Guard your orifices!
The Host may be a CW-style variation of it, but Stephenie Meyer's story of alien Souls invading the Earth follows a long and rich sci-fi tradition: that of militant extraterrestrials violently taking over human bodies. The mechanics of these body intrusions may vary — some implant themselves in the ears, others in the GI tract, others in the womb — but one thing is clear. These aliens really, really want to get up and close and personal with humans, with varying degrees of discomfort for the host.
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So to help you avoid implantation yourself, we've given you an anatomical breakdown of where exactly you can find each type of invader in a typical human body. Sharpen your scalpels and check out this infographic:
Click on the image above for to get a larger view. And start taking notes from our handy key. Knowledge is your best defense!
1. Brain: Compared to some of these others, the way the Souls take over human bodies in The Host is pretty gentle. Via a surgical slit in the back of the neck, a Soul — a little light-up creature that looks like the plasma balls at a science museum you liked to touch when you were a kid — enters your nervous system and moves toward the neocortex, assuming all cognitive functions and erasing the personality of its host.
2. Nose: Technically, the tiny aliens in Meet Dave have built a spaceship that looks and sounds exactly like a human being (or at least a really awkward Eddie Murphy). They use its eyes as viewports, its mouth as a gangplank, and when they need to make a really rapid exit they get themselves snorted out of its nose. The scary thing, is that they're small enough to invade the noses of actual humans as well. Yeah, you might want to get that lingering sinus infection checked out...
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3. Ears: Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban) used a Ceti Eel to extract information from Commander Chekov (Walter Koenig) and Captain Tyrell (Paul Winfield) in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The eel, a native of barren wasteland Ceti Alpha V, burrows into a human's ear and all the way into his or her brain. Once there, it renders the host completely vulnerable to suggestion. Meaning that Khan could tell Chekov and Tyrell exactly what he'd want them to do, and they would do it no matter what.
4. Mouth: Time-traveling Romulan freighter captain Nero (Eric Bana) in 2009's Star Trek was a kindred spirit of Khan in terms of using alien parasites to bend human prisoners to his will. His Centaurian slug, however, enters its host through the mouth, then tunnels in toward the brain stem. Nero was able to use one to get Capt. Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) to reveal all of Starfleet's defense codes.
5. Chest: The parasitic aliens of LV-423 in Alien begin their takeover of the human body by wrapping their tentacles around a person's head and hugging the face. When it suddenly departs, you think you're free. But actually it's deposited an egg inside you that will incubate in your chest cavity, until suddenly it bursts out when you're chillin' with your space-trucker friends.
6. Womb: Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) had unprotected sex with her lover Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green) while exploring a mysterious alien world. So the possibility of getting pregnant was already very real. But what she didn't realize was that Charlie had been infected with an extraterrestrial virus that was rewriting his genetic code. And so he didn't impregnate her with a human child but with a rapidly growing alien parasite that lodged in her womb. Not many would have the fortitude to perform a C-section on herself to abort this unwanted pregnancy like Dr. Shaw did.
7. Hand: Okay, this isn't really an extraterrestrial parasite, but it is a condition known as "Alien Hand Syndrome," in which a person can't control the actions of their limbs. In the case of Dr. Strangelove that meant his hand kept spontaneously giving the fascist salute, which we suspect may have been a Freudian slip in mime form for the ex-Nazi scientist. Laughs aside, it is a real condition. Think of it like a much more embarrassing version of "restless leg syndrome," if anything can be more embarassing than "restless leg syndrome."
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
[Photo Credit: Hollywood.com Illustration]
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In This Means War – a stylish action/rom-com hybrid from director McG – Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) and Chris Pine (Star Trek) star as CIA operatives whose close friendship is strained by the fires of romantic rivalry. Best pals FDR (Pine) and Tuck (Hardy) are equally accomplished at the spy game but their fortunes diverge dramatically in the dating realm: FDR (so nicknamed for his obvious resemblance to our 32nd president) is a smooth-talking player with an endless string of conquests while Tuck is a straight-laced introvert whose love life has stalled since his divorce. Enter Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) a pretty plucky consumer-products evaluator who piques both their interests in separate unrelated encounters. Tuck meets her via an online-dating site FDR at a video-rental store. (That Lauren is tech-savvy enough to date online but still rents movies in video stores is either a testament to her fascinating mix of contradictions or more likely an example of lazy screenwriting.)
When Tuck and FDR realize they’re pursuing the same girl it sparks their respective competitive natures and they decide to make a friendly game of it. But what begins as a good-natured rivalry swiftly devolves into romantic bloodsport with both men using the vast array of espionage tools at their disposal – from digital surveillance to poison darts – to gain an edge in the battle for Lauren’s affections. If her constitutional rights happen to be violated repeatedly in the process then so be it.
Lauren for her part remains oblivious to the clandestine machinations of her dueling suitors and happily basks in the sudden attention from two gorgeous men. Herein we find the Reese Witherspoon Dilemma: While certainly desirable Lauren is far from the irresistible Helen of Troy type that would inspire the likes of Tuck and FDR to risk their friendship their careers and potential incarceration for. At several points in This Means War I found myself wondering if there were no other peppy blondes in Los Angeles (where the film is primarily set) for these men to pursue. Then again this is a film that wishes us to believe that Tom Hardy would have trouble finding a date so perhaps plausibility is not its strong point.
When Lauren needs advice she looks to her boozy foul-mouthed best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler). Essentially an extension of Handler’s talk-show persona – an acquired taste if there ever was one – Trish’s dialogue consists almost exclusively of filthy one-liners delivered in rapid-fire succession. Handler does have some choice lines – indeed they’re practically the centerpiece of This Means War’s ad campaign – but the film derives the bulk of its humor from the outrageous lengths Tuck and FDR go to sabotage each others’ efforts a raucous game of spy-versus-spy that carries the film long after Handler’s shtick has grown stale.
Business occasionally intrudes upon matters in the guise of Heinrich (Til Schweiger) a Teutonic arms dealer bent on revenge for the death of his brother. The subplot is largely an afterthought existing primarily as a means to provide third-act fireworks – and to allow McGenius an outlet for his ADD-inspired aesthetic proclivities. The film’s action scenes are edited in such a manic quick-cut fashion that they become almost laughably incoherent. In fairness to McG he does stage a rather marvelous sequence in the middle of the film in which Tuck and FDR surreptitiously skulk about Lauren's apartment unaware of each other's presence carefully avoiding detection by Lauren who grooves absentmindedly to Montel Jordan's "This Is How We Do It." The whole scene unfolds in one continuous take – or is at least craftily constructed to appear as such – captured by one very agile steadicam operator.
Whatever his flaws as a director McG is at least smart enough to know how much a witty script and appealing leads can compensate for a film’s structural and logical deficiencies. He proved as much with Charlie’s Angels a film that enjoys a permanent spot on many a critic’s Guilty Pleasures list and does so again with This Means War. The film coasts on the chemistry of its three co-stars and only runs into trouble when the time comes to resolve its romantic competition which by the end has driven its male protagonists to engage in all manner of underhanded and duplicitous activities. This Means War being a commercial film – and likely an expensive one at that – Witherspoon's heroine is mandated to make a choice and McG all but sidesteps the whole thorny matter of Tuck and FDR’s unwavering dishonesty not to mention their craven disregard for her privacy. (They regularly eavesdrop on her activities.) For all their obvious charms the truth is that neither deserves Lauren – or anything other than a lengthy jail sentence for that matter.
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