An elite race of aliens coexists with human beings. They live and work among us, leading lives almost indistinguishable from our own save for one key difference: they reproduce by implanting their offspring in a human host—those hosts in turn raising the newborn aliens as their own. When an ordinary man is forcibly implanted with his alien boss’s parasitic offspring, he asks his wife to help him remove the parasite, a dangerous and illegal act that places both their lives at risk.


PROGENY is a short thesis film created by a group of filmmakers as part of their MFA degree from the AFI Conservatory. It is a suspenseful, science fiction thriller set in an alternate version of present-day rural America. The film seeks to explore the struggles of working-class Americans through an intriguing, entertaining sci-fi story.

Tanner and Emily are all of us. Hard-working people, just trying to make ends meet in a world that gets tougher every day. They toil in their unforgiving jobs, whether it’s at the factory where Tanner is under the constant scrutiny of his unsympathetic manager, or at the hospital where Emily’s critical support of the surgeons goes unappreciated.  But when they get home, they find sanctuary in each other, and in their little backyard garden. It’s their dream to own their own garden shop someday, but saving up the money to start a business seems impossible.

When Tanner is invited to go on a hunting trip with his boss, a wealthy alien, Tanner gladly accepts. He hopes to find a moment to speak to the alien about his garden shop idea, hoping to secure an investment in the business. But when Tanner finally gets the chance, the alien attacks him, pinning him down and slicing into the back of his neck, depositing a parasitic gestational sack which wraps around Tanner’s spine.

When Tanner gets home he is shaken. He doesn’t know what to do. He hides the gestational sac from Emily at first, but when it is eventually discovered, he pleads with her to help him do the only thing he can imagine. He wants to have it removed, and he needs her help…


I love the ooey gooey stuff.

Alien. The Fly. Even Ghostbusters has its fair share of goopy slime and bodily transformations.

A story (like a body) can take many forms. A drama about truckers who are used by their company with little regard for the value of their own lives is interesting, but put it in space and throw a deadly Alien in the mix, now it’s fun. Observing the way drug abuse destroys relationships and cripples the addict can be moving, but make that addict a six-foot-five arthropod and now you have my attention. Grad students make a breakthrough in science but the world continues to doubt them? Okay… The breakthrough is that they can catch ghosts—I’m in!

So I could tell you a story about how the ruling class takes advantage of hard-working Americans, about how they manipulate us through coopting popular narratives and shaping them to suit their personal and economic interests. I could tell a story about how the greatest systems of control utilized by the wealthy are the ones that are self-enforcing, about how they trick us to try and succeed within the system by allowing just enough of us to achieve the appearance of wealth, keeping alive the myth that it’s possible for anyone. But Eisenstein covered that base almost 100 years ago, and frankly it was a little dry then too.

I’d rather tell you about the alien’s grotesque insertion appendage, the greasy gestational sac it discharges and the fibrous, invertebrate tendrils that tear open the flesh at the nape of your neck so they may wrap around your spine and integrate themselves into your nervous system, sucking the life force out of you to feed itself. There’s a story that is shocking, disgusting, and appalling.

And I love it.