I just saw STARSHIP TROOPERS with Casper Van Dien on tv and I was wondering 1)if it was serious or if it was supposed to be a parody or what. I looked it up on the internet and the one person who reviewed it back 3 or 4 years ago when it came out had the same reaction I did, saying that he thought it was either mindless or else sophisticated. For one thing there was no good side and all the people were crazed
patriots (ie., jingoists) ,and the bugs were more interesting. 2) How come there were about four kinds of giant bugs?
In the last scene there is a newscast with labels jumping up on the screen and they show somebody shoving a spear into the enormous head bug’s side as the announcer says they are going to find out about these bugs, and some other “scientist” thrusts something into the bug’s face, cruelly… This had to be yet another comment on how man would treat aliens. Above all, the question is, 3)why did earth want to kill all these bugs on a faraway planet?
It was a very entertaining movie, whatever it was supposed to be, with only a small amount of time wasted on the love interest, which seemed to be at the level of the characters on soap opera’s love lives and at the same depth.4)Is there no site I can go to to join the cult of this film? I can’t find one on the web.

The best answer to your question would be to read the book the movie was based off of called ‘Starship Troopers’ by robert Heinlein(sp?). The movie didn’t even come close to getting across the point of the book and was pretty much just eye candy. I hear good things about the cartoon on WB though.

The bugs are a hive intelligence which has bred different castes for different needs, just as Earth termites have workers, soldiers, and breeders. The Brain, Worker and Fighter castes were established in the book, but the giant ones that could fart fireballs into orbit were a creation of the filmmaker.

I feel that it is an unintentional parody. I have no evidence that the maker was trying to send a message with his Nazi symbolism other than an oversimplification of Heinlein’s martial philosophy.

We were fighting the Bugs because they were competing with us for habitable planets. I am not sure how many of their colonies we wiped out before they dropped that rock on Rio.

In the theatrical release (and I assume on video) there was a coed shower scene that was worth watching. That and when the Bugs came over the hill like the Red Chinese in Korea. Almost worth borrowing it from the library.

My reaction: It was an unintentional meta-satire.


What I mean is, it was supposed to be a satire of extreme nationalism (there is no reason why we try to kill the bugs, maybe we attacked them first) but it comes accross as so stupid and goofy that what was supposed to be satirical is replaced with campiness.

Thus, unintentional meta-satire.

Campy! That’s the word for it!

I viewed it as just a silly movie that was pretty darn entertaining. I really enjoyed it, in part because it was a goofy movie. Besides, that Dizzy chick was hot! :slight_smile:

As I understand it, Paul Verhoeven, the director, had little interest in closely following the book, but hijacked its themes for a more personal agenda.

In interviews I have read on the subject, Verhoeven makes it clear that his version of ST is intended as a satire. The key is to consider how it plays off both American consumer culture and military propaganda, particularly that of the Nazis, which portrayed the Aryan nation as impossibly pure in mind and body while mercilessly demonizing its enemies.

While Verhoeven’s work always tends to the garish and crass, in this case his over-the-top style seemed more appropriate than in most of his other works. IMHO, Starship Troopers is his by far his best film. Of course, I actually liked Showgirls as well, so…

Some scenes in the movie also mirror scenes in ‘Zulu’ with Michael Caine, I understand Verhoeven has acknowledged the influence of that film on ‘Starship Troopers’.

Verhoeven obviously doesn’t know the meaning of the word “satire.”

The script for STARSHIP TROOPERS is a straight adventure (and a pretty stupid one). Verhoeven – not the smartest of directors – somehow thought that by dressing the soldiers up as Nazis, he was creating satire. But the satire’s not in the scripts nor in the direction. It’s merely the costume design.

The movie is pretty stupid and fails at all levels.

Er, not to start a fight, but it didn’t fail to entertain me (and some others who have posted to this thread), and I feel it’s a bit richer than you give it credit for.

But sure, Shakespeare it ain’t…

I really have it in for this “film”. Normally I’ll give a little to any movie made from a book. It’s hard to translate prose into film. But PV didn’t even try, and in so doing ruined a very nice story.

It shouldn’t be so surprising I guess. When you look at the body of PV’s “work”, it’s not a pretty picture. What a shame. To have one’s life work be so… shoddy.

Anyway, read the book. And the rest of what Heinlein wrote, and you will be the better for it. Anyone wanting to join the “cult” of this film should think twice. It’s not as if this is Rocky Horror. This film deserves to be burned and sent to hell so no future archeologists can dig it up and derive conclusions about what sort of people we were.

Heinlein has written some stories that make the said movie look like something Oscar worthy.

Oh, wait. It did win an Oscar. Nevermind…

FYI, it won for Best Special Effects.

