I've had this eating away at me for a long time. I watched that movie again and again right after the runup to the Iraq War in 2003.
I saw the similarities - the propaganda blitz (where I screamed and cried and raged at the TV and wondered if Riverbend was all right), and the dehumanizing of the Iraqi people. In fact, when I saw in the movie "the Arachnid threat" it kept echoing in my mind as "the Iraqi threat" like the Iraqi people were bugs. Bugs to be stamped out like in the movie.
More under the fold.
I am aware that this movie is (very loosely) based on a Robert Heinlein novel - now, I loved Robert Heinlein stories as a child (still do) but I am very well aware of his politics - which are totally not mine. I always thought Paul Verhoeven was a genius - he managed to, in one fell swoop, make a movie that exactly echoes Heinlein's thoughts on citizenship and warfare and patriotism, and yet at the same time to satirize the same, and make it one of the most brilliant antiwar movies I have ever seen.
And I know that was not even Paul Verhoeven's intent - he didn't even read any Heinlein, just wanted to show a straight-up Fascist society like he had seen in his youth. I wonder what the Grand Master would think of THAT - as libertarian (small L) as he was.
The parallels are awesome and icky - Doogie Howser showing up at the end in full Nazi regalia is certainly not very subtle - nor is the torture that they performed on the bugs.
Now - the bugs are ugly and icky and loathesome - but they were minding their own business in their end of the galaxy until WE invaded - so they retaliated. Well. Erm.
It's still a great movie. I like it. Oh and by the way, I think Dizzy was much hotter than Carmen, in the way that Betty is much hotter than Veronica. Ginger and Mary Ann (Gilligan
s Island - when I was a kid I had a massive crush on the Professor, and thought Ginger was IT - sometimes the hot slut IS the hotter one haha - and apologies to all Mary Ann guys out there.
This is all a little tongue in cheek - but it's been something I wanted to get off my chest since the early 2000s - dark days indeed for all progressives.
I know that those people that did that monstrosity, - Shrub, Dick Cheney, etc - will never be called to account. But GOD knows what they did. Don't know if I believe in God or not, but I know that karma will get them sooner or later.