Director: Bob Keen
UK - 1995
I actually rented Proteus from my local Blockbuster in an effort to find a Crazy Baby movie for our recent Crazy Baby month. However, Blockbuster was
surprisingly lax in their Crazy Baby section;
they didnt even have Babys Day Out, for goodness sake. The
closest I could find was a video box cover with a hatching egg on it. Hence, I was misled
into renting a fairly standard "shapeshifting monster in an isolated place
terrorizing people" movie.
Given the innate flexibility of shapeshifting monsters, and the kinds of effects that
can be accomplished these days, how does there come to be a "standard" kind of
movie? Pretty much the same way there is a standard "alien mind-controlling parasite
infestation" movie: you have a progenitor which was pretty good, and then scads and
scads of unimaginative imitators. In this case, given the messy, stretchy nature of the shapeshifting special effects, when we
finally get around to them, I would expect the progenitor would be John
Carpenters The Thing, the one with Kurt Russell in his bad-boy mode (round about
his first Snake Plissken role) as a maverick Arctic scientist. That one also had Wilfred Brimley, doing the right thing to do and
becoming a horrible shapeshifting monster (a prelude to his horrible accent-shifting role
in Hard Target).
Ah, the memories. Of course, what The Thing did what few other shapeshifting movies
have bothered to do, and thats put at least a bit of thought into the conservation
of matter. If the Thing was in an approximately head-sized state, it couldnt grow
significantly without taking in more raw material. Which is not to say that it wasnt
physically strong, even when it was small. But thats beside the point. If memory
serves, this attention to physics may have broken down near the end there, but at that
point, the climactic final act took precedence, so you cant really fault them,
In any case, because of that, the term "shapeshifter movie" seems to involve
lots of messiness, from absorbing innocent creatures into ones own mass, to
disgusting effects when it comes time to shift from one form to another. From The Thing
to Phantoms to Biodome to Proteus, the horrible amorphous monsters
always seem to some slimy and noisy, with inexplicable, ear-wrenching cries of pain/anger
According to my film classes, the credits and opening sequences are usually a decent
indication of what the rest of the movie is destined to be like. They should give some
hint, some set-up, to what lies ahead. In a true work of art, they will set up the
symbolism or the recurring theme. Here, of course, with our film du jour, we have the
standard black screen with white credits
not a problem, really, but not spectacular.
Sound effects show distant sirens, flashes of film show cigarette smoke
Bam! A hard
punch to a jaw! Looks like theyre interrogating someone in a typically movie-brutal
style, done in extreme close-up and only intermittent picture. Vicious and bloody; just
like most interrogations. At least theyre not severing any fingers. "Charlie,
they took my thumbs, Charlie!"
The interrogators ask the subject to go over the story one more time. Okay, its
true, this is a common framing technique, common enough to be cliché. The best movies to
use this tactic will use it at the beginning, so you know theres a survivor to the
events, and then go through the flashback story, and then pick up again so that you
dont know the end, and theres still some tension. Given the expectations I
have for this movie, Im taking bets that the "framing" technique will
never pay off, well never find out whos doing the interrogating, and
itll basically be an awkward jump into the movie. Any takers? Anyone? No, I
didnt think so; you folks are savvy enough to find us, youre savvy enough to
know the bad movie form. Good job.
Okay, with the tension spoiled, we jump right into some exposition. Six people are
boarding a sailboat while heavily-armed Asian-looking guards look on. Theres a bunch
of dialogue here, but its garbled. I dont know if its the copy I rented,
or the movie in general, but theres enough ambient noise, and the voice quality is
such, that it all washes out. I could turn it up, theoretically, but Im unwilling to bother the neighbors just for the sake
of expository dialogue thats paced like 40s-era banter. Let me sum up what
little can be gleaned.
These six people, three couples, will comprise our leads. In any case, apparently four
of them start off as idiots. Two, Mark (William Marsh) and Chrissie (Margot Steinberg),
are wastes of space, being aggressively Neandrathal and unrealistically bubble-brained,
respectively. Im tempted to call them Idiot-Boy and Airhead for the rest of the
review. They certainly earn their nicknames.
Paul (Robert Firth) and Linda (Toni Barry) seem to be the titular leaders of the little
group, with Paul coming off as a grown-up trust-funder, and Linda being a woman who goes
along with her man, even when hes doing something monumentally stupid. I
couldnt get what she does for a living, but from her later actions, it seems almost
like shes a medical professional or a biologist or something, and she seems much too
together to be sucked into Pauls idiocy. But then again, I didnt write the
script, and if I had, I would probably have signed it Alan Smithee.
