chapter  2
16 Pages

Rights of sacrifice

The scapegoating function is not, of course, confined to mythological and theological discourses. There is, in our contemporary popular unconscious, a pervasive obsession with the monstrous which is symptomatic of the perduring role of sacrificial scapegoats in our culture.1 By way of amplifying our range of investigation, and taking a cue from our discussion of monsters in Part 3 of our companion volume On Stories, I propose to look now at some dramatic reapparitions of the sacrificial demon in recent cinema: (1) the extraterrestrial monster of the Alien series; and (2) the figure of Kurtz in Apocalypse Now Redux.