D’SOUZA: Dear lord. Apparently the military brought the wrong bullets. It’s pointed out, as the Marines embark on their cooling-tower rescue mission, that they can’t shoot anything within the towers because the whole site is one big fusion reactor. This is one of the first mistakes that doom the mission to failure.
COULTER: It’s not Hicks’s fault. It’s Gorman’s. Hicks has a shotgun. And I have to say, my heart sort of pitter-patters when he cocks it. I just like the sound. Oh, my. Here the Corporation Marines have stumbled across a wall-implanted nest of dead and near-dead colonists. My question about this sequence, though, is this: If a woman is pregnant with an alien, does she have the right to an abortion?
D’SOUZA: That’s a tricky one.
COULTER: Because we see here that some of the colonists have, in fact, been impregnated by aliens.
D’SOUZA: I’m going to make an uncharacteristic admission for both of us: this is a tough, complicated issue. On the one hand you have these unborn aliens, and their lives are sacred. But really, these humans are in no way equipped to take care of them adequately once they’re born.
COULTER: So they should go ahead and give birth to the alien, but destroy it immediately afterwards?
D’SOUZA: I think so, yes.
COULTER: We see here that Corporal Dietrich finds a still-living colonist. She is, regretfully, pregnant with an alien. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this colonist sounds like she’s saying, “Kill me.”
D’SOUZA: I don’t think she actually has the right to decide what happens to her body at this point. Now the alien is popping out!
COULTER: And the Marines, you’ll note, wait until the alien has escaped the womb before burning it with their flamethrowers.
D’SOUZA: Thereby averting an ethical catastrophe.
COULTER: Here’s where Gorman gets Sergeant Apone killed by distracting him. And all hell breaks loose. Look at Gorman’s hopeless bungling. “Get them out of there!” Ripley begs him. Gorman is so unnerved by real combat that he can’t speak. This silence is well known to any liberal once he has had his fancy little world of pleasant unreality shattered.
D’SOUZA: Indecision. Lack of resolution. Liberals are terrified by reality.
COULTER: “Do something,” Ripley says, throttling Gorman. I love that woman.
D’SOUZA: And she stuffs Newt in the child seat before she drives in to save the stranded Corporation Marines.
COULTER: And Newt takes off the seatbelt! Some big-brother directive like seatbelt-wearing — what good does it do her? She’s survived for weeks among liberal aliens. Seatbelts? Please. And Gorman, look at him, the coward. Hit in the head with falling luggage. It’s a good thing Bill Clinton did dodge the draft. Otherwise he would have led his platoon into some rice-patty disaster much like this one.
D’SOUZA: Wow. Ripley’s run over an alien with the Corporation’s armored vehicle.
COULTER: Some wonderful alien-killing here. Call me romantic, but I just like watching them die. Hicks is telling Ripley they’re clear. And where’s Gorman? Unconscious.
D’SOUZA: And in this discussion afterward about whether or not to destroy the entire infested planet, Burke sensibly brings up the fact that the colony has substantial dollar value attached to it.
COULTER: Now, the soldiers have less tolerance for this position.
D’SOUZA: We honor the soldiers and we respect them. But they need leaders to tell them what to do. They’re six weeks of boot camp away from blowing their welfare checks in a pool hall. Only the imposition of rigid discipline makes them the wonderful servants for democracy that they are.
COULTER: And here we see Ferro, the pilot, get killed by a disgusting and cowardly liberal alien.
D’SOUZA: How did it get up there?
COULTER: I don’t know. But they’re in a bit of a bind now, especially after Ferro’s ship crashes and nearly kills all of them. These aliens may be smarter than they look.
D’SOUZA: “Game over,” says Hudson. Another self-defeating, anti-Corporation coward. Now, Burke is suggesting they build a fire and sing some songs. You know, that’s not a bad idea.
COULTER: All that’s left for them to do now is tally their guns and ammo. Unfortunately, they’re low on ammo. But I bet Gorman packed the ship with alien food aid. Look at this. Newt is showing a natural curiosity for automatic weapons, but Hicks wisely tells her not to touch. Not until she’s older, at least. Maybe the flamethrower when she’s twelve, and grenade launchers when she’s fifteen.
D’SOUZA: Morale is crumbling here. Hudson cravenly asks, “Why don’t you put her in charge?” when it’s pointed out that Newt has survived among aliens. What are the differences between them? Newt is totally self-reliant. Hudson wants someone to come and save him. He’s even willing to put that power in the hands of a child.