Our last couple is comprised of Alex (Craig Fairbrass), an Australian tough guy and
sailor who has been hired to help sail Pauls boat, I think. His girlfriend or wife
is Rachel (Jennifer Calvert), who doesnt come across as tough as Alex, but still
seems quite capable of taking care of herself, moreso than Linda or Airhead. Especially
As it turns out, everybody but Alex and Rachel has gotten involved in a deal running
drugs for one of the Asian syndicates. I would assume a Triad group, as these thugs seem a
little low-rent for a Yakuza operation. Their sailboat is loaded with what I think is
heroin, judging by later events. In fact, Paul has lost a finger. Wow, I guess "they
took my thumbs" is more appropriate than I had guessed. Im very cloudy as to
how that happened, either he pissed off a drug lord or a previous run went wrong. But
apparently, Alex stepped in and saved Pauls butt, so the other couples are all
pissed at him. What? Id think hed be a good man to have in your corner, but
then again, its not like he did it out of friendship, from the way hes acting
toward them. More a situation where he couldnt stand by and let them be killed, even
if he didnt like them. Which makes sense, I guess, especially if they can sense his
disdain of them, his moral and intellectual superiority. Of course, it isnt hard to
be intellectually superior to Idiot-Boy, which, I suppose, is why he lashes out at just
about everyone. Oh, to have a chance to go into business, psychoanalyzing poorly drawn
movie characters; Id have The Eternal Practice, ever so profitable.
I said the muddled conversation was paced like a 40s bantering scene, meaning
they trade quips and comments in a rapid-fire pace. The differences are that its
hard to follow, both from volume and from diction and speed, and its not so much
bantering as incessant bickering.
They cast off, and the titles resume. We have an animated "Proteus!" Finally,
the title! More credits over black. Then we cut to a blue-filtered shot of the boat
exploding! No explanation, of course. No, that would be too easy. Instead, were left
to wonder if our individual favorites survived. Did Gimpy Paul make it? Is Idiot-Boy dead?
Alex is too tough to die, of course, but what about lovely Rachel?
Oh, and it turns out this whole mess is based on the novel Slimer. While it is
slightly encouraging that this film is based on a novel, its less encouraging to
know the name of that novel.
Back to the film. Such as it is.
Everyone has survived. Turns out the explosion is drug-related, but the person who set
it off is just fine. God protects fools and little children. And ships named Enterprise,
but the ship got blown up, and they dont tell us the name of the dinghy theyre
in, so I dont think that applies. It seems all 600 kilos of dope went up in flames,
except the few odd kilos that comprise our leads. You know, in this kind of situation,
theres supposed to be at least one person you would like to have survive.
Considering hes the only effective male in the group, its evident that Alex is
being set up as the male lead, but hes too hard-nosed and smug to like, the other
men are despicable, and the women are either dumb as a box of sticks or fail to make any
sort of an impression whatsoever. So were left rooting for the monster, when and if
it shows itself.
We get our
first unnecessary false-alarm in the form of a dead body. This tells us four things: 1)
theres someplace large enough to have security guards and near enough that a dead
body in the water wont decompose nor get nibbled away by the local life forms, 2)
this person died, but didnt get absorbed into the monster, and so will not appear in
the movie, and 3) this Duncan Jarman, security officer, must have been the producers
brother-in-law, because he got paid to float limply in the water. You know they have to
cast someone in those roles, and the fact that they gave this ex-cannon fodder a name
means that either they were padding the hell out of the flick or they were sucking up to
the money guys.
Oh, and 4) these ugly, ugly people are the luckiest idiots in the universe. Blow up
their dope smuggling boat, theyll end up right next to a convenient offshore
research platform. Well, perhaps lucky isnt the right word in all circumstances, but
theyve got some kind of crazy mojo working, nonetheless.
Hey, I just noted in the IMDB that security corpse
Duncan Jarman is played by Duncan Jarman. Dont that beat the Dutch!
However, now we get the plot-building cutaway shots of a security guard, a black man,
racing through the installation. Its during these cutaways that we get our first
view of Monstercam! Mind you, Monstercam isnt much more than a fisheye lens with
some additional distortion around the edges, and a color filter over the whole thing, but
its a cheap effect, and it will do for the moment.
On a side note, Monstercam is green at first (science fictions standard default
color for evil or alien things), and then partway through the movie, it changes to red. I
thought for a short while that the Red Monstercam was the directors way of hinting
that there was another monster in the place, perhaps one at cross purposes with the first.
