Film Corner: Beyond the Trek

Beyond the Trek

BEYOND THE TREK: A deep space mining vessel has been adrift for two years. It is suspected the crew brutally killed each other, but the reason for the bloodbath is unknown. A rescue crew is sent to find if there are any survivors, what happened, and why.

Ok, first of all, does this sort of investigation EVER end well? It's always either demons, aliens, or Space Mental Illness. Second of all, does that title make any sense except as a desperate bid for Star Trek fans to notice it? I'm surprised they didn't go whole hog and call it Event Trek: Horizon Dead Space.

Event Trek: Dead Wars on the Horizon Space.

Event Trek: Battlestar Dead Wars on the Horizon Space.

Event System Shock Trek: Dead Wars on the Horizon Space.

Although, honestly given what we know about human nature, most workplace killings just involve a disgruntled employee with a weapon. Has a SciFi movie ever done that as the reveal?? Don't say Pandorum, it's covered under Space Mental Illness and also I'm the only person to watch Pandorum. Even the director of Pandorum didn't watch Pandorum. I love it anyway, though.

I still really hate the unskippable Amazon Prime commercials.

We open with the usual ominous timeline:

- 2015: Scientists genetically modify human embryos.

- 2020: Human generic modification is commercialized. Genetically modified babies have higher IQs, ideal physical traits, and positive temperaments.

Space Mental Illness it is, then. Just a reminder that IQ tests are basically a test of how a person has been socialized, not of their superior gene-ious. (Aha, a wordplay joke.) In that regard, I actually find it plausible that expensive designer babies would score highly on the tests made by expensive designer people. But there are cheaper and easier ways to tell if someone is a wealthy white American.

- 2038: The process has a 97% success rate as the first generation of genetically modified humans become adults. These 'perfect' specimens are called GC Humans, named after the company that created the process, GLEN CREST LABS.

Uhhh, what happens to the other 3%? And, really? That's the least catchy name ever. Extremely doubtful. "Glennials" is right there.

- 2047: GC Humans deploy to deep space.

I....ok? That......I guess? Not really sure I understand how that was a natural progression, but sure. We're informed that Climate Change made this necessary, but I don't really follow that either unless the plan is to evacuate ALL OF EARTH to somewhere else.

On an extremely pretty ship, five extremely pretty people wake up. I assume they're all Glennials. Maybe it's six people? Two of the guys look functionally identical to me.

They're...apparently here to recover cargo from a much bigger ship, which is trying to crash into Titan. (The Saturn moon?) This doesn't seem to have anything to do with the introduction's climate change OR the description's promised investigation into a bloodbath.

Event Horizon had the bloodbath and Pandorum had the climate change so maybe they changed course and went with recover cargo which no one has done before-- ALIEN, get out of here, I'm trying to do a live-watch! Take Sigourney Weaver with you but leave the cat.

I need you to know that the Not Star Trek uniforms have a little dip in the back that draws the eye down to the butt crack and it's unsettling as a design. The Weyland Yutani guy back home yells at his robot, so I'm assuming one of the crew members is secretly an advanced robot. My money is on the doctor.

The cargo is VERY IMPORTANT to recover because it will magic earth's atmosphere back to normal. Duh. Weyland says that non-Glennials can't manage space travel because normies get Space Mental Illness and that's probably what happened to the dead crew. Grand. Oop, the cargo ship has a robot on it. There's a lot of "PC culture" jokes about what to call robots ("ART" for Artificial Human) and non-Glennials ("premie" is a Bad Word).

The ghost ship has Death Metal being piped over all the speakers, I guess for irony. The Glennials board with their guns drawn and at the ready, which seems uhhh, I mean. Yeah, I know this is a survival horror movie, but what the fuck guys. A tiny little metal robot from robot wars shoots at them and they fry it. RIP, Stabby.

"Black box has been forcibly removed", reports a Glennial. The whole point of black boxes is supposed to be that they're shit hard to recover / tamper with. The greenhouse is now a jungle so we're ripping off LOST IN SPACE and it doesn't make a whole lot of sense because you'd think plants in space would have limited nutrients to become overgrown like this.

A bearded and very silent survivor has been located. The magic cargo is missing. He isn't talking but that doesn't stop the doctor from diagnosing him with several mental illnesses because I guess you can just tricorder that in the future.

The Glennials are stating that only non-Glennials bond with pets and robots. I'm over here wondering: How the hell did they remove basic pack-bonding from our genes and how would the result be recognizably human? Like. Even the loneriest loner has pack bonding tendencies which inform our actions. If you completely remove that so the result is one that doesn't bond with animals or things that look and act human... that's a hefty domino chain.

Anyway, they're kinkshaming the survivor for giving a shit about the robot which has been his only companion out here in deep space for god knows how long.

...Glennials don't have violent impulses, urges, or interest in violent sports. Like! Non-violence is great, but an entire race of humans who have no violent urges at all still feels unrecognizable to me? And yet they're supposed to be driven, highly competitive, and grade-focused. ...and they carry pulse rifles everywhere.

