Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Watch him as he goes. I'd never really thought much of Startship Troopers, that stupid movie about humans vs. space bugs starring Casper Van Dien (who's married to a Scandanavian princess. Not too shabby) and Denise Richards (sister had a nose job, what), until I read this in the Onion AV Club's "A Decade of Underrated Movies":

Among the most subversive and widely misunderstood studio films ever produced, Paul Verhoeven's anti-fascist satire was falsely interpreted as an endorsement of a fascist utopia that sends pea-brained young recruits on a dire, meaningless offensive against giant space bugs. Working again with Robocop screenwriter Ed Neumeier, Verhoeven casts utterly blank pretty boys and girls (including Casper Van Dien and Denise Richards) as brainwashed heroes rushing merrily to their doom. The state-of-the-art special effects make for some rousing action sequences, but Verhoeven is more interested in how propaganda works to convince citizens of the rightness of an insane cause. Witness this twisted piece of logic from teacher/recruiter Michael Ironside: "Violence has resolved more conflicts that anything else. The contrary opinion that violence doesn't solve anything is merely wishful thinking at its worst."

Coincidently, Starship Troopers was on UPN Sunday night, and I was inspired to watch it. Holy crap is that movie creepy! If you look at the film as an exploration of a fascist society which brainwashes its citizens and not some bs movie about pretty people blowing things up, it's the scariest thing. Case in point, the scene where school children are "doing their part" in the war effort by stomping on bugs is particularly creepy. The ending where Doogie Houser (haha) captures the "Brain Bug" and proceeds to experiment on it with a wide variety of power tools reminds me of Mengele's experiements. Thank you so much, AV Club, for making my skin crawl. Ew.

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