Oooh, then we could have seen a double-shapeshifter battle, each using the plasticity of
its body to fullest effect. Yeah, cool. But apparently, that kind of thing was too complex
of a development for the creators of the movie. Monstercam is just Monstercam, regardless
of the change in color filter. Just so youre prepared.
The Moron Squad bumps up against a pylon, conveniently emblazoned with the words
Brinkstone Corporation. All they have to do is climb up. Idiot-Boy, that repository of
wit, that veritable Groucho in a ratty beard, exclaims "Dont look at me, do I
look like a damn lizard?"
Honest to God, my friends, thats exactly what he says. No, I dont know what
it means, either.
Regardless, its Alex who knows everything, so he climbs up. Its not like
theres much danger of him falling, since we know he pulls through and gets the crap
beaten out of him, as this is all flashback. He reaches the top, and lowers an elevator
car on a crane to pick up the others. This "getting aboard the rig" sequence is
equivalent in perceived length to my public school education. Sure, youve got the
occasional cut-away to Monstercam, but its hard to tell if that helps. It
doesnt speed up the pace at all, and just makes you wonder at the security
guards stamina, as hes been running away from that green-lensed camera for the
entire time since the boat blew up.
Can someone tell my why monsters always seem to pause when they have their prey
cornered? When the teenage girl stumbles in the woods or the space marine is trapped by a
bulkhead, and the monster catches up, 99% of the time they will stop and rear up, gazing
down at their target before they dive in for the kill. While some of these critters may
either need or enjoy fear in their prey, you cant expect me to believe that accounts
for all of it. I mean, if youre a voracious killing machine, what benefit does it get you to do anything but swoop right in and
get em? Thats something Deep Blue Sea did pretty well; the sharks were
more or less no-nonsense, once they had a bead on their prey. On one level, sure,
its pretty-boy posing for the audience, but surely theres another way to do it
that keeps the essential nature of the predator in mind, isnt there?
The Moron Squads emergency equipment includes common kitchen flashlights. Who
knew they were so rugged? And at such a good value. Ill look at ours with greater
respect, now, knowing they wont be knocked out of commission by explosions or sea
water. In any case, they use these hardy flashlights to explore the offshore station.
Their explorations are accompanied by threatening music, for no discernable reason.
Really, its all "attack/pursuit" music, when all theyre doing is
wandering around. Once again, a failed attempt by yet another B-movie creator to ratchet
up the tension with his musical selection. It really doesnt go over well. In any
case, they eventually stumble across this really flimsy plastic door. The only real reason
to be suspicious of the door is the ultra-high-tech locking mechanism. You know, palm
print scanners, retinal scans, the works. Right? I mean, its a secret research
laboratory, they wouldnt let just anyone walk in, right? Right?
Okay, someone waves their hand over the lock and the door opens up. Boy, gotta love
those strict security protocols. Id hate to see the defenses on the armory on this
station. You might have to actually push a button or turn a doorknob or something to get
Inside the secret lab, there are lots of clothes and things, like if the people inside
had just vanished. Wait, I know this one. Look for crystals, powder that used to be the
bodys basic elements, before all the water was removed. Then beam down to the
planet, quick! No, wait, thats a Star Trek episode. Back to the movie. The idiots
appear to be idiot savants, as they start checking on the computers, and Linda recognizes
the displays as analyses of DNA. She can tell human DNA from animal DNA on sight, as well.
I wonder how that works. I also wonder what a talented research geneticist is doing
smuggling drugs with her boyfriend.
There are hints of a squishy, disgusting little thing that could be the monster, but if
it is, it doesnt make sense. What happened to the rest of it?
Whats this little piece doing here? The hell? Okay, so I realize its purpose is to
set up the audience for the traditional icky shapechanging sequences in the future, and
also to allow a number of false scares (provided largely by Idiot-boy, of course), but
that doesnt make the hurt go away.
And wait, look
I guess they dont have to find the armory, because they have
lots of guns there in the lab. Big assault rifles, of various types. Someone tell me, is
it at all likely that a large corporate security force would arm their men with such a
wide variety of armament? I can understand people wanting to keep their own personal guns,
but this is ridiculous. Remember this for when you are equipping your own mercenary task
force: standardization of armament means maximum interchangeability of parts and ammo,
which is particularly good for a long campaign, or a messy (but lucrative) job killing
shapechanging monsters. Having twenty different types of guns is no good if you only have
one clip of ammo for each gun.
