JOHN CARPENTER'S GHOSTS OF MARS

Heavy Metal Carnage

Content -4
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: August 24, 2001

Starring: Ice Cube, Natasha Henstridge, Jason Stratham, Pam Grier, Clea Duvall, & Joanna Cassidy

Genre: Science Fiction

Audience: Older teenagers & adults

Rating: R

Runtime: 98 minutes

Distributor: Screen Gems/Sony

Director: John Carpenter

Executive Producer:

Producer: Sandy King

Writer: Larry Sulkis & John Carpenter

Address Comments To:

John Calley, Chairman/CEO
Sony Pictures Entertainment
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000
Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/

Content:

(PaPa, OOO, FeFe, LLL, VVV, N, A, DD, M) Pagan worldview with strong occult storyline where very angry alien ghosts on Mars possess the minds & bodies of human beings to get rid of the “invaders” from Earth, plus planet is run by a “matriarchal” society, in a nod to silly radical feminist ideology; about 65 obscenities & 6 profanities; extreme violence including decapitations implied & depicted, explosions, gunfire, hand-to-hand combat, shotgun blasts, human heads on sticks, stabbings, & possessed human beings pierce & mutilate their bodies, much like something from a Satanic heavy metal rock band; no sex but some sexual comments in dialogue; some naturalistic nudity; alcohol use; drug use; and, stealing & criminal activity not really rebuked.

Summary:

In JOHN CARPENTER’S GHOSTS OF MARS, a bunch of irate Martian ghosts terrorize human colonists, including a small band of police officers led by Natash Henstridge and some criminals led by rapper Ice Cube. GHOSTS OF MARS is a violent rock and rolling science fiction adventure that pumps out a lot of pointless energy along with its clumsy, hackneyed script, gore and foul language.

Review:

JOHN CARPENTER’S GHOSTS OF MARS is a violent rock and rolling science fiction adventure that pumps out a lot of pointless energy.

Natasha Henstridge of SPECIES and THE WHOLE NINE YARDS plays Lt. Melanie Ballard, a veteran of the Mars Police Force, circa 2176 A.D. She leads a group of officers to a mining town to pick up the Red Planet’s most notorious criminal, James “Desolation” Williams, played by rapper/actor Ice Cube. Upon arrival, however, they learn that some archeologists have unwittingly unleashed a herd of alien ghosts. The ghosts have possessed the bodies of most of the miners in the town and decapitated the heads of those who resist. In fact, the Martian ghosts are so angry about the human invaders that they rip and tear the flesh of the bodies they possess, until they look like a bunch of refugees from a Satanic, heavy metal, punk rock concert. Surrounded by these ghouls, the lieutenant finds that she must rely on the expertise and firepower of Williams to escape certain death. Thus, GHOSTS OF MARS becomes one long, excruciating, very violent battle scene, with little rest for the weary, much less the wicked.

The audience of critics at the screening of GHOSTS OF MARS were laughing at the clumsiness of the script and the direction of this movie. Everyone seemed bored by the non-stop, dull-witted action scenes. The pounding, monotonous heavy metal music did not help. Furthermore, the device of Martian ghosts haunting and demonically possessing human beings whom they see as invaders is not really that inspired.

In his heyday, director and co-screenwriter John Carpenter was known for his contemporary, clever adoption of the styles of such old Hollywood directors like Howard Hawks (ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK) and Alfred Hitchcock (HALLOWEEN and THE FOG). With help from talented actor Jeff Bridges, Carpenter even made a pop culture icon, if not masterpiece, with STARMAN. Here, however, Carpenter simply annoys the “gods” of cinema. Meanwhile, the extreme violence, ear-splitting sounds, foul language, pagan worldview, occult storyline, and poor execution will surely annoy, if not offend, the Triune God of the Universe.

In Brief:

JOHN CARPENTER’S GHOSTS OF MARS is a violent rock and rolling science fiction adventure that pumps out a lot of pointless energy. Natasha Henstridge plays Lt. Melanie Ballard, a veteran policewoman who leads some officers to a mining town to pick up the Red Planet’s most notorious criminal, James “Desolation” Williams, played by Ice Cube. Upon arrival, they learn that a bunch of irate Martian ghosts have escaped a tomb, possessed the bodies of miners and decapitated the heads of those who resist. Surrounded, the lieutenant finds she must rely on the firepower of Williams to escape death. GHOSTS OF MARS then becomes one long, violent battle scene, with little rest for the weary.

The audience of critics screening the GHOSTS OF MARS laughed at the clumsiness of the script and the direction. Everyone seemed bored by the non-stop, dull-witted action scenes. The pounding, monotonous heavy metal music did not help. John Carpenter used to be a talented up-and-comer. Here, however, he annoys the “greats” of cinema. Meanwhile, the extreme violence, ear-splitting sounds, foul language, pagan worldview, occult storyline, and poor execution of GHOSTS OF MARS will surely annoy, the Triune God of the Universe.