Shitty Movie Sundays: Starship Troopers 3: Marauder

Starship Troopers 3: MarauderI’ve never met a movie I wouldn’t watch. That must be the reason I looked at this dog there in the iTunes store, staring really, wondering, was I really going to do it? Was I really going to spend $2.99 of my hard-earned cash to rent Starship Troopers 3? I wish I could write that watching my hand move the mouse and click on the ‘rent’ button was like an out of body experience, one over which I had no control. But really, I just said to myself, “Aw, fuck it. Why not?”

The first Starship Troopers seemed to have a mission to try and be everything to everyone. Big budget blockbuster, b-movie extraordinaire, sci-fi/horror bloodfest, social/political commentary, etc. It excelled as a movie, it stunk as a film. The bad acting could melt glass, the hot bodies could fire sagging libidos. It was a ridiculous film, and I have no clue how I feel about it. The first sequel was an Alien rip-off that just wanted to cash in on a name.

Starship Troopers 3: Marauder takes its cues from the first film, trying to add depth, but just as ineptly, to what should be a simple action flick, only with a tiny budget. Never intended for theatrical release, Starship Troopers 3 went straight to home video, and it shows. The sets are confined and plain, the presence of extras, even when called for, is kept to a minimum, special effects are cheap and sparing, and every effort is made to keep the captain of a space ship from getting to it’s bridge, probably because there was no budget to build one.

The depth comes from the twists and turns of the plot. While the original addressed fanatic devotion to fascism as a political system, Starship Troopers 3 extends this theme to examine the role of suppressed religion in the future. Like the fascism of the 20th century, the future brand has little tolerance of it, and believers are treated with disdain, sometimes hunted. That’s pretty weighty stuff for a low budget shoot-em-up. Predictably, that part of the plot is handled poorly, switching from drama to satire and back again at whiplash speed, finally settling on what looks like a blanket endorsement of Christianity. It was all very confusing. At a couple points, I was convinced a church must have bankrolled the project, until one whopper of a false idol made an appearance. But then there was punishment and redemption and holy shit! Who cares? This movie is supposed to be about killing alien space bugs. Next time, more bugs, less bible. It’s not rocket science. Sheesh.

Put one in the column for Alien: Resurrection. It’s better than this piece of trash.

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