COULTER: And he was the one talking the biggest game in the beginning of the film, as I remember.
D’SOUZA: So, there’s nobody up in the big orbiting ship?
COULTER: No one. That does seem to be another flaw in their tactical plan. I’m pleased, however, to see that the colony relied on fusion, that nuclear power is still a vital part of human society.
D’SOUZA: A more reliable power source than some ridiculous combination of windmills and sunlight.
COULTER: And just look at Ripley’s self-reliant spirit here as she goes about preparing barricades to keep the liberal aliens out. This is sensible Corporation policy. Sealing off whatever doors you have to seal off to keep these things out. This is no place to address the niceties of discriminating against aliens.
D’SOUZA: Wait one moment: aliens! I see what you mean now. We have to see this as a group of people quite simply besieged by aliens. Encircled, as it were, by hostility itself.
COULTER: Hostility that evidences itself by the fact that all these aliens speak a language I don’t understand.
D’SOUZA: This is an appropriate response, of course. What we’re seeing is a clash of civilizations: Corporate earth culture versus alien-insect acid-blood culture.
COULTER: What do you think about the conflict between the always-dapper Burke and the all-American Hicks? It’s obvious by this point that they don’t like each other.
D’SOUZA: A lack of mutual understanding, I would say. Burke is a member of the thinking class. Burke has the bigger picture in mind.
COULTER: Yes, he does. Hicks seems to be the kind of guy who would watch NASCAR, if they still have NASCAR.
D’SOUZA: And that’s great. We need people like Hicks.
COULTER: We do need people like that. But fundamentally Burke should be in charge. Here we’re coming up on the scene where the face-hugger tries to kill Ripley and Newt in the medi-lab. The movie suggests that Burke released this face-hugger from its tube.
D’SOUZA: Naturally. He wanted to incubate Newt and Ripley.
COULTER: I will proceed from the assumption that Burke has more faith in the medical industry back home on earth than any of these grunts. I imagine that Burke knows of some established medical process able to remove the unborn aliens from Newt and Ripley without killing them.
D’SOUZA: I don’t think there’s enough information to make a judgment. Again, though, Burke doesn’t want to destroy anything that could provide humans with a possible military edge. Such as the aforementioned alien-insect acid blood.
COULTER: As he’s explaining to Ripley right now, “We can both come out of this heroes.” In other words, we can use the face-huggers for the good of the Corporation.
D’SOUZA: Why would anyone want to simply throw away this acid-blood edge?
COULTER: How do you view the revelation that Burke sent the colonists to their deaths? I think Ripley, essentially, likes and respects Burke.
D’SOUZA: I don’t know. I think you’re letting your affection for Ripley interfere a little bit with understanding the complexities and nuances of her dilemma. There’s more than a little bit of shrill, liberal cant coming out of her mouth at this point.
COULTER: I disagree. I think in the vast tent of conservative thought there’s room for pro-alien-annihilation views as well as pro-Corporation views. I also think … wait, what’s going on? Oh. I guess this is another new scene cut from the theatrical release.
D’SOUZA: Yes. We see aliens sneaking through, penetrating the inadequately protected borders, despite the fact that there are two very powerful, well-armed sentry guns and a pressure door between them and the humans. But it doesn’t seem to be enough.
COULTER: And now the “artificial person” Bishop points out that a forty megaton explosion is going to await them all if they don’t get off the planet. Hudson of course instantly despairs. I think Hudson’s incessant cowardice is a dark blight on this otherwise excellent movie. But back to Burke and Ripley. There’s room for disagreement within conservatism. Yes, Burke is probably too pro-face-hugger. I can admit that.
D’SOUZA: Are you advocating nuance and complexity?
COULTER: No. God, no. I’m just saying that if there’s a buck to be made off face-huggers then it should be looked into seriously. And here we see that the sentry guns, which they think are going to fail, ultimately do stop the aliens — proving, once again, that guns work best.
D’SOUZA: It also proves that the Corporation should invest even more vigorously in military hardware.
COULTER: In sentry-gun technology. Can you imagine if every American family had a sentry gun in its doorway?
D’SOUZA: No need to fear for their lives after dark.
COULTER: Here Hicks and Ripley share a quiet moment. Do you find this scene erotic? Hicks teaching Ripley how to shoot the plasma rifle?
