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Marathon 2: Genetic Bugaloo

Last Marathon went so well, we're doing it again. As before, we have a theme. This time, that theme is “genetic.” It's really more of a guideline than a rule though. Also, we've moved from all old sci-fi to some newer stuff, because otherwise we couldn't watch Fifth Element.

As before, we have a schedule that we'll pretend to follow. This time, we wimped out and are planning to wrap up before midnight.

^ Start ^ Title ^ Runtime ^

12:00 Gattaca 106
1:45 Repo! The Genetic Opera 98
3:30 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 116
5:30 Resident Evil 100
7:15 Blade Runner 117
9:15 Fifth Element 126
11:20 Total 663


is one of a several films from about a decade ago which stars Jude Law and examines unpleasant technological outcomes. They're all good, and all vaguely depressing. In this one, extensive eugenics technologies have made it easy and rewarding to have the best possible baby. Ethan Hawke was not eugenelated, but still wants to go into space. The evil Gattaca Corporation discriminates against him, just because he is less healthy. Hijinks ensue (not actually a comedy). Also, it has Gore Vidal in a supporting role.


“is a 2008 horror-rock opera musical film.” Let that sink in for a moment. Despite the name, this is probably the least “genetic” of our lineup. On the one hand, it has a cameo by Joan Jett; on the other hand, it has a cameo by Paris Hilton; On the gripping hand, it stars a singing Anthony Stewart Head.

The Wrath of Khan

It has come to this: eventually Star Trek had to sneak in to sci-fi marathon. It's like Godwin's Law, only different. Here, we've cut right to the chase, and are showing one of the better films. This movie is quite possibly the richest vein of Star Trek memes of any media. And certainly, no other Star Trek has quite as much Ricardo Montalban.

Resident Evil

sure is a video game movie. It's also got nice scenery, nice explosions, and is nicely scheduled for dinnertime. Did you know there are six Resident Evil films now? That's as many as Star Wars, and in a fraction of the time.

Blade Runner

is a test, designed to provoke an emotional response… Shall we continue? This movie is incredibly well made and incredibly influential. William Gibson even had to walk out mid-showing, because it was warping his vision for the then-unfinished Neuromancer, and that book founded a whole genre (cyberpunk). It's also an example of just how much the cut of a film can affect it. There are seven distinct versions of this film, but we're unfortunately only going to be watching one of them. Let's just say that the unicorn dream was cut in the original, and leave it at that. Besides, this fills our mandatory “movie which is completely rewritten from the Phillip K. Dick short story on which it is based” requirement.

Fifth Element

Speaking of “visually striking,” have we got a film for you! It's Chris Tucker's best role, touched off Milla Jovovich's career, and (by the way) features Gary Oldman and Sir Ian Holm. Also, it has some American in it.

The French don't often make pulp sci-fi movies, but when they do, by God they are going to make the pulpiest.