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STARSHIP TROOPERS: Friday Night Freakouts
April 28 @ 11:00 pm
Dutch auteur filmmaker Paul Verhoeven had shown his deft hand at satire in films like The 4th Man and the brilliant, multi-layered Robocop, but nothing had prepared us for the Fascism-orgy that was 1997’s smarter-than-your-average-monster-bugs-from-outer-space-film Starship Troopers.
An adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein’s military science fiction novel, Starship Troopers takes place in a not-so-distant Fascist future, when Earth is at war with a race of giant alien insects. Little is known about the Bugs except that they are mercilessly violent and intent on the eradication of all human life – a result, it’s suggested, of having been provoked by the intrusion of humans into their habitats. A Mobile Infantry travels to distant alien planets to take the war to the Bugs, leading to one relentlessly violent and gruesome battle after another, all the more exhilarating thanks to Verhoeven’s reliable use of state-of-the-art special effects, attention to detail, and breakneck pacing.
The film includes visual allusions to propaganda films such as Why We Fight, Triumph of the Will, and wartime newsreels, and the symbols and certain clothing styles of the heroic Federation are modeled on those of the Nazis. As Verhoeven stated, “The film’s message is that ‘War makes fascists of us all.’ I see it as a natural evolution of the post-World War II United States.” Time will tell exactly how prescient Verhoeven may have been…
Part of our weekly OC Weekly Friday Night Freakouts series, presenting classic and contemporary avant garde, genre, and cult cinema. Presented by OC Weekly.