Both the brevity of life on earth and the mortal expense of cinema tickets behove me to urge you to not spend your time and wage upon seeing Ridley Scott’s much anticipated Prometheus. It is bad. The script is bad, the story is bad. Charlize Theron is criminally underused. Guy Pearce has been made-up, presumably to look like an old man, but in fact bears a striking resemblance to a scrotum. However, dear reader, I do not know you. All of these things may sound appealing to you. Far be it for me to deny you the right to enjoy an overlong and creaky Sci-Fi extravaganza. God gave us free will, and though it was arguably philosophical and political freedom that put Boris Johnson in a position of power, it is generally considered to be a good thing. So in summary, if you want to go and see Prometheus, go. Just stop reading this post, for there be spoilers ahead.
Ridley Scott – he’s alright, isn’t he? He’s famous for his strong female protagonists. I mean, this is the man behind Thelma and Louise. We love that shit: Geena Davis having her wicked way with Brad Pitt and Susan Sarandon generally being awesome. No problem there. Prometheus initially promises more of the same: Swedish actress Noomi Rapace (of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo fame) does lots of alien-kicking and gets all up in evil Cyborg Michael Fassbender’s grill. This is only slightly undermined by the fact that for half of the film she’s wandering around in her pants, but we’ll let that slide for the moment. Sometimes when you’re fighting aliens a nice pair of dungarees just gets in the way. Whip ‘em off, I say.
The issue, as I say, is not Rapace’s semi-nakedity. It’s deeper than that. Remember I said Guy Pearce looks like a big ball bag? His is far from the only case of genital looky-likeys. Specifically the alien. Because all of the aliens look like vaginas. All of them. It starts off kind of innocent: a lovable little vagina on the end of a tentacle that nonchalantly breaks Rafe Spall’s arm then goes on a little trip down his oesophagus. This set off a few alarm bells but I thought, give Ridley a chance. Maybe he didn’t realize how much that looked like a fanny. It was inadvertent, even quite funny. Sit back, enjoy the film. But it didn’t stop there. It was like a fanny flood-gate had been opened: millions of the things started popping up everywhere, ending finally in a huge, unapologetic vagina dentata that gobbled up a CGI alien man at the film’s close. The effect is overwhelming: a genuine case of what Lee Aronsohn recently (and infuriatingly) termed ‘labia saturation’. No matter how powerful, how independent, how generally great Rapace is, this is all pretty much negated by the fact that the physical embodiment of evil in this film takes the shape of a vag.
It almost feels like an incredibly self-aware spoof, especially at the point when Rapace’s (formerly barren) character is impregnated by an alien and has to perform her own caesarean. There’s so much terror of women as reproductive machines, of vaginas as evil little mouths, you wonder that nobody on set suggested a little therapy for Scott. Surely when Scott was working with the special-effects guys and developing his vision of the alien – ‘A little more lippy…kind of like a mouth but sideways?’ – they had to stifle their giggles and assume Ridley had led a sheltered life, that he knew not what he did. If Freud had been on the board of producers he would’ve been all, ‘WTF, Ridley? Seriously? Why are you advertising your debilitating fear of women?’ Had no one on set read Freud? Had they not, at least, heard all the jokes about the Eye of Sauron looking like a fanny and thought: ‘Consider that a bullet dodged guys, let’s create an image of unmitigated evil that wouldn’t be eerily familiar to a gynaecologist’. Apparently not.
Maybe I’m over-sensitive. Maybe, in fact, this is my obsession and I see vaginas everywhere I look. If this is the case, I will apologise and promptly seek professional help. If not, however, then the powers-that-be in Hollywood need a different icon for evil.