Okay, lets review. A large offshore rig outfitted to be a research laboratory,
which just about any castaway drug dealers can climb aboard. A high-tech genetics lab with
a joke of a security system allows just about any castaway drug dealers to review
sensitive experimental lab results. And then doesnt make much noise when Airhead
wanders off, to the point that nobody notices shes gone for a while. It turns out to
be a really lame joke, something that might be a tension-breaker if there had been any
In all the monster movies, gooey = evil. This monster movie is no different, as the
monster leaves goo all over the place. Has anybody ever stopped to think that humans are
pretty gooey, in our own way? We leave hair and skin flakes wherever we go, weve got
all this eye liquid, nose liquid, mouth liquid
of course, were used to it. But
a species that was much more efficient with its fluids and outer coating would see us as
the gooey monsters. Personally, I dont see messiness as a particularly good survival
trait, but its apparently scary, which is what matters. Ah, for the blessing of an
intelligent monster movie
of which this is not one.
So what have we learned so far? Shapechanging monsters are messy, dumb luck will beat
security technology every time, drug runners do not have to have the intelligence God gave
a bag of hammers in order to get a job, and, as the next sequence shows, cheap Christmas
tree lights really dress up a command center. Im not saying they make it look like
anything more than old electronics and Christmas tree lights, but its fun and
colorful, and shows an impish playfulness that is so lacking in the other areas of the
During dinner, Monstercam burns out a few lights. Shapechanging monsters need light
even less than Crazy Babies. The castaways react to the lights bursting, and while Rachel
gets points for being gun-ready, shes still got the least believable reaction to an
exploding light bulb Ive ever had the misfortune to witness.
I want to do a logic check with you, my friends. Youve stumbled across a secret
research installation, partly because of a freshly dead guard floating in the water. In
the genetics lab, you discover empty suits of clothes just lying out, as if people have
disappeared from within them, and enough armament to equip a small army. Someone leaves
goo all over the control room, and during dinner, something blows out a bunch
of lights. Whats your natural reaction? You bunk down for the night in convenient
staterooms, of course. This does give us the chance to see the couples alone, and reveals
that the only competent drug dealer, Alex, isnt really a drug dealer at all. Plus,
Paul has a taste for heroin, and hes lost his stash, so he has to go and look for
Admittedly, my experience with Horse is a bit lacking, but I dont think
theyve really been behaving like junkies. Crackheads, sure, but isnt H
supposed to make you more passive when youre on it, more twitchy when youre
not? Youd think these Hollywood types would have enough experience with the stuff to
get the signs right, but apparently not.
Monstercam is very agitated, and when Paul (apparently re-growing his fingers) goes off
to get his smack, he confronts the Monstercam, and is apparently carried along by it, his
face distorting. Linda, the molecular biologist, who has been sensible (or as sensible as
these people get) up until now, takes up Pauls gun and goes searching for him, all
alone, and nearly gets shot by Alex. Of course, Pauls gun never did Paul any good,
so youd have to wonder why she thinks shell have any better luck. But
thats a B-movie for you.
They go looking for Paul, and instead find
a short gray-haired Russian guy (Nigel
"Who the hell are you?" barks Alex.
"They call me Dr. Shelley. And you must leave the rig immediately."
Mary Shelley? Author of Frankenstein, the scientist who
created the Monster? Hmm
Got to wonder if someones making a stab at literary
allusions. Maybe theyre familiar with classic literature, but not so much the
standards of the genre that theyre actually writing. Kind of myopic, that, but then
again, what do you expect?
After tossing Alex around, which is kind of a tip that hes really not what he
seems, he begs them, "Please. Please. Leave." Then shuts the door. I like a guy
of few words, particularly when hes talking directly to the audience. No, wait, I
guess that wasnt his intention. Oh, well.
Naturally, Airhead and Idiot-boy want to leave, but that would sharply reduce the body
count, and besides, if they were going to be scared off, it would have happened long
The room, when they finally get in, is empty. Theres a wall of equations, and
when Linda looks at them, they transmute to the words "Linda Help Me!"
Whats up with that? Talosian mind games? Hypnotic suggestion? Its not like
this kind of effect is ever used again in the movie; its a throwaway attempt to lead
us into something else. Why? Whats the purpose? More unfocusedness, like the
Turns out Idiot-boy is also a junkie (I know some people want to spell it
"junky," but dont spell the words "Trekky" or "roady;"
I think a thing can be "junky," but a person is a "junkie"), and he
also wants Pauls stash. But were all distracted when Airhead sees someone pass
by, and all she can do is chitter like a chimpanzee, much like Cleo in Cleopatra 2525.
