Scorpius Gigantus - Movie Review
“Hi, I’m Jeff Fahey.” The eternal words, the divine stench of cultural resonance drips from their very being. Has there ever been a more succinct and celestial utterance in the history of history? If so, I know one thing, I’ve never heard it.
Much has been made of Jeff Fahey in the past, and, without hyperbolism, he is certainly worthy of all the praise his millions of fans all over the globe lather onto his head. His latest cinematic magnum opus is a film by the name of Scorpius Gigantus. I kid thee not, it does indeed possess such a magnificent title as Scorpius Gigantus, go on just say it to yourself, Scor-pius Gigan-tus, what a guy! It is my assertion that what Ian Dury and co meant back in the day wasn’t an awareness raising of mental illness, but that Spasticus (Autisticus) was actually intended to be Scorpius Gigantus. I don’t know what happened; one of the Blockheads must have changed it when he wasn’t looking.
The film opens with a wonderful Seven-esque montage, some fabulous graphical geometry in use here, especially around the h in Fahey. Following an explosive thieving of some military knickknacks by the bad guys, things get all Metal Gear Solid with ‘Major Reynolds’ Fahey leading his crack team of soldiers into what seems to be compound ripped from the annals of Soviet Russia circa 1980, all set to the backdrop of a few Euro dance beats. Turns out that it was only an exercise; that Major Fahey likes to keep his warriors in good shape, harsh but fair, proper order sir. Just watch Fahey keep them in line with such remarks as: “This ain’t grunt’s night at the titty bar! You’re Alpha Team!” Fucking right they are Jeff.
The plot concerns a cargo shipment that is stolen by some miscreants, and Major Fahey’s unit is assigned to track it down. We learn of the mission requirements from an exchange between Major Fahey and his superior, a general who looks an awful lot like Sam Elliot, only whose voice has been recorded using that website that speaks the words you input. Apparently Team Fahey is the best, and I don’t doubt it. Oh, and there’s some bad biological shit in the stolen transports, and only scientist Jane Preston has the info. So she gets sent out into the midst of it all.
And what a feisty and rather attractive scientist she is, seems to know her ecology quite well, despite the slow vocalising. Perhaps she’s so specialist as to completely negate all other intellectual areas, including linguistics, so I’d probably want to wait a while before approaching a conversation about Kantian Synthesis (it’s more of a second date discussion anyway). But saying that, at the same time, she’s no Fahey, she doesn’t even have a beret for fucks sake.
However what no one expects on the ground, where the stolen goods have been stored away, and a place that Major Fahey finds almost instantly such is his brilliance, is that some mad N64 beasts are running around making cadavers out of the living. There are a few Scorpius Gigantuses, or Scorpius Giganti, making a nuisance of themselves, as one of Fahey’s minions so eloquently puts it: “All I’m saying is something ain’t natural”, and then he follows up a few seconds later with: “Like I said, something ain’t natural.” Pulp Fiction eat your heart out, now that’s fucking dialogue!
But Fahey’s character ain’t just a one-sided hard-ass, at one point he is forced to get all moralistic when it becomes clear that the experimentations on scorpions were taking place outside of the
Major Fahey trained his troops so well that they know even more about science than the appointed expert. During a meeting one of the guys castigates her for failing to recognise the natural order in evolution, and she is left with no decent reply. I bet the good Major taught classes in Darwinism to the guys in between ‘kill by gun’ practice and ‘kill by knife’ practice.
During a slight respite in mutilation, the immature cadets under the rule of Major Fahey find time to mess around with arm wrestling and rock music, don’t they know there’s a war going on!?! Fahey surely does, for when he enters the cabal of laughter and joviality he doesn’t mince his words, he erupts with the cryptic but poignant: “stand down that party down!” I didn’t quite get it at first either, but on further dissection it seems to be an overt reference to existentialism, specifically Sartre’s Being and Nothingness. This isn’t a new area for Fahey, for we all remember Parker Kane’s theoretical discourse on the exemplification of essence in a modern paradigm.
Major Fahey’s up against it here, not only is he battling self-repairing, multi-limbed killing machines, but also, all conventional weaponry is banned due to the need to attain a live specimen, much to the chagrin of the lads on the job.
As hinted at before, the dialogue is of messianic proportions, with Fahey of course getting all the best lines, just look at this quick selection of some of his finest:
“We’re off the elevator”
“Listen lady there’s no way in hell that we’re gonna catch fifty of these goddamn bugs alive”
“Take this and try not to shoot me”
The film isn’t afraid of a few cinematic references. We have the Alien films, typified in some ways by the female lead, but in more ways by the sight of Fahey with a flamethrower. Truffaut’s Jules et Jim comes through ecstatically in a glance that Fahey gives to a soldier convulsing in a fit of scorpion sting. Also, that bit where a man gets shredded in half by a rampaging Scorpius Gigantus is very reminiscent of Annie Hall.
Some great lo-fi cinematography on show here, it’s bubbling over with danger, rather like old live recordings of Miles Davis. Fahey has obviously had an effect on the entire production in that all the background colours are blue, although that was probably unintentional, and was simply a refraction of Fahey into the ether.
In conclusion, it’s very rarely that a film comes along which is truly groundbreaking in every way, that has all the hallmarks of an eternal classic. Citizen Kane had them, The Godfather had them, Rear Window had them, and Scorpius Gigantus has them in spades, spades of Fahey! It’ll probably be years before its profundity is fully understood, when students study Fahey101 en masse at all educational levels, when Fahey scholars are not shunned into the peripherals of society, and when Fahey himself eventually transcends the life-force that only suppresses the deistical majesty that lies behind those eyes.