ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Invaders from Mars (1986)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Tobe Hooper

Starring:
Karen Black/Linda
Hunter Carson/David
Louise Fletcher/Ms McKeltch
Christopher Allport/ Captain Curtis
PLOT-CRUNCH
Little David’s (Hunter) world is about to go to hell. A space ship full of ugly aliens lands in his backyard, his parents get possessed and soon the whole town becomes "body snatchers" type zombies. Will the army be able to stop the invasion?
THE LOWDOWN
Not as bad as it’s rep, I actually thought it was decent. The action starts very fast, the aliens land 5 minutes into the movie. The whole deal with people becoming "mindless" drones is pretty creepy. We get a few interesting action scenes and some minor suspense. One of the main problem this movie has, is that it reeks of ""deja vu". If you’ve seen all three "Body Snatchers" movies, X Tro, Puppetmasters or even The Stepford Wives, you’ll be treading on familiar ground. Another thing is that Hooper blows his load too soon. He shows us the aliens and their leader early on, leaving nothing left for us too see the rest of the way. The aliens are silly looking (giant Pac Man like creatures with ray guns attached to their sides) and are responsible for turning a chilling movie into a camp fest in the blink of an eye. The movie could’ve used a little bit more "oomph", a bit more guts, even a meaner streak. All in all it’s a competent effort with good special effects, a fast moving story and a surreal look but I don’t think Hooper knew if he wanted to do a serious horror movie or a campy one. You can’t go both ways dude. Let's delve into the invasion…
GORE
No gore. I must admit that the interior of the spaceship looks great, with all it’s tunnels and weird doors. The aliens have a silly design but they look real. The production values of this film are grade A.
ACTING
Karen Black (Linda) gives an adequate performance but her face looks a bit goofy in this film. Hunter Carson (David) does a great job, he can act but my problem with his performance is that he’s not afraid very often…and if he’s not afraid…we’re not afraid. Louise Fletcher (McKeltch) plays the biatch school teacher to perfection, she’s good at playing mean old broads (see Flowers In The Attic) and is also the protagonist for two hilarious sight gags. Christopher Allport (Curtis) gives depth to what could have been a one dimensional part, every time one of his men buys it, you see the sadness and angst in his eyes., nice subtle show.
T & A
Naked alien butts…
DIRECTING
Hooper is in good form here. The movie looks good, very surreal, almost dream like. Filled with red lighting, smooth camera movements, minor shock scenes and a few tension filled moments…Hooper shows that he’s no hack.
SOUNDTRACK
A creepy, heart pounding synthesizer score but why does it become "Rambo" music once the army kicks in?
BOTTOM LINE
The movie starts on one note and pretty much stays on that note the whole way through. The level of excitement never goes much higher or lower than that note. I guess that’s why many people think this flick is a bore. As for me, I was always interested in the "familiar" storyline, impressed by the effects, amused by the action and laughed at the sight gags (loved the frog scene). The flick also has a twist ending that you will either love (I loved) or hate. This movie won’t change the world but it does entertain.
BULL'S EYE
This movie is a remake of the 1953 classic.

As filming was going on, the studio kept on cutting Hooper’s budget…why do the studios keep on busting that man’s balls?

At a certain point the kid watches a movie on TV…that movie is Hooper’s Lifeforce.

Why are the opening credits identical to Superman’s?!?
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