Since watching the original Alien film back in October, we have been steadily working our way through the box set, including the Alien v. Predator pair. Some no-brainers: the original film was the best; Sigourney Weaver makes the series; Alien v. Predator is clever in making us sympathise with the Predators (basically, by morphing them into maori rugby players with tribal initiation customs based around courage)… In general, and despite some notorious production problems (particularly on Alien 3), the films are a good set of action-packed suspense movies. As we have worked our way through them I have read up a bit on some of the imagery and metaphors. In particular, there is quite a bit of literature out there on the internet about Freudian sexual undertones; the facehugger represents male rape; the bursting chest represents violent birth; and so on. Even the shape of the Alien’s head lends itself to such an interpretation. There is also a feminist branch that basically argues that Weaver’s character demonstrates that, in the end, women have got to sort things out. Weaver, so powerful already in the first film, certainly grows into her role, standing firm as the men around her are picked off. Lastly, there is a school of thought that points to the films’ religious imagery (salvation and damnation to start with!). However, another possible metaphorical interpretation occured to me as we were watching Alien 3. Of course, in this game it’s what you want to make of it. Nevertheless, what is the greatest scourge of the bourgeois world that has the time and the means to watch such films? It lurks within us. It can declare itself suddenly. It is dispassionately efficient as a killing machine. It picks us off, seemingly at random, leaving those behind fearful and counting their luck. Could Alien be a metaphor for cancer?