Oh, "Splice," what you could have been.
I saw this sci-fi flick Opening Night, last Friday. Because I am an unabashed watcher of MTV, I'd seen the Splice trailer some 17,000 times while watching a "True Life" marathon the previous Saturday (some really sick phenomena take place on that wonder of a show -- kind of makes you feel better about your own dysfunctions, such as watching "True Life" for hours on end when the sun is out and shining.)
I was quite floored about the movie -- I figured it would be a schlock-filled horror/thriller film that'd make me cringe at puss and goo, while telling a good story about corporate n'er-do-wells, trying to stymie some important genetic research - a pet issue of mine.
Buddy, was I wrong.
Adrien Brody stars as Clive Nicoli, an egotistical geneticist who's been (somewhat) successful at breeding blobs of gooey flesh via multi-hybrid animal DNA. The blobs are supposed to be critical to solving livestock health issues, amongst sundry other vague health conditions of science-fiction lore.
Clive and love-interest partner Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley, notable in "Go" and for writing/directing "Away From Her"), who is also a NERD -- that's actually the acronym for the corporation they work for, and fitting for her geeked out character -- decide to take matters into their own hands when the higher-ups dictate that the two are not allowed to mix in a few human ova into their animal genetic mix.
This, after one of their blobs explodes on stage after a press conference, spurting out goo-junk onto all the Helen Thomas's in the science world. Perhaps the old NERD higher-ups considered liability or, oh, ethics, when they decided not to let these two make an animal-human hybrid.
What results is "Dren" (NERD spelled backwards) - a hilariously conceived part-human that has the legs of a horse, wings of a ... dragon? ... a pointy tongue, fish lungs, a weird crevice in the skin that runs down the symmetrical vertical of her face -- and some G.D. crazy incestuous plot lines that make you want to hug your knees to your chest, even though you're laughing at the ridiculousness of it all at the same time.
I will say that I was entertained; much like everyone in the audience, I was chuckling at each and every new horrible plot twist. When we find that Dren is aging like Benjamin Button, my only question was: Does this mean the movie ends sooner? One can only wish.
I ruin nothing in talking about the plot, because - the moment these guys get on screen, the stilted acting, the early twists, the ... everything ... spells the movie out before it even gets going. Director Natali does, however, drop in a couple last-minute twists that are hard-to-bear and not fit even for this genre.
I'll keep those to myself, though.
Next up, "Cyrus," (awesome) and "The Karate Kid" (mini-Fresh Prince is so great).