Friday, April 2, 2010
Don't Let Them Take Babs, Neither
Not only do there continue to be little whispers of rumors of a US Torchwood remake (and the almost inevitably straightened-out Captain Jack that would follow) but another rumor rumbles and bubbles and gurgles and does other nasty things, that of a Barbarella remake.
This is a terrible idea, for the following reason: Americans would make it.
When Barbarella premiered in 1968 it was a French production (albeit with an American actress) based on a French comic. And not anything against American movies in general, but let's just go through the plot of 1968's 'Barbarella,' shall we?
Barbarella gets the call to go to Tau Ceti and stop evil scientist Durand-Durand. She rather crash lands, runs afoul of some evil children, gets rescued by this hairy dude, sleeps with the hairy dude, goes on her way, meets an angel, bangs the angel in to being able to fly again, gets in to some trouble in the City of Night, hooks up with the resistance, saves her angel, defeats Durand-Durand's orgasmerator and the evil one-horned cyclops chick whose name I can't recall and books out of the City of Night with her angel Pygar and the aforementioned cyclops lady.
Let me tell you how this would work in the United States in 2012, or whenever. Barbarella (now played by Megan Fox or some other Real-Doll) crash lands on Tau Ceti, where she's rescued by Sam Worthington or some other hunky bottomless pit of charisma from whence there is no escape, they banter "sexily," she stays hung up on him the whole film despite some second-act Lipstick Lesbianism, they blow the living SHIT out of the City of Night, and Worthington conquers her in some soft-focus missionary that cuts out with a bad pun before the movie ends.
Take the American TV landscape, for instance. Tell me if I'm wrong, but with the exception of 'Sex and the City' and other ostensible "by girls, for girls" TV--and especially in the case of genre TV, something usually fronted by guys--if you're a Lady Protagonist you're bound to spend the entire series shacked up with pretty much one guy while the Highlander two channels over is busy banging chicks from here to 16th-century Scotland. The Ghost Whisperer, that chick from Underworld, that Medium lady, the girls of 'Charmed' (one of whom, Rose McGowan, was rumored for the part when she was dating Robert Rodriguez) they all have some constant male companion of greater or equal ability in the Getting Shit Done Dep't, or they're like Sydney from Alias: one lover dies early on and the other is this slow burn for half the gawdang series.
In the original film, Babs is free, self-assured, and capable of doing her thing without using sex as manipulative tool or following some dude around doe-eyed because one time he looked at her funny. A character like this, in full possession of her sexual superpowers would like as not be a villain in any major US production. So, please, Hollywood. Make 'Transformers 5' instead.
Addendum: Because it amuses me, here is the entirely NSFW Orgasmerator scene: