Paul Verhoeven's 'Starship Troopers' still fantastic fun


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/15/paul-verhoevens-starship-t.html


#2

If you haven’t watched with the rifftrax do yourself a favor.


#3

While the book is pretty strongly pro-military and pro-fascism, the movie is a massive lampoon of these ideas.

And yet every time this film is discussed people miss that point. Yeah, guys, the director who made Soldier of Orange and who lived through the misery of the German occupation of the Netherlands as a child is a secret Nazi sympathiser.

Also, if I recall correctly, Starship Troopers has spawned like a million direct-to-video sequels over the years, keeping Casper van Dien in pin money.


#4

While the book is pretty strongly pro-military and pro-fascism

Let me buy some chips and beer and come back later.


#5

one of the best popcorn flicks ever.


#6

I’m not sure the book was pro fascist. It did propose the idea that only veterans could vote, but a veteran was anyone who did a stint in federal service (most chose non-military service).


#7

The movie is a treasure to watch, and to inspire the perpetual motion machine of “the book isn’t really pro-fascism, because it differs technically from classical fascism in the following ways…”


#8

Yes, you get to be a citizen after you’ve proved your loyal service to the government. That’s kinda fascist.


#9

This weekend I rewatched Starship Troopers .

This weekend I rewatched Hot Tub Time Machine .


#10

I just listened to the Don Coscarelli interview on The Movies That Made Me where the host Josh Olson laments seeing this just before his movie starring Casper was about to be released and thinking my career is over. Both Don and Josh find it a great and fun movie on reflection though.

ETA 20th anniversary release… fuck I feel old.


#11

You know, I thought the movie was a “massive lampoon” of these themes, but then I re-read the book, and they were actually playing it mostly straight from the text with just a few embellishments.


#12

Hot Tub Time Machine was was surprisingly quite good, I thought.


#13

That’s the joke (and whether Verhoeven intended it or not, the joke is on Heinlein’s Libertartian fanbois).


#14

Still waiting for the The Forever War film.


#15

The “kids stomping cockroaches” scene is a favorite of mine.

Sorry PETA.


#16

Some of the flack comes from a popular belief that Heinlein thought it was a good idea. I just read the two volume biography a few months ago, and Heinlein didn’t insist on the idea. He probably wondered about it, but it was just an idea in a fiction book.

Heinlein impacted outside science fiction, especially with “Stranger in a Strange Land”. Those readers may have heard third hand about Trooper. So it would amplify the notion.


#17

Gods yes! If it ever gets out of development hell.

The live action ones were painfully bad, not good-bad like Verhoeven’s version. But I feel Verhoeven’s gets sold short as a dumb popcorn movie. It’s actually quite intelligently subversive once one sees past Verhoeven’s dialed to eleven all the time style to the satire of fascist propaganda.

The Japanese-American animated ones were, unsurprisingly, much better than the live action sequels. Anyone who wants to see a movie that’s more faithful to the spirit of the book and its universe will find it in the first animated movie Starship Troopers: Invasion.

There’s also the fact that the book isn’t an honest look at a fascist society. It’s utopian propaganda for a fascist society, what that society would want you believe about it. The movie turns right around and takes an honest look at what the book is. Which is kind of impressive since Verhoeven once said that he didn’t finish the book because it depressed him. Given that he escaped actual Nazis, that’s understandable even though I enjoyed the book as much but in a very different way from the movie.


#18

Nobody could dislike the mixed shower scene, where they all seem to be having a good time.

I do like the movie, but not as extension of the novel.

More important than the “fascist” bit, the movie ignores a major part of the book, the powered armour. So they are facing bugs without the same protection, or capability.


#19

I love this movie with a passion, i remember seeing this in theaters when it first came out :slight_smile:


#20

For the real Paul Verhoeven fans, here’s some of his early work, Turkish Delight with Rutger Hauer, filmed by Jan de Bont.

With lots of ‘functional nudity’, if you pardon my Dutch.