The Empty Vessel: Chronicles of the 'Unfed' Womb -- Examining Symbolic Female Bodies and the absence of Bodily Autonomy in Alien 3

  • Jordan Redekop-Jones Student


Alien 3 (1992) explores what it means to be a woman in horror as defined solely by motherhood and womanhood. Following the devastating loss of maternal relationship between Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and Newt (Carrie Henn) during a crash landing, the protagonist Ripley, must navigate the prisoner planet Fiorina 161 as the sole survivor and woman amongst violent convicts placed in isolation from society for their heinous acts against women. Director David Fincher uses a dark, isolated setting to explore the patriarchy’s definition of bodily autonomy through the abjection of an unwanted alien pregnancy, the void-like environment of the prison and the uncontrolled, fast paced violence of the prisoners and ‘rogue’ alien. This essay seeks to examine the concept of Barbara Creed’s ‘Monstrous Feminine’ as seen through the patriarchy’s fear of the parthenogenetic alien queen and the abject womb of Fiorina 161.