Thursday, April 24, 2008

Gleaming The Maze

Here at Dick in a Box we love to examine how PKD has influenced current entertainment. Nowhere is PKD plundering more apparent than in the 1997 Canadian film The Cube, which draws heavily from Maze of Death. 

As in Maze, The Cube deals with a group of individuals who find themselves in a foreign place (in the film's case, a vast cube filled with trap chambers). In both, the characters have no idea why they are there. The characters in both works are put through an existential test, and murder ensues. As in Maze, The Cube deals with what is real, how people deal with adversity, humankind's murderous impulses, and our capacity for self-delusion.

It's hard to imagine that The Cube's writers were not influenced by this PKD masterpiece. Indeed, on the planet where the colonists find themselves in A Maze of Death, Seth Morley and his companions have continual encounters with a vast building.  Morley describes the building as "[g]ray and large, it reared up at the limit of his vision. A cube, almost." Seems they lifted their concept straight from the book. 

While the characters in The Cube are trapped in a hulking metal building, the Maze of Death characters are trapped on a forbidding planet. Or are they?

This is not to say that the film does not have artistic/entertainment value in its own right. It's actually pretty rad. I just find it amusing that it displays another instance of blatant PKD lifting.

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