The Boys From Brazil, Genetic Tampering Gone Wild!

Gregory Peck as Joseph Mengele.

Gregory Peck as Josef Mengele.

There are going to be spoilers in this post. If you have never seen this film and want to be surprised by it then stop reading right now. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

The Boys From Brazil is a twisted film giving us a glimpse into a future in which giant strides in genetics have taken place that lets the surviving Nazi elite recreate the circumstances in which Adolph Hitler was created. This film was made over thirty years ago, so technology has caught up with the ideas set forth in this book, but that doesn’t make the idea of new little Hitlers being created any less frightening.

This film is based upon the book of the same name by Ira Levin, who also wrote Rosemary’s Baby. What I find really interesting about the idea behind the film’s premise is that it realized it’s not only genetics that paves the way for a person to become evil and twisted. Joseph Mengele, played by Gregory Peck, artificially inseminates a bunch of ‘Aryan’ women with the genetic material of Hitler. Then these babies are adopted out to couples who fit the exact profile of Hitler’s parents. The wife is younger and domineering, while the husband is older and works for the civil service. Once this is done the plan is then to have all of the fathers killed at the same age as Hitler’s father died.

He's mad as hell and he's not going to take it any more!

He’s mad as hell and he’s not going to take it any more!

What’s funny is that these surviving Nazi leaders have a real problem with killing these fathers and the consequences of this is their plan is found out. Sure, they have no problems killing millions of people in concentration camps, but they are now more cautious and realize that perhaps the world isn’t totally in synch with their crazy ideas yet. Mengele is the only character that is fanatical about this plan, so much so that he gets into a physical confrontation at a party with another Nazi who criticizes his ideas. He is convinced that if the murders don’t happen then their dream of a Fourth Reich will never take place. The character has a point, in which that certain events in our lives shape us and change our personality. If Hitler’s father hadn’t died while he was young would he have been a different person?

Modern day Hitler.

Modern day Hitler.

The part of this film that genuinely freaks me out is the character of a young teen modern day Hitler. These clones appear in various times throughout the film while Nazi hunter Yakov Liebermann is seeking out the families that adopted these children. Liebermann doesn’t quite know exactly what is going on but as he meets these identical children who live in totally different areas he quickly figures out that something really strange and disquieting is happening. Even though these young Hitlers have never met each other they are all slightly bratty and act like they are superior to the people surrounding them. Their environmental conditioning seems to be working!

Cloning of animals is being done today but there have been laws put in place to stop doing the same things with humans. Does that mean that nobody is doing such things? Right now there are labs out there tampering with the genetic code hoping to create humans that are ‘perfect’. How long will it be before these type of creatures are cloned?

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