However, during a recent interview with director Ridley Scott, new information came to light that complicates the gender play involved in the Xenomorph's attacks even further.

Game Over, Man. Game Over!

During an interview with Digital Spy, Alien: Covenant director Ridley Scott revealed that the Xenomorphs aren't exactly the male antagonists we thought they were, explaining that:

"No, I think [the Xenomorph's gender is] a hybrid, I think it could be either. The next thing is: could he [the Xenomorph] re-evolve himself? Certain insects are hermaphrodites. Insects can be hermaphrodites. Animals maybe can. I'm trying to think of animals that are hermaphrodites. Sea creatures, maybe."

While this revelation could theoretically debunk O'Bannon's claim that "homosexual oral rape" is taking place, the fluidity of the Xenomorph's gender is arguably even more alarming for some audiences. After all, prejudice against those who deviate from the "norm" both sexually and in terms of gender is sparked by fear of difference, of the unknown. By categorizing the Xenomorphs as gender-fluid, Scott may be tapping into the same kind of primal fears that O'Bannon sought to exploit in the minds of certain heterosexual men.

Was O'Bannon's decision to tap into our fears of rape a prejudiced one, or did he simply strive to explore new areas of terror in cinema? However you feel about his initial plans for the Xenomorphs, the franchise has made progression in recent years; includes the franchise's first homosexual couple, for instance. Let's just hope Scott continues moving forward in this direction, or the director will have to hide in space to avoid the screams of those offended by any potential stereotypes for future sequels. After all, it's not like anyone can hear you up there.

(Source: Digital Spy)

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