One of the Glennials has developed a hand-tremor, and another is becoming forgetful. The Glennial doctor is suggesting they torture the survivor since he's not talking fast enough. You'd think he'd at least know that torture is not a very effective means of getting at the truth. The patient will say what he thinks they want to hear.

Two of the Glennials are hooking up and I think it's supposed to be seen as another glitch behavior, but I'm down with casual sex so it's hard to view as strange. *shrug* Now the Glennial Girl is crying because her boyfriend is in danger of dying and everyone is SHOCKED at this display of emotion, like, they're more concerned by her tears than they are at the prospect of the ship exploding.

"For only $999999, you too can have a baby that won't pack bond with you or anyone else, will hate sports and pets, won't ever show a single emotion, and won't hesitate to torture or shoot you!" / "What a deal!! Let's call him Damien, darling."

The patient is quoting Tolstoy and this is now being cited as proof that he isn't actually a trauma victim, because "I've never heard of a patient quoting Tolstoy before." I cannot. The patient jettisoned the cargo onto Titan (the moon) because... I think *he* thinks it's a biological weapon designed to wipe out non-Glennial humans? The Glennials are torturing the robot in an attempt to psychologically break him.

The couple are having a discussion about how love is a distraction and wrong and bad and yet here they are, etc., what is happening to them, and I'm uncomfortable? Being aromantic isn't abnormal! Romance is not inherently human! At the same time, these sound like conservative college kids who have just discovered pantsfeelings and think they invented romance all on their own, so that part rings familiar.

Ok, so the cargo turns water lethal but Glen Crest sells a proprietary filter that fixes the water. *jazz hands* CAPITALISM. The Capitalism side slaughtered the "Maybe Let's Don't Poison The Entire Earth" side. Survivor dude killed the capitalists in their sleep. "The compound isn't a cure. They already had a cure. What they needed was the disease."

We learn that Glen Crest put a proprietary tracking code in the DNA of every genetically modified human. It is mutating and causing "irreversible neurological problems". "GCs have never known emotions, so they don't know how to control them. Their downfall is fast." THEY TURNED OFF PACK BONDING, SURVIVAL INSTINCT, AND EMOTIONS.

"The earth is burning. Regular humans are being hunted down and harvested for their blood, to keep GCs temporarily stable." They've only been gone THREE YEARS, is the thing. The earth went full Genetic Vampires in THREE YEARS. Super jazzed, by the way, that the couple have manifested emotions by way of "Man, Horny and Territorial; Woman, Weepy and Trades Sex For Hugs". REAL AWESOME. I mean, having the woman manifest mental illness by being sexually aggressive probably wouldn't have been *better*, but you could've at least made them consistent regardless of gender.

The doctor wants to harvest the survivor for all his blood. A vote has been taken on whether to kill the human in order to harvest his blood. The sexy couple says no; the remaining 3 vote yes. Making the Black man the sadistic torturer of the group sure was a choice, huh. I gotta break down the characters for a second here. The tall white commander is becoming caveman-brutish. The Black doctor is the one who keeps advocating sophisticated medical torture. The attractive man is the lusty, protective pantsfeelings one. The brunette is manifesting emotional weakness: crying constantly, bemoaning her lost childhood, and trading sex for physical closeness. The blonde is manifesting physical weakness via hand tremors and that's about it. She's the POV character.

How has nobody turned to emotional support eating, you'd think they'd wanna pack that in for shame points.

Survivor is set up for killin', but the others realize he was reading Sun Tzu's The Art of War. OBVIOUSLY, that means he didn't actually do the real killing but rather had the robot do it and she's a danger now. WHO PUT MONEY ON "KILLER ROBOT"? ...who put money on the Black man dying first. Fuck shit.

"With a combat chip, she's every bit our equal." Oh, right, the previously well-established combat chips that have been mentioned before this very moment. Hey, if they abhor violence, you'd think that actually they'd make really shitty soldiers and that they could be overpowered by a single normal human with a knife. But of course then they wouldn't seem "superior" to an American audience, so.

Emotional Girl dies second, immediately after saying "whatever happens, I want you to know I love you." Lusty Man gets a few good hits in before dying. In an honestly unforeseen turn, Blonde Girl turns on her people and kills the last Glennial. She reveals that she was one of the "failed 3%" of Glennials for having emotions, and she's been having to fake being emotionless like them. You'd think that would make her just a Normal Human, but instead they're making her out to be Dangerously Mentally Ill and Violent. Sort of? Ish? She still feels remorse for the violence, I guess.

She saved the Survivor and his Robot because she's worked out that the robot has...developed self determinancy? She tells them to go back to earth. (Where...humans are being harvested for blood?) "I may seem fine now, but you're not safe with me." Ah, yes, the dangerously mentally ill. He protests that earth isn't a great place to go back to and she tells him to "do what you do best: survive" but that might mean she wants him to kill all the Glennials. Blonde crashes her ship onto Titan at maximum speed.

What a great movie that was for stigmatizing mental illness. SPACE MENTAL ILLNESS was the culprit after all, just with a side of capitalism. In closing, I wish to note that both the title and the box image have NOTHING to do with the actual film. Calling it "Uncle Bob's Space Jamboree" would've been equally relevant.


Post a Comment