JOHN CARPENTER'S GHOSTS OF MARS
Heavy Metal Carnage
Release Date: August 24, 2001
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: Older teenagers & adults
Runtime: 98 minutes
Distributor: Screen Gems/Sony
Director: John Carpenter
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/
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.
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.