Hey, every movie dosen’t have to be Citizen Kane. I’m sure the book was a lot better, but I found the movie to be entertaining. Lots of hot chicks, more actors in their 30’s playing high school grads than Beverly Hills 90210, gartuitous violence. Doggie Houser’s Neil Patrick Harris. Michel Ironsides playing a 1 armed baddass LT. What more do you want. Ok, Verhoeven is no Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner) but it was a hellava lot better than Independence Day.

Also, rent the DVD or VHS. The Fox version on Friday cut out a lot of good stuff (including the shower scene and a cow being fed to a bug)
And now my rant against ST:

Does military strategy just take a giant leap backward in the future?

First of all, a war of attrition against insects is assinine. Everyone knows they breed by the thousands. As far as I could tell, the Starship Troopers battle plan was to airlift hundreds of thousands of soldiers to the planet with minimal air/artillery and armored support and have them “kill everything with more than two legs”.

Second of all, why not just bombard the planet with nukes from space or use gunships to rain down minigun fire from the sky like in 'Nam? I think we see them use aircraft once.

Third of all, infantry weapons technology doesn’t advance at all in the future? No lasers or phasers or whatever? Just machineguns and hand thrown nukes? (Guess we’ll probably see a lot of vets with Bug-War Syndrome).

I know the book was written in the 40s and they used powered suits (not seen in the movie for budgetary reasons). Just felt like ranting.

I can accept some of the bizzaro “tactics” used in the movie. For example, maybe we see little air battles because that is assumed to have already taken place and the infantry is sent it to destroy the remaining bugs that could not be found.

However, what I would like to know is this… it is a pretty well established fact that the bugs are pretty freakin’ tough (it takes MANY bullets shots to kill them) and that they are extremely deadly even after being wounded, so can somebody explain to me why the infantry insist on closing in with the bugs as they are shooting them? It happens repeatedly (like every single battle) in the movie (often to fatal result of one of the infantry). I don’t mind silly mind fluff of a movie, but it is still important to have such the actions make sense (unless it is purely intended to represent a non-sensical world). Stuff like that damages the effect for me.

Score: 7/10

Obviously, in the future we’ll be able to throw things much further.

I did enjoy the disparity between what was happening and what the government spokespeople said was happening. The gung-ho troopers never realized how badly they were being misled and misused.


  My question relates to the character played by Denise Richards. In the cavern, a Bug slams its claw into her shoulder blade and its point comes out her chest. This implies a gaping, serious wound that might prove  fatal without immediate attention.
 Yet a minute later later, she's strolling away jauntily with her distinctive grin, a big hole in her chest giving her no discomfort. Just how tough is this girl?

[li]It was just a flesh wound.[/li][li]She did die. But she got better.[/li][li]Hi, Opal![/li]Starship Troopers was a really stupid movie.[/ol]

Well, tactics wise, it is fairly obvious in the book that this starts as a loosing war for us… the Battle for Planet P is a good example of this.

Tactics depended on men in power armor, and the weaponry that would be deployed with them… I envision the firearms that the MI use as being very heavy… .50 cal or better. Plus rockets, baby-nukes, flamers and other sundry equipment.

PV axed the whole concept of armor, saying he wanted it to be a people movie, not a power armor movie… sigh

Heinlein wrote lots of books, but he says in Expanded universe that he got more mail about STT than any other book he wrote… including Stranger in a Strange Land.

Many folks, trying to analyze the Master attributed what they perceived to be Fascist overtones to the book. Folks that beleive that either haven’t read the book, or also thing phrenology is a serious science…
don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the movie… but not as a Heinlein adaptation. I have yet to see a movie made from a Heinlein book that was anywhere near what it should have been… RAH’s Puppet Masters started ok, and then veered off to X-Files land… and I won’t even go into the stupid cartoon Red Planet.

Whatever, his other failings Verhoven did make the point in several interviews that it was a quite intentional satire that he had fun selling on two levels if you were bright enough to understand it as such, and that the bugs were the oppressed and the humans were the oppressors.

I really can’t understand why people can’t/don’t see that it was an intentional, obvious, over the top satire of Heinlein’s fairly conservative, hard line views on human nature and social order. Seriously… I mean short of actors carrying signs in their scenes saying “this is a satire” I don’t see how it could have been more obvious.

Yeah, that’s what I say after I do something stupid too…

You know, I say the same sort of thing to people who didn’t like “Natural Born Killers” - that it was intended to lampoon us. We were SUPPOSED to be disgusted because we were looking into a mirror at ourselves. But I just don’t see that kind of subtle satire in Starship Troopers, or anything else that PV directed. He’s a hack, and I just wish he’d leave good writers like Heinlein and Phillip K. Dick alone. There are lots of bad books he could make movies from.