Tonight I bought a sci fi movie without reading about it (went by the feel of the cover), and boy did it surprised me. Written and directed by Eric Dapkewicz, this low-budget debut pushed every boundary I could think of.
In the year 2040, a disaster destroyed all the water supply on Earth causing global wars and unrests. The last resort solution was to send a mission to Europa for a supply of clean water. Thus the crew of three men, one woman, and one smart-ass ship computer with trustworthiness issues are off to the life-saving mission. On the way back with the full tanks of alien water, the crew exits from the stasis two hours before the arrival to Earth and finds itself in the asteroid field that is not supposed to be there. Passing through the asteroid belt, the ship is obviously shaken, and the only female on board is killed in an accident.
Further, things get even worse, because the crew can’t locate Earth itself! The last radio transmissions from Earth indicate that the planet was obliterated with nuclear weapon.
Recovering from shock, three crewmen contemplate the end of humanity as we know it, because, well, do the math:
3 dudes + 0 females = 0 babies.
And just when they thought things couldn’t get any possibly worse, well, check it for yourself:
No, this is not Sigourney Weaver bringing over a party crasher. It is one of the crewmen shapeshifting into a woman!
By the way, have you heard of the fish that can spontaneously change it’s gender if the pack looses a female?
Apparently, clownfish, wrasses, moray eels, gobies and other fish species are known to change sex, including reproductive functions. A school of clownfish is always built into a hierarchy with a female fish at the top. When she dies, the most dominant male changes sex and takes her place. This peculiar fact was used in the movie to hint at what happened on the ship.
Meanwhile, one of the two remaining guys with a particular bent towards religious fundamentalism, thinks this is nothing but the miracle from God. He also seems to ‘shape shift’ into a misoginistic religious fanatic obsessed with procreation.
The movie attempts at giving an interesting perspective on women’s agency, on possibility to consent under power pressure and duress, on the right to her own body and reproductive rights. While doing a reasonably good job at that, the movie succumbed to the gender stereotypes, which, from what I understand, it tried to avoid. For example, at the end our gender-bender heroine reflects on how she used to be a selfish typical male, and now, as a woman, she learned to love and to care. That immediately rubbed me wrong, because, to my knowledge, gender reassignment does turn an asshole into a flowerbed. I have an issue with this antiquated view of masculinity as a combination of everything that is wrong with humanity. This approach started during the women’s rights movement and flourished in militant feminism. Granted, more men commit violence against women, but not all men, and not even the majority of men do so. This antiquated stereotype is so unpopular these days, that it nearly costed Hillary Clinton a campaign.
Women these days don’t believe in blind sisterhood, in war against men and in women with big shoulder pads. I agree, to hell with the shoulder pads and Madeline Albright`s twisted feminism. But I digress.
I spilled a lot of details about the movie, but left enough unsaid to make it worthwhile watching, that is if you are not put off with campy performance, low budget filming, and grotesque plot. This movie received low reviews (3.7/10 on IMBd), but I’m glad I didn’t know it, because it has everything I love in film noir, only with the sci fi twist. As long as you manage your expectations, you are set for an evening of entertainment.
Copyright (2016) Ellie Maloney