The Eden Formula begins with an airborne shot of Los Angeles at night, lights flickering blue like a thousand tumbling turns on the freight train to pornsville. Shinning up from the below, shifting into blurs, the mass of glaring blue retches forth, consuming the black of night. A strong tone of bluish valour echoes visual symphonies at the floating camera as it passes overhead. It’s a graph on which are plotted nodes of becoming, blue pockmarks giving words to thought, noiselessly lurching towards a final blackening.
This opening is not simply an attempt to justify the cost of hiring a helicopter for the day. Nor it is a chance to squander the final energies of the special effects team, to give them something to do while the titles-man finishes choosing fonts (oh Helvetica, oh Verdana, how are we to make these decisions?). This sequence establishes the mood of the film, declaring artistic intentions and gesturing to stylistic devices to be witnessed in abundance later. In fact, the entire film can be discovered laid out in these fleeting moments of introduction, a narrative exposed to the most perspicacious of eyes, nooks and crannies of story lit by anticipatory light. The colour of that light? The most scorching blue one could ever envision.
These images of night time cityscapes, glaring blue sparkling in the lightless gulf, anticipate the arrival of Jeff Fahey. They foretell his presence in the confines of this chunk of cinema we know as The Eden Formula. They have the responsibility of preparing the humble viewer for the reams of blue splendour awaiting him or her. Less than thirty seconds in and Fahey has already stolen this film and claimed it as his own!
Industrial terrorists and dinosaurs, corporate greed and broken fraternal bonds, these are the themes running through The Eden Formula. Fahey plays Harrison Parker, a research scientist working at a large company located in downtown L.A. He develops a serum – the eponymous formula – that can reproduce living cells, allowing for the recreation of organisms. Any organisms, it seems. For Fahey’s paymasters have taken it upon themselves to use this formula to create a Tyrannosaurus Rex, which they house in the basement of their corporate headquarters.
Fahey’s not long in describing to corporate peon Dee Wallace Stone his moral misgivings about the situation when a group of industrial terrorists led by Tony Todd arrive to steal the formula. They seize control of the central security facility and, by electronically unlocking every door, unwittingly unleash the dinosaur. Those pesky terrorists! As if Todd hadn’t caused enough havoc having spent much of the 90s running around in the guise of the Candyman. Well he’s met his match with Fahey. Todd seems to find the blue radiance of Fahey so blinding that he’s forced to spend most of the film wearing sunglasses. Even though he’s indoors. And even though it’s night. Such is the hurt dealt the eyes by those unwilling to submit to Fahey’s glistening sky hue.