They finally figure out what Monkey-girl saw, and go chasing after Emo Phillips. "I
was just wondering
" No, its not Emo, unless emo has an entire face made
up of a fang-toothed maw. But no, its some woman with an Emo-style pageboy haircut
(Jordan Page). Okay, okay, we got it. Shapeshifters. Right.
The Moron Squad questions her, and she freaks out. She starts speaking in tongues,
doing that scary voice thing
"Red Jack! Red Jack! Soon all die!" Well,
maybe I made up the Red Jack thing, but its the same deal. Much of her soliloquy is
lost in the bad audio, and at this point in the movie, I couldnt be bothered to turn
it up to hear. Besides, if I did, I would have been deafened when she hopped up and went
smashing through the glass door. What is it with all these movies, they go right from a
very soft, nearly inaudible segment to something with deafening noise. We got that in our
laserdisc of Harold and Maude, no less; if it can strike there, it can strike
The winning line so far: "Theres something very weird going on here."
No, really? What was your first clue? Personally, Id go all the way back to the
floating dead brother-in-law of the producer.
Okay, so naturally, they go and violate the first rule of monster movie survival, which
means they split up. Not only does Alex go off on his own, but Rachel, who has been fairly
useless so far, despite some quality gun-posing, goes off after him. And for a special
operative trying to be stealthy, shouting "Alex!" every ten feet kind of ruins
the surprise factor.
We creep around the rig some more, and finally come back together, after some
obligatory almost-got-em scenes. And then we meet up with the running security
guard! Hes still running, still escaping from the Monstercam, apparently
gets them all into the mess hall, and has them bracing for an attack from the front
but thats not where the attack comes from! Nooooo! Rachel is down!
It just goes downhill from there, folks.
Lets see. There are some lessons to be learned from the rest of the film. One is
that even shapechangers are vulnerable to the lure of the smack needle. I didnt know
they had much in the way of veins to inject the junk into, but apparently it works all the same. Also, death by absorption doesnt keep a grizzled old
scientist from tying up some loose ends via a videotaped confession. Similarly, being a
research geneticist doesnt keep you from being fooled by a shapechanger in the form
of your boyfriend. Unfortunately, as the one was male, and the other is female, Im
suspicious of Hollywood sexism at work once again. Which is especially sad when you
consider that a shapechanger could be any gender it wanted to be.
Well, actually, we do find its pretty crafty when its running around in the
form of one of the party members. It also allows us the closest thing to cheesecake that
this movie provides, and thats still a pretty sad portion. I mean, shes hot
and all, but playing it all wrong. Well, what do you expect when the original beastie
wasnt human to begin with? And there are some other notes that are very interesting
about the shifter: for one thing, it possesses the power to instantly dry-clean cloth
after it absorbs the body within it. Seeing how gooey it was early on, you have to wonder
why the clothes and such that it left behind werent all sopping and slime-covered.
And also, you have to wonder why it doesnt absorb the clothes. For that matter, when
it manifests as other beings, it seems to manifest the clothing as well as the face and
body. Is this entirely reasonable?
For that matter, we get back into the whole idea of consistency. When the thing takes
people over, sometimes it seems very violent, other times very stealthy. Sometimes it
reminds me of a low budged but immensely grosser version of The Hidden, while at
other times its like a post-mortem absorption. Neither method seems to affect its
ability to absorb the victims memories (oh, yes, its one of those creatures),
so whats the deal?
Liz over at And You
Call Yourself A Scientist! will be pleased to know that the scientists here are
motivated by understandable things: theyre being paid by a corporate magnate to find
a cure for old age, and while the solution works, it has a tendency to get out of hand, as
this whole movie shows. Theyre in over their heads, but they werent exactly
mad, just greedy. On the up side, that kind of research backfires, as it always does in
cinematic realities. On the downside, the science is really, really bad. Also, Dr. Shelley
is apparently a junkie as well, which has the rather neutrally-charged effect of showing
that scientists can have non-science interests and backgrounds. I mean, if they found out
that the creature is affected by heroin, they had to have some heroin on the rig, right?
And if it were a science installation, that kind of follows that it would be a scientist
with the habit, right?
Anyway. Im kind of off-track now.
We also find out that Bob Keen enjoys a certain level of overkill; a shotgun blast
sends the creature in human form sailing backward, in an almost Sam
Raimi sort of way (Im thinking of A Perfect Plan), which is always good.
