Monday, February 28, 2011

Christianity and Science Fiction: Splice and Deep Blue Sea

I will start off saying that I love Deep Blue Sea, the silly scifi/horror about smart sharks (I also love the phrase “smart sharks”). I did not love Splice. But, these films, along with countless others have something in common, they are anti-science Christian propaganda! Also, I mention Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which I had no idea the original title was Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus! This story has been retold countless times in scifi films and horror and the theme of man playing god and then being destroyed in the end is a common one in film. I think scifi can go beyond this idea, but let me explain:

Splice is a modern day Adam and Eve story or perhaps an adaptation of Mary Shelley's famous book Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley are working scientists that share their lives together. I could write about Adrien Brody's character and the much talked about scene in which he has sex with the creature (his daughter) because he just can't control himself. But, I would rather focus on the woman in this review. The woman (Sarah Polley) (I will be referring to these characters as man and woman for the rest of this review because of their extreme gender roles) becomes obsessed with creating a creature by splicing animal, plant, and human DNA together. Her husband (Adrien Brody) does not think playing god is a good idea, but goes along with it because he can't say no to the “wiles” of the woman (this stereotype of the sexually controlling woman and weak minded, helpless man is a constant theme in this movie). She won't take no for an answer and succeeds in creating a small creature that later develops into a childlike female which later matures into a “sexy” female monster and finally into a violent horny full grown male. Why does this woman want so strongly to do this? The man wants a child and the woman doesn't want to go through pregnancy. She makes a comment, saying “as soon as they discover a way for men to give birth then she will have a baby”. Well she gets what she deserves in the end by being raped and impregnated by her creation. What the fuck people!? They make her character out to be some sort of hysteric (a word that comes from the Greek word for womb, and that people once believed was “caused by a woman's uterus getting loose within her body”) when her character is actually a very informed modern woman, who sees the unfairness of birth and boundaries put upon women from social norms and scientific study. She doesn't want to give birth, she wants control of her body, and she wants to use her skills to create her own masterpiece, her own creature! And for this she is punished, she is violated, she is raped, and she becomes what she did not want, pregnant. She also, for ridiculous reasons, decides to keep it, because abortion seems to be out of the question in movies in general. The more I type this the more I come to really hate this movie. It takes what could be a great idea and forces it back into the dark ages where extreme Christian values rule and science is evil.

Deep Blue Sea has a much lighter message, but is still rooted in Christian thought. Scientists are at it again messing with God's creatures, in this case sharks, experimenting on their brains in order to make a drug for Alzheimer's patients. The lead scientist played by Saffron Burrows like Sarah Polley in Splice will stop at nothing to achieve her scientific goal. They succeed in making the drug, but right before all hell breaks loose and the sharks get smart. The sharks learn to open doors, turn on ovens, bite off arms and orchestrate a masterful plan to escape the facility by flooding the lab. The unsubtly named Sherman “Preacher” Dudley (wink wink) is the cook, played by LL Cool J (obviously having fun in the role). The “preacher” has a comical dialogue with God through the whole movie and he, along with the rough shark handler are the only characters in the movie that aren't scientists, and the only survivors. When the “preacher” is caught in the jaws of one of the sharks and you think he is a goner, he uses the cross he has hanging around his neck to stab the shark in the eye and is released. This memorable scene really lays it on thick! All the scientist get it in the end, especially Saffron Burrows who has an eye to eye stare match with the last remaining shark at the very end of the movie. It is almost like she is mentally telling the shark “Yes I was wrong, we humans should never fuck with nature, I am sorry, eat me.” And then the shark eats her in one gulp. Hurray for science! Bottom line, no matter if Alzheimer's is a serious disease that needs a cure and human intervention is a necessity to our survival, science is evil and we should be more like the God fearing cook to survive. Well, shit.