My husband Darwin likes horror movies. As a rule, I don’t. I do like SF movies, though, and here we have ALIEN: COVENANT, which combines the two genres. This, I thought, would be a perfect date movie! Horror for Darwin, SF for me.
Then I learned it has a gay couple in it. A married gay couple.
You might think this would engender happiness. Joy. Even a certain amount a giddiness. Instead, my metaphorical ears went back and my hackles went up. I’ve danced to this tune before. I spent a few minutes looking up spoilers and discovered my hackles were justified.
I will not see this movie. I will not rent the DVD. I will not support this movie. And here’s why.
SPOILERS (you are warned)
According to various on-line sources, the sins of the same-sex relationship portrayal are the standard ones we’ve come to expect. First, although there were several initial shots to the contrary, there is little or no indication of a marriage–or any kind of relationship–between the two men throughout the film. They don’t touch. They don’t exchange endearments. There was apparently a brief moment of hugging between them in a preview, but that scene has been cut from the film, and that preview has been removed from the Internet. In other words, gay people are still invisible. No LGBT characters are actually in the spotlight. No LGBT protagonists. Just a couple of background guys who may or may not be in a relationship.
But the worst sin comes early in the second act. Hallett, one of the (so far probably) gay men, becomes infected with the alien infection, and a baby alien bursts out of his face. (Not his chest, like in the other movies, but out of his freakin’ face. He’s probably gay, so we have to up the nastiness.) While the ship’s captain leans in to murmur quiet apologies, Lope, the other probably gay guy, whispers, “I love you” and then is forced to walk away.
One more time, we have the gay tragedy. Gay men continue to be the objects of tragedy and disgust and ridicule. We’re only interesting or worthy if we watch our partners die. No happy relationships for the gay guy. In fact, we’re going to get an alien burst out of our faces, just to super-compound the tragedy. Because, you know, just dying of an alien tearing out of your chest isn’t bad enough for the gays. Let’s make it worse.
Oh, and we’re only going to confirm the same-sex relationship AFTER one of them has died.
I will not spend a dime for that movie. I urge you to avoid it as well.
–Steven Harper Piziks