Iain Gray Freelance Writer

Dimwits and light sabres

Science fiction has created some of the most thought-provoking moments in cinema - the travel through the star gates in 2001, a replicant questioning its existence in the face of imminent death in Blade Runner, the entire labyrinthine plot of Total Recall.

However, where there is gold, it stands to reason that there must also be nuggets of a different kind and here we look at five of the most stupid, obvious or misleading lines uttered in the entire genre.

1: Star Wars

Obi-Wan Kenobi: “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine...”

No you won’t. You’ll crumble into mouldy old dust in your child-molester robe, and from then on appear only as an ethereal ghostly form whose two functions are to dish out spiritually inane guidance and to hang out with his mates as they pop their clogs one by one - by the end of Episode VI, there are almost enough dead Jedi Masters for a barbershop quartet.

2: Species

Dan Smithson, Empath: “Something bad happened here”

A line uttered by the film’s resident clairvoyant upon entering a train carriage decorated liberally with blood, skin, intestines, essentially all manner of human viscera. And a big bug cocoon. Wow, are you, like, psychic or something, Sherlock?

3: Alien 3

Dr Clemens: “Death was instantaneous.”

An incisive medical diagnosis from the prison physician, after the victim was dragged through a fifteen foot wide industrial fan spinning at about 2000rpm. Surely he could have survived long enough to wonder why his spleen and left foot were travelling in a different direction to each of his eyeballs.

4: Invasion of the BodySnatchers (1978)

Elizabeth Driscoll: “I’m telling you something is going on here...”

Could it be your husband is having an affair? Or perhaps he’s doing some slightly shady business with some dubious characters? Either way he’s a bit distant, isn’t he? Certainly nothing to do with the fact that the entire population of the earth has been turned into alien pod people by some extra-terrestrial space flowers…

5: The Blob 1958

Lieutenant Dave: At least we’ve got it stopped.
Steve Andrews: Yeah, as long as the Arctic stays cold.

Ho ho ho. It just shows that what was drily witty in the ‘50s, is brutally terrifying in these days of apocalyptic global warming. So now we not only have to deal with rising sea levels and mass wildlife extinction, but we should also worry about a huge red lump of gunge reanimating itself to hunt down the last few human survivors living a meagre existence on a Himalayan mountaintop.


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