X-Files Redux

I Want To Believe…The X-Files Movie Won’t Suck

 

Or: I’d rather be force-fed a greasy Spam-type meat product rather than hear anything about U.F.O.’s or ‘Grays” or Area 51.

 

By Gregory Purvis

 

When I was young, science fiction and mysteries of the unexplained used to be all good. There just wasn’t any such thing as a bad sci-fi movie or TV show in 1978, let me assure you. At least not for an 8-year old kid in those glorious post-Star Wars days. Not even my father’s stylin’ afro, the junior leisure suit I was forced to wear to Sunday School, or my parents Abba collection could shadow that magical science fiction summer. A time when Leonard Nimoy was In Search Of possible answers to the phenomena we would examine, when Cylons were almost as cool as stormtroopers, Starbuck had balls, Saturday mornings served still served up generous helpings of schlock, and all I wanted in the whole wide world was a lightsaber so I could eviscerate the selfish red-headed punk across the street who wouldn’t let me play with (or even hold) his Star Trek communicator walkie-talkies with the flip-up cover.

Ah, how cynical I have become.

And thus I was prepared to hate the second trip around the block for The X-Files. This week, The X-Files: I Want To Believe was released on DVD. An apt name, since truly I did want to believe that this film wouldn’t suck. I gave it 1-in-25 odds, which I thought was quite generous. After all, Chris Carter’s genius jumped the shark a long time ago. I had been turned onto the Files by a fellow card-carrying Gen-X uber geek, my friend (and librarian) David Horgan. Like many of our ilk, Horgan is so cool that he is capable of causing fluctuations in worldwide hipness quotients. After all, he’s responsible for turning me on to George R.R. Martin…which I suppose is kinda like saying he turned me on to heroin, now that I think about it.

The problem is, by the time I started watching Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully do their sci-fi F.B.I. mating ritual, the show was starting to approach it’s critical shark-jumping date with death. The first seasons were brilliant. I’ve sometimes described them as “In Search Of meets James Bond” though that’s probably a bit unfair to all of the parties concerned. And, though I’m not a gayman, I’m secure enough in my masculinity to admit that Fox Mulder has more sex appeal than Leonard Nimoy, who is (let’s face it) kinda creepy. And Dana Scully’s “you’re so adorable when you recite relapse rates for infectious mononucleosis” smoldering hott-ness is a thousand times more sexaaay than any of 007’s Eurotrash bimbos with their fake accents, fake boobs, and fake talent.

At least to those of us who—until fairly recently—were living in their parent’s basement.

Anyway, I begrudgingly rented and watched the new Files flick, “wanting to believe” that there was going to be ZERO discussion of flying saucers, alien abductions, or genetically-alltered agriculture.

And for once, my faith paid off.

The flick was not only better than that yawningly tiresome first movie, it was also better than the last x-number of X-Files seasons as well.  It’s a blast from the past, back to the first couple seasons of In Search Of-inspired show ideas. When the Mulder/Scully dynamic duo was taking on all that truly weird shit that made the show so appealing to my people.

This time out, we get to see a pretty freaky mystery involving a psycho who abducts young women for a black market organ harvesting ring, stem cell research, a modern-day Dr. Frankenstein, Russian experiments on transplanting the heads of pit bulls onto the bodies of Rottweilers (which would really make the ultimate killer K9 attack-dog application for sic-ing on hordes of soccer moms and Seventh Day Adventists pushing “The Watchtower”—even though my building CLEARLY has a “No Solicitation” sign posted at all entrances)…heck, this movie even has a pedophile priest! (NOTE: well-played by Billy Connolly, though I’m guessing he didn’t go method with his character prep).

And, aside from a wisecrack by rapper/FBI agent Xzibit about Mulder’s long-lost sister being “abducted by E.T.”, there was not a SINGLE U.F.O. mentioned in the movie. That must have been painful for Carter, but it paid off big time. For all of us wannabe In Search Of / X-File investigators, this was a real treat.a


a Not to be confused with “Treet” which is a canned meat chunk that is, sadly, just a playa hata. If the playa happens to be Spam.

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