The new sci-fi film "District 9"
has generated a lot of excitement. It's "fiercely original" says producer Peter
according to its legions of fans, like nothing you've ever seen. At the risk of
having those fans burn down my house, I've got to say that it's actually like a
lot of films I've seen all mashed together. In the film the protagonist accidentally
has alien DNA fused with his own. It seems to me the film has fused together
the DNA of a number of other movies. Here's a partial list of some. Needless to
say, it's filled with spoilers.
1. "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977).
A giant mother ship hovers over the earth as the
humans below look on in amazement.
2. "Starship Troopers"
The aliens look like giant insects, are physically much
stronger than humans and seem controlled by
a single mind, like bees or ants.
3. "Alien Nation" (1988).
Millions of them settle on earth where they are despised and
4. "Alien" (1979).
An all-powerful mega-corporation secretly wants to use the
aliens to develop new weapons systems.
5. "Star Trek" (2009).
A mysterious liquid ("red matter") is needed to power space
flight and/or weapons.
6. "Alien" (1979).
A human being is exposed to alien reproductive matter when
an object unexpectedly discharges it, causing the human to metamorphose.
7. "The Fly" (1986).
As the human mutates into the species whose DNA he shares,
he sheds such vestigial organic material as fingernails and teeth.
8. "Aliens" (1986)
In one key conflict scene someone must get into a robotic
fighting suit to defeat the enemy.
9. "E.T: the Extraterrestial" (1982).
Ultimately a human must help an alien return to its home
I'm sure there are many other genetic splicings I have
overlooked. By the way, I don't list these necessarily as a criticism. Actually,
I found the film ingenious and provocative. And don't get me started on its
paranoid conspiracy subtext.