Sunday, February 26, 2017

Brandon's #99: Starship Troopers

#99 Starship Troopers (Paul Verhoeven): Lest my picks stay in the 40s and 50s, I chose this one for two reasons. First, I wanted a Verhoeven pick and could have gone with at least three others (Robocop, Total Recall, Black Book) but landed on this because I saw it opening weekend with my brother and three friends; Justin, Steve, and Nate. We were on our way to sneak into Event Horizon when the usher, a friend of our family, couldn't sell us our tickets in good conscience due to some of the reports he had heard about the violence. So he sent us to Starship Troopers instead, not knowing it was not only gorier but also featured some sex and nudity. How could he have known given the ad campaign.

I remember being genuinely nervous watching it, thinking that my dad would beat me had he watched it and discovered that we deceitfully snuck in. See at the time we were frequenting the new slasher movies, or Dawson's Creek horror as my brother would say. Verhoeven has never had an interest in tapping the brakes, god bless his rotten soul. In fact, my first experience with actual gore in a movie was the scene in Robocop where the big robot thing blew that yuppy out the window. Starship Troopers hit the spot so much that we gladly revisited several times once it hit VHS. It joined Desperado as the other movie we rented from Tuckers gas station, each time he would ask "does your father know you are watching this?" and each time we would lie.

Time has been kind to this schlocker, some hailing it a rich satiric masterpiece. I stand more with Jacques Demy in that regard, though I think there is something to be said about the outfits, the WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE adds sprinkled throughout, and the campy depictions of military rewiring. It works fine in either vein. But I'm no fanboy, at least I hope not.

The second reason I chose it is shallow and stupid but I think relevant. About six years ago after a late night of heavy drinking and mischief, my friends Cheddar, Shotwell, and Craver sought to accomplish the perfect Sunday of relaxing, eating questionable food, smoking weed, drinking lightly to ease ourselves off the wear and tear of the previous night, and watching trashy entertaining movies.

So we went to Wal Mart (where we saw a person we had gotten into a fight with the Friday before). We got Genny and the cheapest chimichangas imaginable and went back to my house. Needless to say we came up with the term Chimichanga movie in honor of how perfectly Starship Troopers hit the spot. I'll look upon that movie-watching experience with nothing but love, knowing damn well that it's now a thing of the past. But Starship Troopers remains one of the best trashy entertainments that I've ever come across and that's good enough for me.


  1. Great stories.

    I've never seen this before and I hope to watch it sometime soon. But I remember being a kid and having friends suggest that we watch it because of the nudity. Never happened, though. It's funny how most guys our age were aware of the 80s and 90s movies that featured t and a.

  2. I think I watched most of this on Showtime as a young kid because it was supposed to have naked women in it. I would love to watch it again as an adult - mostly for the chance to revisit said naked women, but also because it has a pretty sterling reputation nowadays.

  3. I hate Verhoeven. I've got a slight soft spot for Total Recall, but I've otherwise never seen the appeal. He's not trashy. He's sleazy. I like trash. Sleaze disgusts me.

  4. I forgot to comment here when I re-watched this.

    It's not bad at all if you think of it as an episode of Saved by the Bell.