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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Built from comic book auteur Frank Miller’s (Sin City) rock solid foundations 300 is based on his vision on the 1962 film The 300 Spartans filtered through the same tough-as-nails pulp sensibility that populates most of his comics work. Leaving such leaden wannabe sword-and-sandal epics like Troy and Alexander in the historical dust 300 reworks the real-life legendary tale of the Battle of Thermopylae in which a battalion of 300 elite Spartan soldiers heroically hold the line to protect ancient Greece from the invading Persian hordes. The story focuses on the Spartan King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) who must not only lead his small cadre of troops--each one honored since childhood into a razor-sharp battle-relishing warrior—into a battle they are unlikely to survive but he must also fight for the fate of Greece and its democratic ideals. As the bizarre seemingly endless marauding legions of the tyrant Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) descend upon the Hot Gates—a narrow passageway into Greece that Leonidas’ miniscule band can most ably defend—the soldiers take up arms without the usual post-modern anti-war hand-wringing that most war epics indulge in. These soldiers are both bred for battle and fighting a good fight and the film focuses squarely on the highly charged action. Meanwhile in a new plotline created specifically for the movie his equally noble and faithful queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) takes up arms in a more symbolic way as she also tries to keep democracy alive by taking on the political warlords of Sparta to secure relief for her husband’s troops. Butler has become a familiar and welcome on-screen presence in such films as The Phantom of the Opera and Reign of Fire but there has been little on his mainstream movie resume to suggest the kind of bravura fire he brings to the role of Leonidas. This is the stuff of an actor announcing himself to the audience in a major way akin to Daniel Craig’s star-making turn as James Bond. In a big bold performance that could have gone awry in any number of ways Butler plays even the highest pitched notes like a concerto perfectly capturing the king’s bravado bombast cunning compassion and passion each step of the way. Headey is his ideal match imbuing the queen with more steel and nobility in a handful of scenes than most actresses can summon to carry entire films. Fans of Lost and Brazilian cinema will be hard-pressed to even recognize Santoro whose earnest pretty handsomeness is radically transformed into Xerxes’ exotic borderline freakish form personifying a terrifying yet seductive force of corruption and evil that spreads like a cancer across the earth. And don’t forget to add in the most impressive array of rock-hard abs on cinematic display since well ever (think Brad Pitt in Troy times 300). Even bolstered by canny casting choices and their washboard stomachs helmer Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead) is the true undisputable star of 300 establishing himself firmly as a director whose work demands to be watched. With a kinetic sensibility that’s akin to Quentin Tarantino and John Woo and using CGI technology to its utmost effects both subtle and dynamic Snyder creates a compelling fully formed world that the audience is eager to explore. Snyder doesn’t literally match Miller’s signature artwork as meticulously as director Robert Rodriguez did with Sin City. Instead Snyder captures Miller’s essence be it raw brutality majestic size and scope the exotic and otherworldly carnal physicality or hideous deformity--even seemingly antiquated and potentially off-putting techniques like the repeated use of slow-motion are put to fresh effect making every blow and cut seem crucial. Yet even in the visual glorification of some of the most bloody and violent conflicts ever put to film Snyder infuses the tale—which ultimately is one big glorious testosterone-soaked fight sequence—with the sense of honor and sacrifice which characterizes the most noble of war efforts. Yes war can be hell but this is a case where some like it hot.