“Paradox Alice” 2012 Sci Fi Movie Review

Slide12.png
Don’t blame me! I did not write this movie! Images are from the ‘Paradox Alice’ movie.

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:

Paradox_Alice_TG.gif

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?

A._percula.jpg

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.

there-is-a-special-place-in-hell-for-women-who-do-not-help-other-women-4.jpg

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

4 Comments

  1. It fills me with relief whenever I hear anyone properly critiquing the militant feminism that has been cropping up over the last decade or so… thank you…

  2. “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.”

    Thanks for taking a chance on our little movie Ellie. I know it’s nothing compared to most big budget Hollywood Films – but I wanted to tell a unique story – and focus on gender roles and how we as human beings often can find ourselves guilty of playing the parts.

    I can see how you could have interpreted Alice’s lines at the end of the movie the way you did. When I wrote the dialogue – it was never meant as a generalization of all masculinity – but the arc of her character. Even at that – I still can understand your point of view and why it might have rubbed you the wrong way. I tried to make a more sympathetic character in Grey (The Captain) to show positive sides to male masculinity. And even the scenes where Foxe (as a man) and O’Byrne have a brother like bond together until things begin to go a little nuts.

    I created a sequel comic (24 issues) that continues the story of Alice and I released 2014-2016. It opens up the mythos and world quite a bit where PARADOX ALICE left off – but was always an outline I talked to the cast about so they knew where the story was headed.

    Most of major studios and production companies I pitched PARADOX ALICE too – told me they wanted more space ship battles – action and to get rid of the gender transformation plot and to get back to them. I told each of them “Then why make this movie if it’s going to be just another retread of everything else that you make?” So we had to do it on our own. I never meant the movie to be an Action Adventure. But more a movie to try and make people think “What is gender and how does it define us as human beings?”

    The other added layer to this movie (which I wrote the first draft for back in 2009 but always had the idea of Europa since I was a kid) was that I myself am Transgender and started transitioning in 2014 and am so much happier for doing so. PARADOX ALICE was in many ways – my own therapy at the time. Trying to deal and cope with my own Gender Dysphoria which I was diagnosed with a year later. It taught me a lot – and I admit – if I were to re-writte and direct the movie today – PARADOX ALICE would be something a bit different.

    I have been living as a Transgender Woman full time for 3+ years now. The world around me everyday sees me and treats me like any other woman on the street; in stores; bathrooms; work; restaurants… all the above. My social life has radically changed because of it. No longer do guys wanna hang with me to play games or see a movie – they either wanna go on a date – get sexual – or wanna stay away from me cause I am a woman and I kid you not – I’ve heard many times “I can’t hang cause my wife doesn’t like me hanging with other woman” and “I’m kinda attracted to you so we can’t hang.” I think of When Harry Met Sally now when this keeps happening to me when Crystal says “Men and women can’t just be friends”

    On the other hand – women all around me wanna do dinners – nails – movies – shopping – drinking – hanging out – cause to them – I’m just a woman and they feel comfortable with me. My POV on what it means to live as a man – and now as a woman – puts me in such a small minority of human beings whom have never had that experience. And it’s been an eye opener as to how GENDER does play a part in the way men and women do treat one another in the world we live in – whether want to deny it or not.

    Cheers 🙂
    Erika D

Leave a Reply