Starring – a bunch of actors who aren’t Sigourney Weaver
Directed by – Ridley Scott, who has directed Sigourney Weaver in several movies, including the very first Alien film, but not this one because she’s not in it 🙁
2017 (another year that Sigourney Weaver wasn’t in a new Alien film)
“I’ll always be with you. Light of my life. My love, my angel.” -Lope to his husband after he is killed by one of those God damned aliens.
Back in the summer of 1986, I went over to my friend Jeff’s house because he had rented a videotape (remember those?) of the very first and only film at that time in the Alien film series, titled simply, Alien. I had never heard of this Alien film before and neither had Jeff. We were both born in 1972 and the film Alien came out in 1979, so we had just been little kids and so we hadn’t been privy to the horror/sci-fi film because the Internet wasn’t around yet, so we usually had to get our movie news from our parents, older siblings or People magazine because every mom back then always had a copy. These were not always the best sources for movie news, but it was what was available to us as kids, so we took what we could get.
But suddenly in the summer of 1986, we had finally become aware of this Alien film, or at least Jeff had and passed on the info to me because by the time I was 13, everyone who knew me, knew that I LOVED movies, so I was always being told by people what movie to see next. Kind of like now, except I’m always being told which movies I should write about next, but I guess if I wrote about movies when I was 13, I would have been told then, too, what movies to see so I could then write about them. People seem to love the way I write about movies. I don’t know why. I just observe them and record my thoughts, and I have some crazy thoughts, so maybe that’s the key to my success, my slightly unusual brain? Anyway, Jeff called and asked if I could come over and watch the movie with him, and luckily my mother, aka Joan Crawford Junior, who was never keen on me having friends, so was always sabotaging my friendships, always had dreams of Jeff and me getting married someday, so she let me go over to his house. I knew then that my mom dreamed of this, but I also knew then that I wasn’t going to marry Jeff even though he was basically my type, except he was a guy, so sorry Jeff about me only liking women, because I realized years later, he actually did have romantic feelings for me, so for once, my mother wasn’t completely delusional about something.
Now Jeff and I had no idea exactly what Alien was about, because like I said, we grew up in the dinosaur/caveman era, aka no Internet, so we couldn’t go on YouTube to watch a trailer or some scenes of the movie, or go on Google to look up what the movie was really about, so we had NO idea that an alien would end up bursting out of John Hurt’s chest, so when that scene did happen while we were watching Alien for the first time, Jeff and I screamed and screamed and screamed and ran for our lives. And then after we recovered, we watched that scene all over again and again and again, because we were only 13, after all, so of course we were going to watch that scene over and over again even though it scared the ever loving shit out of us.
But something happened to me while I was watching Alien for the first time. Something that had been happening to me a lot already that year and I didn’t like the feelings at all, yet at the same time, I thought these feelings were the most wonderful thing in the world – I started to develop serious crushes on women, even though I had no idea that was what was happening to me at the time. Most of these women were on my TV, but sometimes they were in my real life too, like one of the ladies who worked at that video rental store where Jeff rented Alien in little dinky Edgewater, Florida, and my 8th grade English teacher too at good ole (so not!) New Smyrna Beach Junior High, who I had just very sadly said goodbye to since 8th grade had ended a few weeks before. These feelings were wonderful and terrifying and all at the same time. And then all of these feelings came to a cumulative head when Sigourney Weaver came on the TV screen as Ripley in Alien and into my life for the very first time. She seemed to be a little extra special. She seemed to stand out from the crowd of women that I was falling in love with, yet I didn’t know that falling in love was what was happening to me with these women. She was badass. She was a survivor. And she walked around in her underwear while being a badass survivor. Ooh! La! La! 😉
In case you needed a visual to help you understand how severely repressed 13 year old lesbian me could be both very excited, yet very terrified of my feelings for this very lovely and very sexy lady. Thank God, I’m not 13 anymore! That was a very, very, very confusing and frightening and wonderful and terrifying and amazing and horrible year for being repressed teenage lesbian me.
So, for 30-plus years now, thanks to Jeff introducing me to Sigourney Weaver (sorry, Jeff, but how were you supposed to know I’d fall for Sigourney instead of you?) I have been following the Alien films, watching the ones with Sigourney Weaver the most (big surprise), but I’ve also been keeping a close eye on the new prequel films, because I have wondered for 30-plus years now where in the God damned hell did those aliens come from, and now FINALLY we are getting the answer with these new prequel films. And the latest prequel Alien film, Alien: Covenant, fills in even more missing pieces, and the best part of all, they did it with a gay couple in the group for the first time in the Alien film series history! It may not seem like a big deal to some people, or maybe many people that there is a gay couple in the latest Alien film series, especially since they are in it all too briefly, but for me, I thought this was the most exciting thing ever in an Alien film since I saw Sigourney Weaver in the very first film.
