Ghosts Of Mars

Review Date:
Director: John Carpenter
Writer: John Carpenter and Larry Sulkis
Producers: Sandy King
Natasha Henstridge as Melanie Ballard, Ice Cube as James Williams, Jason Statham as Jericho Butler
The year is 2176 and the planet Mars has been colonized. A bunch of cops are sent to a village to pick up a killer from prison. Upon their arrival, they find an empty town filled with decapitated corpses. It isn’t long before they realize that certain “ghosts” from the planet have arisen and are entering human bodies in order to kill the others. From then on, it’s the humans versus the zombie-like ghost-goths fest!
Do you like playing “Doom” or “Quake” on your computer? Do you like the loud music…I mean, really loud music? Do you enjoy watching a zillion people get mowed down by gunfire a la Schwarzenegger movies from the 80s? Do you wanna see guys and girls get their limbs chopped off by sawblades and shit? Do you enjoy the kitchiness of the blaxploitation movies from the 70s? Do you like Natasha Henstridge and wanna see her in underwear and kickin’ ass? Are you a fan of Ice Cube and appreciate his corny one-liners? Have you ever wondered what would come out if director John Carpenter decided to take elements from all of his previous films and mix them all up into one (including THE THING, VAMPIRES, ESCAPE FROM NY, etc…)? Would you like to see Pam Grier’s head on a stick? Have you been waiting for a “fun” Mars movie for some time? Do you believe in the concept of a mindless movie, a “popcorn” flick created solely for your enjoyment in that point in time and not expected to be taken any more seriously than that?

Well, if you answered “yes” to most of these questions, then you are likely an ideal candidate to enjoy this cheesy picture. If you answered “no” to most of these questions, this film is definitely not for you, please move on and thank me for it later. I personally went into this movie with super-low expectations and had a blast. I got into its slow start, appreciated its heavy score and seriously had fun watching the loads, and I mean loads of killings, maimings and beheadings in the film (all in the name of ghosts running rampant on Mars, of course). Now are you supposed to take notes during a movie like this? Of course not! It’s an all-out gang-bang movie for the senses and I was running along side the whole way. Of course, there are many actual elements of the movie that aren’t really “good”. For example, I didn’t like the “ghosts” at all. All they seemed to do was scream and mope around like “Mad Max” rejects. I also didn’t like the over-use of flashbacks in the film, but did get used to them after a while. I also thought that the whole town of Shining Canyon looked like a giant movie set, didn’t think that the premise was very original and noticed some crappy CGI here and there, but I honestly didn’t really mind it all that much because I “got into” the cheesiness of it all. A special nod goes out to the film’s final scene which was especially cool.

This is not a “good” movie by the book definition of that word. This is the kind of movie that you’ll really dig when you’re drunk with some buddies and just wanna have a blast! There are no big words in this movie. The plot is very simple. There are decapitations galore, blood galore and lots of people getting killed as the good guys fight the bad. If any of that turns your dial, you’re barking up the right tree. If not, don’t come crying to me afterwards. This movie is cheesy, it’s fun, it’s loud and it’s not trying to be 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY…it’s low-grade entertainment and it works! At least according to me, and God knows that I’ve enjoyed a handful of “bad movies” (according to others) in the past (LAST ACTION HERO, BATTLEFIELD EARTH, HUDSON HAWK). So you’ve been warned… 😉

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

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