Kid’s Creature Feature. E.T. gone bad. Well, not really, but that’s how it plays out until we discover that the alien that was captured by the US Air Force by the nefarious Colonel (Aren’t they all nefarious in Hollywood movies?) escapes and we learn he just wants to build a spaceship to get home. There is not much to this popcorn movie, but I must say, I was very partial toward it in a nostalgic sense, since it takes place in 1979, “my era,” and contains my era music and kids making movies, and monster models and Super 8 Filmmaking magazine, and a Eumig camera and projector – all stuff that I personally did when I was a young kid. Wow, I teared up with identification.
The negative thing that stood out to me was the cliché Hollywood worldview about the “military industrial complex.” Movies do not get made in a vacuum. They often reflect the prevailing zeitgeist of propaganda in the Media, and this movie is no exception. When the world changed on 9/11/01, terrorism came of age and took the spotlight in global politics. With the last ten years, it seems the new zeitgeist that has developed amongst the secular elites, and the Press has been to construct a theory that blames America and “western imperialism” for the violent jihad of Islamism. As the narrative goes, “we created these monsters” through our military industrial complex. They just want to “go home.” In classic blame-the-victim Marxist political religion, Imperialist Islamic terrorists were made violent because of American Expansionism or “colonialism.” They are the poor oppressed victims who are lashing out in desperation against the oppressive hegemony of imperialist western power. Never mind that Islamism has been imperialistic since its inception, seeking to conquer all peoples into subjection to Allah and Muslim law. No, that’s not imperialism, the American superpower is inherently imperialist with its military strength (since Left Wing radical theory defines all power as inherently oppressive UNLESS it is in the hands of Left Wing powers). So, this movie reflects that Hollywood pop political theory because we discover that the alien is a violent monster only because he is being oppressed by the evil US Air Force, and all he wants is just to go home. So the American military MADE the monster through it’s intent to oppressively control the alien.
2 comments on “Super 8”
My wife and I both noticed that in the end we were supposed to have ET feelings for the monster and I guess that included forgetting that he was munching on human beings!
I thought this film was just Cloverfield set in the early 80s with heavy homages to Spielberg peppered throughout.
Two minor corrections: “Air Force” is two words, both capitalized. The bad guy was actually a colonel, not a general.
Thanks for the corrections, Tim.