June 7th, 2012


Open Letter to Ridley Scott

Dear Ridley Scott,

I have just returned from seeing your new film, Prometheus, and I would like my money back, please.

It cost me twenty one dollars, Australian, and I would like that money returned to me in dollar bills, by yourself personally, after you have flown to my country. It's Winter here, so I apologise for the cold, but you created that awful, mind numbing mess of a film, and you owe me.

The problems of your film are many: your characterisation is flawed, your science is bad, your internal plot mechanics make no sense, and there is absolutely no sense of pace or tension within the film at all. In truth--and I won't lie here--your film is completely and utterly unredeemable, from start to finish, and anyone who tells you otherwise has had their brain removed, placed into a jar, and set on your mantel piece so that you can rub your genitals over what remains of their grey matter.

It is clear, for example, that you have never met a scientist. I myself am not a scientist, but even I know that any real scientist would be meticulous, would not be taking off their helmet, would not be picking up the decapitated head of an alien to take back to the ship and try and get a 'response' from it. I know this. I know more, in fact, but what I don't understand is that if you offer me a pair of scientists who have managed to convince a very rich man to spend trillions of dollars to fly to a planet, why you would think that I would buy the fact that they are the most naive and stupid pair of scientists that you could possibly come across? And I'm not even talking about the fact that they didn't realise straight away that the old man was lurking in a secret freezer on the ship waiting for his chance of immortality. That was just a bad plot device that you and the scriptwriter--the last one, Damon Lindelof--should have sat around and said, "You know what? That's pretty fucking obvious."

"Yeah," I imagine Lindelof saying as he lines up thick lines on a glass tray, "but fuck, Ridley, we'll hide it behind an evil robot."


David, the evil robot.

It's so obvious, from the moment he is combing his hair to look like Peter O'Tool, and repeating the line, "The trick is not minding that it hurts." So obvious that it's bad characterisation, that it's terrible writing. But worse than the fact that you have him lurking the spaceship and combing his hair and watching the dreams of others, is the fact that you don't even bother to follow through on his evil. Let me give you a hint: if you want to infect one of the crew with an alien disease which causes worms to emerge from his eyeballs, at least have the decency to follow it through, rather than simply burning the man to death when his infection is in full swing. You could have at least done something with that--created a connection to the aliens, allowed a dialogue to emerge, shown him disintegrating, similar to what happens to the alien at the start.

But no.

No, you take a flame thrower to him under a sudden 'quarantine' concern. Is that a decapitated alien head you have in your spaceship? Did the evil robot stash a alien case in above the sink while none of you were looking?

Of course, you might say, that that was all part of getting the alien born. Ah, yes. Yes. There's nothing like a woman who has to cut her stomach open to remove her alien child and then run staggeringly around the ship, covered in blood. One might suspect that someone would almost ask what had happened to her. You would think. She is covered in blood, after all. They probably just thought, "Oh, she's been playing with the fully functional medical pod that we just happened to glance by earlier, making it, you know, the only notable part of the ship. Of course she'll want to go there to have her alien baby removed." Of course she, as a scientist, might not leave her infection half alive in some part of the ship. But of course, scientists being stupid is part of the deal here, isn't it? Like when you left two scientists lost in the ship and they decided to be cute with what I can only assume were the mutated worms. No need to show those worms later, incidentally. Just have them kill some folk and then one of them can come back as a zombie and thin out the cast in what has not clear reasoning and does not even warrant a proper sense of place within the film.

"You know, Damon." You are looking at the empty glass trays sadly. "You know, we might have to explain the zombie."

"Nah, nah. Hand me that piping bag. We don't--through the nose isn't good enough. Just take down your pants. Trust me, Ridley, trust me, it's great. And all we have to do is have the old man go to the ship to meet the last surviving alien. Final act, man!"

But for all this bad film making, bad art, it was the subtext of the film pissed me off the most, you conservative piece of shit filmmaker.

Your whole film is ultimately a heavy handed sermon to Creationism. Of course the scientists are stupid, of course they have nothing resembling a thought, of course they're responsible for unleashing terrible death--because as your film so clearly and utterly says, we are not meant to know how we are created, we are not meant to know how life began. Put away your quest to know, put away your research. If you don't, you'll only unleash terrible things!

Your repeated shots of the main character's religious iconography, your shallow definition of her faith that, I hope, insults religious people everywhere, who are appalled that you reduced such an important part of their life to blindly 'believing', of asking "Who made them?" when faced with the knowledge that humans were made by aliens. I hope they are angry at you for suggesting that their religion comforts them, gives them a sense of having been made with a purpose, and allows them to put off any search or quest for knowledge in the universe. I hope they send you hate cards. Because you deserve them, not just for that, but because your shit film is essentially an attack on science, on evolution, and the kind of reaffirmation of creationism that is taught to hardcore fundamentalist Christians in ring wing shit stain schools in the States.

And, on one last note that you and your conservative cohorts can ponder as you fly over to return my twenty one dollars, is that it is humanity, not mankind.

Get it the fuck right, mate.


Ben Peek.