Gay couples are everywhere now (or at least it seems) on my TV. Movies, series, even commercials now have us gays in it. I still get excited when I see gay people on my TV, because I can remember (and it wasn’t very long ago) when there were never gay people on my TV, or if they were, they were not anything to get excited about because they were there to get killed or get laughed at. So, when I sat down recently to watch the latest film in the Alien series after 30-plus years of following the series, I wasn’t expecting to see gay people, I was just expecting to get the ever loving shit scared out of me (and boy did this film ever do that!) and to get some answers to where in the hell did these shit scaring aliens come from. But suddenly right there on my TV as (spoiler alert, but it’s warranted) one of the crew members from the spaceship Covenant is dying, thanks to one of those God damned aliens, we find out that not only was he gay, but that one of the other crew members is his husband. And so in about two seconds, I went from, “OH MY FUCKING GOD, WHY AM I WATCHING THIS EXTREMELY SCARY MOVIE THAT DOESN’T EVEN HAVE SIGOURNEY WEAVER IN IT??!” to, “Awwwww, that is the most beautiful and saddest thing I have ever seen,” and then I started crying, because the scene was just so sad. The scene with the gay couple is all too brief, but it packs a powerful emotional punch that caused me to cheer and cry and all at the same time. In a film where a lot of the crew members are married to other crew members, and, big surprise, a lot of them start dying thanks to the aliens, it wasn’t the straight couples losing their partners that was the most heartbreaking, at least to me, it was the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-moment of the two men who were, in fact, married to each other, because we don’t often get these kinds of images in films about us, especially mainstream films like Alien: Covenant. How times have changed. 30 years ago, I was falling in love with Sigourney Weaver in Alien and scared out of my mind because I didn’t understand those feelings and had no one to talk to about them; and then 30 years later, I KNOW what those feelings are now and I got my very own website to just talk and talk about them until the cows come home, and I’m watching a gay couple in an Alien movie and loving every minute of this sad moment in film because we FINALLY got this moment in film. I waited 30 years to be a part of the Alien films, to see someone like me in them and not just dream in my delusional head that Ripley is a member of the LGBT family too, and so it was worth the wait for me, especially for little repressed, budding lesbian 13 year old me that is still healing from the terrifying time of 1986, where I was a young woman falling in love with other women, at the same time the world started to openly hate people like me because of AIDS.
So, I had to wait almost exactly 31 years and 6 months until I got to finally see not just one, but two gay people in an Alien film, but seeing them on my TV in present day as a 45 year old out and proud lesbian woman brought me right back to being 13 years old again and scared out of my mind about what was happening to me. Scared of all of the questions swimming in my head about these women that I seemed to want to spend time with and get to know better, but why? Why? Why? Why? It was such a frightening time for me, so frightening that I always, until very recently, would become that same little scared kid again whenever I would even think about 1986 and the year of my sexual awakening that I had to keep a tight lid on from everybody, including me, because being gay was an awful thing to be in 1986, and a lot of that had to do with AIDS hitting in full force that year and people started to openly hate us with such hostility that if I hadn’t been living in the closet before that year, I would have been after. In 1986 I just kept asking myself, why did I want to watch Sigourney Weaver over and over in Alien and then the sequel, Aliens, which came out a few days after we saw Alien, hence the need to watch the first film. I would wonder over and over again in my poor, sad, repressed brain why I needed to see that pretty lady. And even though the answer was right there in front of me, kicking that alien’s ass in her underwear, I still didn’t want to know the answer, so I hid it away until it was safe for me to give those feelings an answer. And the answer was and still is, because I love her.
Okay, so I’m still waiting for Sigourney Weaver to show up in one of these new Alien films, and maybe, just maybe, I’m wishful thinking that she’ll show up with a wife, but sadly, I seriously doubt that will ever happen. At least I’m not 13 years old anymore wondering why I love watching her so much in the Alien films, especially in her underwear. And at least I’m not in an Alien film either. I just get to sit back and watch them now, knowing finally that I loved the pretty lady in them long ago and I still do. And unlike those aliens that still do this to me, my feelings for Sigourney and all of those crushes and loves from 1986 no longer scare the ever loving shit out of me.
P.S: Apparently, my love for Sigourney just keeps on trucking along even after over 30 years now, because my wife (who reminds me a lot of Jeff, hence him being my type in a lot of ways, except for him being a guy) and me added a new cat to the family late last year and I named him Jonesy after the cat from the first two Alien films. I was going to name our next cat Newt after the little girl in Aliens, but we got a boy cat instead of a girl cat, so he still had to have an Alien related name, so Jonesy it was! Jonesy hasn’t brought any aliens with him, thank goodness, but he hasn’t brought Ripley with him either, so… 🙁
I stopped watching trailers before I watched the actual movies a while ago because trailers always give away the whole movie now, but this trailer actually helped the movie make more sense, because apparently, some narrative got cut from the film that is in the trailer that would have been helpful in the actual film. Now I don’t know if I should watch the trailer before I see a film or not. Ugh! Those trailer making genius bastards are driving me nuts again. They must be related to those genius alien bastards.