Interpreting Mutants

Characters afflicted with pollution-born illnesses make popular protagonists on the big screen. Take The Host, for example (which is the subject of our current web feature, by the way). In that movie, a creature mutated by pollution turns into a man-eater. 

Pollution creates a villain in that flick, as it does in other storylines of that genre. Godzilla, the epitome of mutant menaces, was the result of fallout from a hydrogen bomb test. But in other movies, pollution actually creates heroes.

In a recent film featuring the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles, TMNT, released March 23, the oversized turtles and their master, Splinter, continue to fight crime after they grew to massive proportions because of pollution in the sewers.

In an old television show on Nickelodeon, The Secret World of Alex Mack, the main character assumes inhuman abilities, like making herself liquid and sending electricity through her fingers, after an unknown chemical is accidentally dumped on her.

From what we’ve seen in movies, we appreciate superhuman heroes and villains, whether they are born in Korea, in the sewer systems of New York City, or anywhere else. We personally prefer Captain Planet to any of the other superheroes. We might even start to call ourselves planeteers.

We think it’s interesting that as the world focuses more intently on environmental problems, the film industry continues to use pollution to make monsters of characters and empower them.


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Issue 25

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