In the new Peter Jackson epic District 9, a field operative named Wilkus van der Merwe is assigned to relocate a bunch of unwanted alien settlers. They’re called “Prawns”, which is much easier to pronounce than “Wilkus van der Merwe” (played by an equally unprouncable Sharlto Copley). Who puts an “r” right before a “w”, huh? Yeah, nobody. Anyway, Milky von WeeWee–who works for a company called Multi-National United–accidentally gets sprayed with DNA-altering liquid that slowly changes him into one of the aliens, hand first. Very Kafka. Oh, that horror of otherness and alterity. Milky can work the newfangled alien weapons, and all sorts of hijinks ensue, including encounters with the alien who created the device, Christopher Johnson. Yeah, that’s right, Christopher Johnson. Milky names him–maybe some downright name envy there–and eventually turns into an alien himself.
I think I liked this movie the first time I saw it, when it was called Alien Nation. I liked it even better when it was a TV Show and the unwanted alien “Newcomers” (or “Slags”, in the derogatory vernacular of the show) were taken under the wing of George Thorogood, played by Gary Graham. Okay, well, it really wasn’t Lonesome George. But it looked a heck of a lot like him. So much so that everytime I watched the TV show, I knew that his character, Detective Matt Sikes, would drink alone. Yeah, with nobody else. Well, maybe with his Dear Old Grandad. Together, they would share one bourbon, one scotch, and one beer. Then they would get haircuts, and perhaps a new job. But I digress.
So, the crab hand dude from District 9 is kind of in a hard way. Imagine the possibilities of such DNA-altering aerosols, though, if you will. Squid Leg Spray is only just the start. Practical DNA manipulation jokes would be at an all time high, and hospital emergency rooms would be packed with unsuspecting victims every April 1st. There’d only be one way to prevent such abuse at the hands (claws?) of the crab-handed folk. You’d have to show ‘em who’s boss. Just leave out some Old Bay Seasoning and a Claw Cracker and they’ll leave you alone….