Of course, on a shapechanging monster, bullets dont work. Bullets never work. Should
I ever feel the desire to arm myself, Im not going to bother with a gun. No, go
straight for the high-capacity taser. Electricity is a broad-spectrum attack format,
working against most biological forms as well as many mechanical attackers. However, there
is evidence of come cybernetic creatures that simply feed on the power, so its
probably not a good all-around protection device. Probably a taser with a flame-thrower
backup. Flame seems to work on most, even those big chitinous aliens from
Wow, Im off-track again. So soon?
Heres a tip for all you wanna-be mad scientists: if you have to force a lab
animal to take a modification that could allow it to turn on its captors and eliminate
them, try to pick something small and relatively timid, like a mouse, rabbit, or guinea
pig. Thats why theyre called guinea pigs, right? Dont do it on a Great
White Shark, even if you can keep one alive in captivity (which, as we all know from Jaws
III in 3D, you cant). For one thing, its hard to overcome a billion or so
years of genetic predatory instinct. And how many scientists have to die from
shark-related causes before you see the dangers of mucking around too heavily with the
great beasts of the deep blue sea?
Further note, something I didnt notice until close to the end: you have to be an
idiot of you arm your guards on a scientific offshore rig with grenades. Im not
kidding, they have grenades. Not only did they raid the "odds and ends" bin at
the gun store to get their rifles, but apparently there was a special on grenades, as
well. "Sure, thatll come in handy on an isolated ocean platform, on an almost
daily basis. Put a crate of them on the truck."
The ending really disintegrates. Blocking becomes muddy, as you cant figure out
how characters got from one side of the set to the other during the action, and things
that were little threat a few minutes ago are apparently no problem now, and visa versa.
There are a few gems of dialogue (see Precious Moments), and a halfway decent fight scene
with some thugs and Alex, plus some more slaughter by the hands (tentacles?) of the shapeshifter, complete with geysering blood
and fakey shadow effects, since they were saving the effects budget for the final fight,
but by and large, its a mess. And even though the beastie is supposed to absorb
survival traits, such as memories and knowledge, it still never seems to recognize the
existence of the self-destruct mechanism. Yes, theres a self-destruct mechanism; you
cant build a secret scientific emplacement without one. Its in the building
codes, you know, as well as the union rules.
The final fight isnt all that bad. True, theres perhaps way too much oozing
as the beastie changes, and you can only see a piece of it at a time, but the result is
scary in its way, and were it fully realized, it certainly would be something Id
want to avoid in a dark alley. Of course, then they have to go and ruin it with a bunch of
pointless running and leaping and with the fire and the biting and kicking and, ooh,
sorry, had a Jerry Lewis moment.
When the end comes, it comes not soon enough, and there is no return to the framing
sequence, so I guess it wasnt really a framing sequence, now, was it? Anyone who
actually took my bet owes me money. You should have known better!
Upon reflection, was it a good shapeshifter movie or a bad one? Well, it was a bad
movie in general, but that doesnt have much bearing on the question. Id have
to say that as a shapeshifter movie, it didnt stick to any rules about its monster:
sometimes it was gooey in one way, sometimes slimy in another, sometimes blue, sometimes
green, sometimes red; they really didnt put much thought into it, and that hurts the
On the other hand, they did have a relatively new premise, the scientific invention and
justification for it. While the science itself was ludicrous, the philosophical discussion
of it (the best definition for it I can think of) was interesting: discussing how it would
absorb survival characteristics was interesting, even if the mechanism described is pretty
much unworkable. So it had at least a couple of points in its favor. Is that enough to
Its not the worst movie Ive ever seen, and its not quite bad enough
to earn a Flair, in my personal, rather jaded opinion, but its certainly not good.
- Our hero and heroine (as opposed to heroin), who were dumb as a basket of rocks in
their own way, but were still rocket scientists in comparison to their compatriots.
- The exchange in the bowels of the rig, when feeling the beastie:
Reassuring Alex: "Look, Linda, why dont you just stay
Honest Linda: "Because Im scared sh*tless! Im
coming with you."
- The exchange between Alex and the beastie on the deck, near the end.
Smug Creepy-Crawlie: "
An entirely new form of life, a
superior form of life."
Blunt Alex: "Superior? Youre a f*cking fish with a drug
- The countdown computer voice was polite enough to say "Goodbye" instead of
"One." Its sad when machines have better manners than organics.
-- Copyright © 2000 by E. Mark Mitchell