Fall Arts 2022 Sep 21, 2022 at 12:11 pm

How Paul Verhoeven's Sci-Fi Films Critique American Capitalism

"Somebody want to call a goddamn paramedic?" ED-209 kills Kevin Page in a scene from the film 'RoboCop', 1987. Photo by Orion/Getty Images



Starship Troopers is a classic commentary on the military industrial complex out of control and the fight against the an enemy - but are they really the enemy? Or did we attack them? A movie that seems vapidly entertaining but has great ideas buried within it. Neil Patrick Harris as a creepy stasi-esque interrogator. The soldiers in the end scenes are children - get them young and mold them. Great cinema.


@1 "I'm doing my part!" I took all my buddies out to the UA 150, down where amazon lives now, my treat (well it did only cost $1.50) and laughed our asses off, oh if only we knew the true message of that movie then......


Starship troopers was amazing. I watched the whole thing without getting it until the very end, when Neil Patrick Harris in an SS uniform shouts out happily that the alien they captured was "afraid."


When I think of Verhoeven movies I think of gruesome and graphic ultra-violence.

Any societal message is lost in all the gore, which rises to the level of Gorn.





And 1


Look for class struggle in The Expanse TV show (and books faik).

One other thing about Starship Troopers is that it will live on forever and has erased Heinlein's original libertarian militaristic intent.


@4 figures you wouldn’t get it, appreciate it, or understand it even when it is spelled out for you using 6th reading comprehension level prose.


Paragraphs 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 incorrectly spell the artist's name "Voerhoeven". It's "Verhoeven", pa-leeze!


And, by the way, they're darkly - very darkly - funny. At times, they're as hideously hilarious as "Dr. Strangelove". They're nice reminders that, as with Cheetolini and his fans, sociopathic viciousness can be perfectly compatible with farcical absurdity.


Hey back in the late '80s (it evidently was released to video fast) a friend and I rented the VCR for Robocop. We thought the tagline "Half man, half machine, all cop" was hilarious. So we included it along side Life of Brian and Yellow Submarine in a triple feature.

Needless to say the violence and pornographic gore was unexpected.

As I mentioned earlier the Gorn apparent in so many Verhoeven films, negates any possible message he thinks he is getting across.


This piece brings to mind Roland Barthes' essay, "A Sympathetic Worker". Mudede frames his critique of "The Matrix" is a similar manner to the way Barthes deconstructs "On the Waterfront".

(I was thinking we'd have seen it by now, but I'm still hoping for a book of Mudede's best work!)


the Lust
for $ is the
Root of Evil.

"Verhoeven's sci-films
are post-neoliberal;

the sci-fi films of today
are post-neoliberal. "

is there a
'post-' where
a 'pre-' need be?

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.