you know this is frog week
so invaders from mars (1986) is a remake of invaders from mars (1953) but there’s this great et (1982) scene early in the movie. david goes to school to slice up frogs but ends up getting sliced himself. “i hope you need a tetanus shot,” is his teachers reply. like the basic theme of et: never trust adults (maybe authority figures is a better word choice (to lessen/heighten slippage)).
the beginning: david wakes up one night to see a giant spaceship landing just beyond his house. no one believes him. his dad goes out to check out the site, finds nothing, but returns strange. funny, maybe. with a scar on the back of his neck.
you gotta be shittin me about that spaceship
the tv shows in the movie are great. people on fire. then the cops show up. they dont believe the stories of ufos, but they’ll have a look around. “i haven’t been up here since i was a kid.” (turns out the cop in the remake actually played david, the kid, in the original. not only that, the remake literally remade the set of the fenced pathway leading to where the spaceship landed from the original. this means, of course, that the cop is telling a kind of truth that’s only true outside of the movie itself.) the cops come back with that same glossed-look over look and neck scars david’s parents have. so obviously all these authority figures have been taken over by martians. the big problem for the martian-possessed humans is acting human (which may be a problem for normal humans if subjectivity is a performative act); things like who does the dishes, where you’re supposed to go to work and whether or not to cook meat (the martians usually opt for not cooking which gives them away every time).
david convinces the nurse that his parents and teachers are aliens. now she’s hiding them from everyone. the parents come to confront her in this great scene where the parents backs are to the camera with the nurse explaining that the kid need psychological help in a continuous jaws-shot (or vertigo-shot, if you prefer).
they can move tunnels!
bud cort is a seti scientist so excited to finally see extra-terrestrial intelligent life. he thinks that if we just talk with the aliens, we can work out all our differences. he approaches to martins asking something like “how are you boys doing?” “how does he know they’re boys?” one of the marines asks. that’s a fantastic question. i mean, who’s to say how martian reproduction works? maybe they only have on sex; maybe 100. unfortunately, before bud cort can answer that question, he’s disintegrated by the martians zap-gun.
it turns out, just like the wizard of oz, that the whole thing was just a dream. david wakes up and his parents aren’t controlled by martians. they’re controlled, like all of us, by money (capital).
or was it just a dream? a question mark ending.