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DISTRICT 9 - Aka…SEE, Apartheid DOES work!

By King Hippo - Posted on 07 September 2009

As I waltzed into the theater to see this flick, I had about the same expectations of this being a good sci-fi movie as when I walked into the theater to see the recent Star Trek regurgitation. Therefore, I came armed with a box of No-Doz, a thermos of nuclear strength espresso hidden in my pants leg, and a loaded crack pipe hoping I would only need two out of the three to keep me awake during this "foreign film".

I figured I'd take in a matinee during the summer before school started and check out the local female high school/college talent that would inevitably be trying to cram in some last minute extracurricular activity before the drudge of the fall semester began.

Plus, I felt some well placed questions might lead me to their campus and possibly a time and place that they might need a ‘friend’ to buy them some Boone’s Farm to chase with their Red Bull.

What I got was Otto from The Simpson’s selling me a ticket; Denver Pyle from The Dukes of Hazzard tearing my ticket and after a puzzled look on his face and incoherent mumbling for 5 minutes, finally pointing me to the appropriate movie screen; then, Lester Beetlejuice Green's microcephalic twin, first spilling my Coke all over the counter, then asking me 8 times what size popcorn I wanted.


But I digress...

Anyway; I found out that I should have brought my barf bag and phenergan suppositories as the cinematography was another Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield nausea fest. This was because it was another half documentary/half scripted movie hybrid that seems to be "all the rage" nowadays.

There were only 7 patrons in the theatre. I didn’t get her name, but the uncomfortable-looking 17 year-old that I plopped down next to – didn’t seem interested in helping me insert said suppositories – being that she moved to another seat within 12 seconds of my, possibly, overly-insistent and swift introduction.

Goody for me! I can concentrate on the movie and surprise, it works.

District 9 is a story about an alien spacecraft which came to a dead stop hovering above Johannesburg, South Africa a couple of decades post Nelson Mandela.

After attempts to communicate with the ship went unanswered, the hull was eventually breached from the outside only to find a large group of alien bipedal grasshoppers who were severely malnourished and living in their own excrement (opposite of, say, Old Dan Cedar, who is morbidly obese from eating his own excrement).

The aliens were "rescued" by well-meaning humans and reservationed on a large barren tract of land with makeshift tin huts, no running water, razor wire fencing, squalid living conditions, and for good measure, some local human thugs who decide that they like living among the aliens. This is the slum called "District 9."

It actually sounds like Mexico City, but I would like to get Old Dan Cedar on a train down there and get his fatly-stenched ass in the next Zyklon B shower that opens up.

Guess what? The whites AND the blacks hate the aliens.

Finally, a post-racial society…Who’d thought MLK’s dream was about fucking aliens? I guess that I slept through that fucking part of the speech. Shit, if I would have known this –I could have spent the past 41 years figuring out how James Earl Ray was framed by the fucking aliens.

The reason this movie works is that once the general scenario is presented - the movie narrows it's focus on Wikus van de Merwe (don't fucking ask me how to pronounce this!), a cubicle dwelling Dilbert, who, under the auspices of Multinational United (MNU), a private military contractor, is given the opportunity to head the eviction and relocation of the aliens from District 9 to District 10.

The problem? MNU has to get over a million aliens to sign a release so that they agree to the evictions and subsequent move. I understand Rick Perry is trying to push this through the Texas legislature without much luck.

As the evictions plod slowly along, much like this review - Wikus examines a strange metal tubular object he finds hidden in one of the tin huts, he is sprayed in the nose and face by an oily substance. After the initial retching, coughing and vomiting, Wikus decides to call it a day and head for home.

During a surprise party at his house that evening for his promotion to his new position, Wikus takes a header into the Congratulations cake...and his Kafka-esque transformation starts. He wakes up in the hospital horrified to find that his left hand and forearm have morphed into an alien appendage.

This change in his DNA allows Wikus to operate any of the confiscated alien weapons or operate the alien spacecraft. After Wikus is forced to successfully discharge various alien hand weapons, his usefulness is boiled down to vivisecting his body and studying his newly found hybrid DNA.

Of course, Wikus wants no part of this nightmare and escapes. His only refuge is District 9.

Wikus ends up at the home of Christopher Johnson, the given name of one of the aliens who just happens to be one of the "genius" aliens who needed the canister of fluid that Wikus had confiscated in order to fire up the mothership and leave Earth – this fluid could also reverse the continuing metamorphosis of Wikus from human to alien.

Well, it just so happens that the leader of the Nigerian gang, Obesanjo (don't ax me how to fuckin' pernounce dat) decides that he wants to cut off Wikus' alien arm and EAT it. He believes this will give him the power to use the alien weapons himself. Hmmm, and the HIV virus is NOT sexually transmitted.

After Wikus' Inspector Clouseau-like bumbling aquisition of some alien weaponry, he and Christopher go to MNU headquarters to retrieve the cannister of "secret sauce."

After a chase and gunbattle grounds the MNU paddy wagon, Wikus is dragged to Obesanjo's hut where - Obesanjo is not singing Zipadee-do-dah. He is there to have his left arm unceremoniously cleaved and used as an alien aphrodesiac.

Wikus manages to escape and get in the power suit the aliens had previously traded to the Nigerians for 3 cases of cat food. Wikus then proceeds to zap, cap, and crap Nigerian nap as he helps Christopher get to the disabled transport and then to the spaceship where he takes off to the wild blue yonder.

Obviously, the movie is a condemnation on the xenophobia and segregation which took place in South African cities under apartheid, with the aliens taking the place of black South Africans. So yes, it's a thinly disguised "message movie."
The aliens were incredibly realistic. The acting and pacing were tremendous.

Of course, you'll never see a movie preaching about black on black genocide and intraethnic discrimination among African countries or tribes.

Fuck, who am I kidding? You won’t even see a black guy kill a white guy on Law and Order.

Posting to The Fez Prez - The post-racial society starts the minute the Alien’s land, but thanks for canning your racist Green Czar – just the same.

Enjoy your next 3 ½ years and pray for the hapless alien landing.

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