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Immune to Life
by James Shafie

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Thinking about Gregory Peck as Josef Mengele makes me twitch.

Thinking about Gregory Peck as Josef Mengele makes me twitch.
So I don't know if any of you out there knew about this, but Jurassic Park 4 has been trying to be made since 2002. It's been going through many changes and difficulties since then however, hence why we haven't seen it yet. I had heard from a coworker a rumor about the supposed plot. I went to trusty Wikipedia to scope it out. I read about a supposed storyline: "...and [the main character] is hired to take care of five genetically modified Deinonychus. They have dog and human DNA, and are hired to act as mercenaries." Haha! Velocipeople! Whether or not this is a good path to take regarding the script is questionable. However it does bring up an interesting subject in both film and life. Genetics.

Genetics is a real and important issue in worldly society. We have the technology to choose what sex an unborn fetus becomes. We can make food survive harsh environments and seasons. We're near a point in time where genetics can help obliterate certain diseases. This used to be fantastical idea fifty or so years ago. This was up there with flying cars, laser guns and wireless communication devices that hang on your ear and piss off those around you because they think that you're talking to them. Of course, we get the annoying invention first.

Genetics have been a part of film for a while, mainly in the Sci-Fi and horror genres, but drifting off into mainstream territory every now and again. One of the first was the film THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL, made in 1978. The plot had the infamous nazi doctor Josef Mengele trying to create clones of, you guessed it, Adolf Hitler. This film was created in a time
We now have discrimination down to a science.

"We now have discrimination down to a science. "
where cloning was still farfetched, but now, it's not so outrageous a story.

Another film that has genetics play an integral part is THE FLY. A scientist creates a transportation device and accidentally merges his DNA with that of a fly. Will we, one day, have the ability to merge two separate DNA structures of differing species? We can use the organs of pigs to replace humans, and the "Liger" is proof that similar species mating can produce mixed outcomes.

The film GATTACA is probably the most genetics driven film to date. Genetics determine where you exist within a futuristic society. If you are not genetically modified to near-perfection, you are considered an "invalid" and are not allowed to work certain jobs, and in essence, live a certain life. Even when the main character can beat his assumed-superior brother in a swimming race, he is still substandard when compared, solely based on DNA. This is not pure fiction either; remember, one of Hitler's main goals was to achieve the perfect Aryan race. He had "baby factories" created to try to reach this absurd dream.

Our genes help determine who we are. I believe its half nature/half nurture that creates our personalities. Some of my tendencies were passed down from my parents, same with you. In the future, we might be able to pick which of those to pass on to our children. Maybe we can even add qualities we'd like to see in our kids! Yeah, my son will be a great guitar player, and know PI to the thousandth decimal, and be a great kisser! Awesome...right? Sounds like the beginning of a horror movie to me, and hey, isn't that what life boils down to sometimes?

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The Lair of the Mad
Every other Tuesday

'The Lair' discusses the many aspects and qualities of the horror genre. From actors, to make-up, to music, James Shafie explores everything the "cult" genre spews up.

Other Columns
Other columns by James Shafie:

Speaking Out

Yearn For Change

Queen of Night

Too Close Enough To Touch

The Time of the Beasts

All Columns

James Shafie
James Shafie is an avid watcher of movies of all sorts, but the horror genre is closest to his heart. He loves to read and is addicted to music, mostly metal and itís thousands of sub-genres. He was once fired by Blockbuster, which we see as a strong character trait.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to James Shafie by clicking here.

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