Abstract

The 1997 release of Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers generated controversy for its obvious Nazi imagery and ironic endorsement of a fascist future. Based on Robert Heinlein's equally controversial novel in which a militarized Earth is engaged in a war of annihilation against a race of insects, Verhoeven's film portrays a society that embraces the logic of extermination and uses Nazi language and signifiers to express eliminationist rhetoric at every turn. Schools, the media, and the future military consisently invoke Nazi terminology and allusions to frame the conflict against the "Arachnids." From the blatant mimicry of Triumph of the Will to the twisted use of Frank Capra's Why We Fight series, Verhoeven cleverly mixes Nazi imagery with the patriotic fervor promoted in American propaganda films from the Second World War. Verhoeven attempts to seduce the audience into accepting and even cheering for genocide on a galactic scale. The irony of this approach was lost on most of the audience and reviewers.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 104-115
Launched on MUSE
2011-04-09
Open Access
No
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