Ghosts of Mars

"I can give a damn about saving this planet. Seems like it was after me since the day I was born. If I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die fighting, not running." - Desolation Williams

release year: 2001
genre: sci-fi/horror/action
viewing setting: home Bluray 4/24/17 and 5/28/15 and home DVD, 3/17/12 and 9/29/08 and 5/19/05 and 12/25/01

synopsis: On the Mars of the future, miners have woken something up...something really, really nasty.

impressions: It was a blend of genres (and actually other films/plots) that was surprisingly entertaining, if weird. The basic plot was one of my favorites: take characters who are lawful, lawless, innocent, and other...mix with insurmountable odds against large numbers of spooky foes...see what it becomes. I don't think it's fair to tell you the reasons and some of the plot elements, because they are better left as surprises to be learned during the movie. Suffice it to say that you'll see plenty of gunplay, punches and kicks, explosions, gore, and humor. Of note are the monsters/possessed, which reminded me of a cross between the Cenobites from Hellraiser and the zombies from the living-dead movies. One gripe: I didn't care for the loud thrash music that accompanied all fight scenes. Carpenter should have stuck with his usual spooky music.

things to watch for: Numerous piercings and other self-mutilations that defy all common sense. Also, if you watch the credits, you'll see that the main bad guy was called "Big Daddy Mars."

acting: Natasha Henstridge is the second-in-command cop who ends up taking over. Ice Cube is Desolation Williams, notorious criminal who brings a slight gangster flavor to the Martian world. Jason Statham was memorable as a tough cop. Clea Duvall is a rookie cop who suddenly gets tough when she realizes how bad things are. Pam Grier is the commander of the police group, but she doesn't last long enough to do much besides make funny faces and say odd things.

final word: Strange but entertaining.

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