D’SOUZA: I don’t know. It makes me a bit uncomfortable.
COULTER: “Show me everything,” Ripley says, “even the grenade launcher.” That’s a very erotic line to me. Now Ripley, fresh from having learned how to wield a weapon, goes to Newt. We find little feral Newt sleeping under her bed. So, Ripley joins her, and the liberal face-hugger scampers into the room — very nearly impregnating them both. As we’ve discussed, face-hugging raises complicated issues for conservatism.
D’SOUZA: We can agree on this: In his concern, in his corporate spirit, Burke is probably taking things a bit too far. But he does so with inimitable style and joie de vivre.
COULTER: They said Ronald Reagan went too far. Perhaps Burke made a mistake. Here he is turning off the security camera, unfortunately while Ripley, menaced by the liberal face-hugger, is frantically waving for help.
D’SOUZA: Fairly damning evidence. But the circle of self-interest has closed now, as it often does. We’re seeing a regrettable but unchangeable aspect of human nature.
COULTER: I’m not certain it’s ever totally established that Burke actually saw Ripley on the screen there.
D’SOUZA: It doesn’t matter, in the end. If the Corporation has a few bad apples in it — and Burke may or may not be a bad apple — it will nevertheless survive this potentially embarrassing episode.
COULTER: It really doesn’t matter, because Ripley triggers the fire detector with her lighter and summons the Marines. Thank God. And finally, Hudson reclaims some of his soldierly manhood by wasting the face-hugger.
D’SOUZA: And now they question Burke.
COULTER: Look, Burke made a mistake. Still, there’s no reason to call him a “rat fuck son-of-a-bitch,” like Hudson just did. Hudson, who’s gone through about seventeen diapers since this mission began. Burke, however, has been a picture of calm.
D’SOUZA: And what does Burke say?
COULTER: Burke says it’s “nuts” to accuse him. That they’re all suffering from a sad and a paranoid delusion. Personally, I think there may be something to that. Before they all agree to make up and fight for the main and subsidiary interests of the Corporation, the lights go out. And what do we do here? What conclusions do we draw? Were they not vigilant enough about the aliens? Did they not hate them enough? They hated them enough. They were vigilant. But the liberal aliens still got through.
D’SOUZA: It’s an unrelenting tide.
COULTER: If I may go on a bit here and address some metaphorical implications: You’ll notice that liberals try to suppress all conservative thought. Why do they do this? Because conservative thought is so much more innately appealing than liberal thought. What I’m saying is that we might draw from this sequence an opposite analogy — that conservatism will always win, it will get through.
D’SOUZA: Conservative aliens?
COULTER: No, humans fighting for the right and true philosophy. An anti-alien philosophy. The point is relentlessness. We could learn something from these liberal aliens. Note, too, how the aliens get in. Do you recall? The basement and the ceiling. All the hidden places. You can’t deal with these creatures head-on.
D’SOUZA: This is a terrifying scene.
COULTER: They’re getting closer.
D’SOUZA: Now they’re inside the room.
COULTER: Gorman is shooting aliens, but look at the confusion on his face. He’s probably still trying to understand them.
D’SOUZA: Burke runs out here, but we don’t really know why. It’s possible he was running to get a rifle.
COULTER: This may be my favorite scene: Hudson slaughtering aliens. He’s seeing that interspecies genocide, under the proper circumstances, can be invigorating. Hudson has changed.
D’SOUZA: It’s like that old saying: A conservative is a liberal who’s been attacked by aliens.
COULTER: This is sad when Hudson dies. Pulled down into the depths.
D’SOUZA: Bravely fighting, though.
COULTER: Would you rather be shot or would you rather be impregnated by an alien?
D’SOUZA: Well …
COULTER: Again we see Burke running away. And, tragically, he runs into one of the aliens and is killed. Frankly, I begin to lose interest here. It’s not the same film without him.
D’SOUZA: Private Vasquez dies, too, yes?
COULTER: She and Gorman die together. Fitting, in that Gorman is the Clinton-esque figure who dies with a woman in his arms.
D’SOUZA: He does redeem himself at the end.
COULTER: By killing. With his little pistol. He loses his own life trying to rescue a Marine who was already going to die. It just goes to show you. Even when liberals like Gorman finally do something good, they actually ruin everything.
D’SOUZA: The path to hell is paved by liberal best intentions.
