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  • Writer's pictureShannon Heibler

Starship Troopers (1997)

There is so much wrong with this movie. So much. But honestly, that's what makes it work? It's so stupid, it's perfect.


I don't remember when I first saw it. Late high school, early college. Loved it immediately, even though I closed my eyes through the gross bits. Watching it this time around with Andy, who'd just read the book, I was shocked to realize how much I used to feel bad for Johnny, particularly regarding Carmen. Now... oof. Dizzy, RUN GIRL. We said it over and over. I'm not a huge fan of NPH any more so... I was less charmed by Carl and more creeped out by his severely shadowed temples and cheek bones and SS fashion. (Still love that his ferret is named Cyrano, though.) I'm saying all of this as though I enjoyed the movie any less. Not true. It's still a hoot. It was an excellent end to some rough weeks and all the better for being shared with a friend.


Two of my all time favorite character actors appear in this movie. Jake Busey and Jake Busey. I'm kidding! Michael Ironsides (losing a record three limbs! A lot, even for him!) and Clancy Brown giving us a wonderful combination of the Shawshank Guard and a little bit of Mr. Krabbs. I can't think the word "medic" without hearing him HOLLER it.


The thing that I hear referenced the most from this film is the propaganda. "WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE?" "SERVICE GUARANTEES CITIZENSHIP." "THE ONLY GOOD BUG IS A DEAD BUG." "EVERYBODY FIGHTS. NOBODY QUITS." But that's the genius of it, to me. That's how propaganda works and having it delivered by sexy 30-year-olds playing 18-year-olds? Of course everyone is enlisting. Look at those butts! (We discussed the plethora of butts at length during this viewing. They are, universally, impressive butts.)


I love the design of the Bugs. Both the actual execution of the CGI and the way that types of Bugs are introduced through the film. First you learn about the infantry (Warrior Bug), the artillery (Tanker and Plasma Bugs - or ass blasters as I kept calling them because I have seen allll of the Tremors movies and I'm proud of that), the cavalry (Hopper Bug), and the commanders (some kind of smart bug/Brain Bug). I almost wish that the cold open scene from the Battle of Klendathu didn't exist so there could be a more natural progression where we, the audience and Johnny, hear about Bugs and see them out of context through the propaganda, and think they're not that much of a threat, and then when the Mobile Infantry first experiences them first hand, we experience that too. It's still very effective and I'm sure not having that scene there would be a tough sell for bored audiences.


I don't want to harp on it too much but I'd be remiss if I didn't call out The Worst Sex Scene in Cinema History. I have no doubt that there are more awkward stagings but in context it is the most upsetting thing to watch. Poor Diz. Finally gets to be with Rico (why) and he wants to hide her face. He dodges saying I love you just like Carmen did to him. He's trash and I bet the sex was bad. JUSTICE FOR DIZZY FLORES.


Digital. Untitled.





Takeaways:

-These were fun. Another case of not knowing *clearly* what I wanted to do and so I never quite knew how to go about it. It's a common problem with my digital pieces (particularly backgrounds). I'm not sure why it's easier (for me) with physical media but something to keep working on.

-I will be making a screenprint of the second piece (yes that's Casper Van Dien's butt) and will be printing shirts to order. You're welcome.


Next week, you'll wish you spoke Hovitos. FINALLY we come to an Indiana Jones film. FINALLY we'll watch Raiders of the Lost Ark. (This is the longest I've gone without watching Raiders my entire life. I've been ...Jonesing. :D )


Following Raiders, I'm going slightly less random and will be picking my favorite spooky/spooky adjacent films for October. It means some of my art will arrive after Halloween but there's no way I'm not watching Hocus Pocus on October 31st.


Have a great week!

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