posted by Kenneth Morvant on Mar 5
Don’t you just love the old sci-fi movie trailers? They promised so much and there was such a buzz over it. Then when you saw the movie the monster was hidden by bushes and darkness most of the time until the very end. Of course, that was the result of little money and the state of special effects at that time. However, some of them did have a decent plot and storytelling. Still, we always came out a little disappointed at the results, but we still flocked to the next one in the hope that this one might be profound.
Today, we are subject to almost the opposite. We’re treated to stellar special effects for a mediocre story. The plots are still good, but they suffer from continuity and other issues. This is true for print sci-fi today. I think that a good plot is easy to conceive, but hard to execute. If someone is not visionary enough to project the human condition into a future scenario, then readers will have trouble relating to the characters and issues. Some take the path of creating an imaginary world where anything (i.e. what the writer feels) goes and any semblance of even a tenuous connection to anything remotely relatable. It makes it easy to write, but hard for the reader to connect.
Take for instance, Prometheus, where we had a popular franchise and a noted director. It was visually stunning, but plot holes left us wondering why they did that. The reanimation of the head using the old Galvani electric stimulation is one example. Why do it? Other than the shock factor and explosion, I don’t why they would do that. The next example is when she uses the robotic surgery apparatus to remove the alien from her body. The huge cut would have made her actions in the rest of the movie impossible to perform. Simply making the alien smaller and using a smaller incision would have solved an easy dilemma. Of course, we have to deal with the lack of really good sci-fi books and movies and again we flock to what is available. Unless you are into the endless vampire, lycan, zombie, slashfest, sadistic and undead forms of speculative, there is little out there that satisfies. Maybe I’ll watch that old sci-fi with the MST3K guys.