Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Legion": Apocalypse as it happens (when souls get possessed by angels)


After two rather big films about a post-apocalypse, we now have one as to how it could be experienced, if religion is right. That is Scott Stewart’s “Screen Gems” film “Legion”. (Screen Gems is Columbia-Sony’s genre brand, some would say for “B” movies).

The best part of the film is in the middle, where customers at the Paradise Diner in the Mojave Desert (the film was actually made in New Mexico) learn that the whole world outside has gone “back to the bay”, and anxiously await news from the media (as in an M. Night Shyamalan movie). Instead they get weird guests gone mad, starting with an old lady who walks on the ceiling. It turns out that these “zombies” are weak people actually possessed by angels, who are about to carry out their battle, since God got mad at Man again.

Now when you read about the psychology of radical terrorists, some seem “possessed” by religion, ideology, or runaway self-indulgent thinking, so the movie actually has a lesson to impart. But the "possessed" in real life seem to be the privileged, educated and well-off young men without enough responsibility for others.

The official site for the movie is here.

There is a bit of anti-Rosemary's Baby in the plot, as a child is born to an ordinary woman (a waitress) who just might lead the world out of darkness -- in a franchise sequel (will Tom Welling play the child when he grows up?) And the one "good man" (not sure which actor yet) grows tattoos on his arms, and loses his male body hair in the process. This is real horror.

In my own novel draft, I have a proposal where people get infected by a bizarre virus (incorporating bizarre radioactive isotopes available only in a universe with the “weak force”) which, in a few cases, allows them to be taken over by the souls of old angels, with only a faint memory of their former selves , available intermittently. In my novel, many of the victims perish, but a few characters can actually become angels, according to the rules of my game.

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