Louis Love here!
On Thursday, May 10th, I was invited to the Starship Troopers 15th Year Anniversary Cast and Crew Reunion, which was held at the Arclight Cinema in Hollywood. So, of course, I couldn’t pass up this great opportunity, and I gladly went like a nuke down a bug hole.
Here’s a recap of the event:
Let me start by saying that I went to the event as a casual fan of the “Starship Troopers” films and left being a HUGE fan of the franchise.
The “Starship Troopers” 15th Year Anniversary Cast & Crew Reunion was scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Both the trailer, for the as of yet to be released CGI animated sequel “Starship Troopers: Invasion” and the original 1997 “Starship Troopers” film were shown. After the movie was screened, the audience was in for a real treat. A question & answer session took place with a few of the cast and crew from the film.
An hour before we were let into the theater a very large line formed outside of the cinema. Most of the crowd were not your run of the mill casual fans, but hardcore fanatics that could recite the “Starship Trooper” film word for word. I never knew the film had such a large and devoted following. Some of the excited fans even brought rare “Starship Troopers” memorabilia, which included posters, laserdiscs, and more. Several cast and crew members like Casper Van Dien (Johnny Rico,) and writer Edward Neumeier greeted the guests outside. They talked to them about their experiences with the film, and signed any “Starship Troopers” item handed to them. What stood out the most for me was how friendly the cast and crew were to the fans. I mean these guys were down to earth and made everyone feel welcome.
When we were let into the theater, the lobby was lavishly decorated with an array of props from the film. Bugs, rifles, mini-spaceships, uniforms, and much more were on display. The details on these props were simply amazing. You’d have to see them in person to truly appreciate the pageantry. No image posted on the internet or mere words can do them justice. They were true works of art.
Before the presentation began, the theater was packed with enthusiastic fans that were waiting patiently for the festivities to begin. Many shouted out quotes from the movie, “Kill ‘em! Kill ‘em All!” being the most popular. The presentation began at about 8:10 p.m. Paul M. Sammon, author of “The Making of Starship Troopers,” was the Master of Ceremonies and introduced the cast and crew. Sammon was a perfect choice for the evening, because he’s basically a walking “Starship Troopers” encyclopedia. Among the cast and crew in attendance were: Casper Van Dien, Edward Neumeier, Jake Busey, Patrick Muldoon, Blake Lindsley, Phil Tippett, Shinji Aramaki (director of “Starship Troopers: Invasion”) and more. Some of the cast and crew were scattered among the fans sitting in the theater. Also, effects masters from the Tippett Studio were on hand as well.
Shinji Aramaki introduced the trailer for “Starship Troopers: Invasion” and explained that this movie is a direct sequel to the original feature, which utilizes most of the original characters that survived the onslaught from “Starship Troopers.” During the showing of the trailer, the crowd exploded with cheers and applause. YES!…. “Starship Troopers” is back and this time in CGI!
As I stated earlier I describe myself as a casual fan of the “Starship Troopers” franchise. Now let me tell you…. I have been reborn! Viewing the movie on the big screen blew me away and now I understand why people are so obsessed. The movie really is amazing on several different levels including: plot, effects, score, and acting, which all come together in harmony. Yes, it is campy, but there is a reason for this. To me, it’s a Grindhouse style movie set in space. As I was watching the film, I remember telling myself that the action, sound, and special effects could stand toe to toe with any science fiction movies that are coming out today. The battle scenes in space looked epic on the big screen. There was no over reliance on CGI that audiences are forced to be accustomed to these days. It was interesting to hear Phil Tippett (Effects Supervisor) explain that he was fighting against CGI ever since he was working on Universal Studios and Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park.” The guy had a point, we’ve lost the realism of most science fiction films. Just watch the “Star Wars” prequels for proof.
After the movie was over, the fans asked plenty of questions. The cast and crew answered all of them. Most of the panel poked fun at Casper Van Dien, and recalled the fun moments they had on the set.
Finally, it was a thoroughly impressive presentation. I will say that the studios need to make more of these fun films. Luckily, “Starship Troopers: Invasion” is set to be released this summer, and I’ll have a review when it hits. “Service guarantees citizenship!”
“Would you like to know more?”
Pick up a copy of ‘Starship Troopers’ on Blu-ray! I’ll see you in line!
Here are some images from the ‘Starship Troopers’ Facebook page.