COULTER: Surprising move for Gorman, though. Finally letting his true colors show. Had it been Newt down there, he probably would have just left her.
D’SOUZA: Or he would have lobbed a few cruise missiles at her and called it a day.
COULTER: After fondling her.
D’SOUZA: Now, Ann!
COULTER: He would have fondled Newt first. You know he would have.
D’SOUZA: Ripley decides to go back and save the captured Newt. What do we learn? I think we learn that conservatives don’t quit. Ripley is loading up with ammunition. Takes your breath away, doesn’t it?
COULTER: Yes, definitely.
D’SOUZA: I’m somewhat troubled, though, by Ripley’s braless sixties chic.
COULTER: Considering her circumstances, I’m not all that bothered by it. But typically, I would like to see her in a bra. And here we are in the aliens’ liberal lair. Look at how packed together these aliens are! And that’s a big birth canal the mother alien has, isn’t it? I mean, it’s so big you almost want to give it food stamps.
D’SOUZA: You’re right. She pumps out children like there’s no tomorrow, and feeds them the corpses of the hard-working, gainfully employed colonists. This is a liberal paradise.
COULTER: And meanwhile the aliens haven’t contributed any technological developments at all. Everything modern on this planet was put here by the colonizers. For that imbalance alone the aliens deserve to be wiped out.
D’SOUZA: They’re basically parasites.
COULTER: They’re parasites! And this mother alien just giving birth all day. Ripley’s got it right when she realizes that destroying the welfare mother alien is her only option.
D’SOUZA: With a flame-thrower.
COULTER: That’s right. She duct-tapes that flame-thrower to the plasma rifle, right?
D’SOUZA: And then she begins shooting those grenades into the welfare queen’s egg sac.
COULTER: The mother alien, to save herself from burning to death, pulls free of her uterus and lets all her babies burn to death. What does that remind you of? Actually, I don’t know what that reminds me of, but it’s bad for liberals whatever it is. Now, did you think the android — I’m sorry, the artificial person — was really going to abandon Ripley and Next here on the catwalk while the complex burns and explodes all around them?
D’SOUZA: Bishop is a machine. It’s going to do what the Corporation tells it to do. At the beginning of the film, it does seem like it’s been programmed with some kind of political-correctness chip.
COULTER: Well, he hadn’t been attacked by aliens yet.
D’SOUZA: But now he has been attacked by aliens. So it does change everything, doesn’t it?
COULTER: Do you think nuclear power is getting a bad rap here due to the fact that it’s about to destroy the entire planet?
D’SOUZA: Well, no, since destroying the whole planet is a necessary course at this point.
COULTER: You see that the aliens have caused all these problems, and, naturally, liberals would want to blame it all on nuclear power, and Burke. For liberals, the main thing is not, Let’s try to win arguments. The main thing is destroying their opponents by maligning their reputations and, when that fails, leading them into corridors known to be traveled by their hungry alien brethren.
D’SOUZA: Liberals seem to want to operate in perpetual alarmist mode. They routinely exaggerate the threat economic growth, technology, and human beings themselves pose to the planet.
COULTER: When it’s really aliens that are the problem.
D’SOUZA: Along with the human beings who have been impregnated by the alien ideology.
COULTER: The music in this escape sequence sounds very much like Wagner’s The Planets, specifically the first movement.
D’SOUZA: Boom! The planet explodes. That solved their alien problem, didn’t it?
COULTER: It did.
D’SOUZA: A nice, big, nuclear cloud. Pretty.
COULTER: When your problems are all concentrated in one area, that cloud can be a wonderful problem-solver. But the freeloading welfare queen has stowed away in the escape ship like a common hobo. You think they’ve escaped. But they have not. And now Bishop gets impaled by her gigantic alien tail. Ugh, milk vomit.
D’SOUZA: Bishop’s milk vomit.
COULTER: I miss Burke.
D’SOUZA: Me too. But what can we say about the fistfight between the welfare alien and Ripley in the crane suit?
COULTER: I have always been impressed with the way Ripley could keep from being sucked out into the inky void of space by holding on to a ladder rung within the airlock.
D’SOUZA: Notice what this movie didn’t have any of: compassion, understanding, reflection, empathy, kindness. And what did it have? Brute human instinct working for self-preservation.
COULTER: The airlock opens, and good riddance to bad aliens! Not that there’s such a thing as good aliens.
D’SOUZA: Well, except perhaps for me.