Ghosts Of Mars
Best for: Mature audiences who enjoy a dark, morose sci-fi
What it’s about: It’s Mars, 2176, and several mining operations are working around the planet to make the air completely breathable. When a train arrives at one of the outposts on autopilot carrying only one survivor, police officer Lt. Melanie Ballard (Natasha Henstridge), questions are raised and her story is told. When her team (Pam Grier, Jason Statham, Clea Duvall) arrived at a mining town to transport a dangerous prisoner, “Desolation” Williams (Ice Cube) back to Chryse, they discovered a frightening situation. Colonists have been possessed by an unleashed, ancient Mars spirit and have gone mad, forming angry mobs that follow a crazed leader and kill anyone who doesn’t fit in with them. The officers gather the few survivors left and fight their way out of the insane situation. Joanna Cassidy, Duane Davis, Rodney Grant also star.
The good: I don’t know why but I enjoy watching Ice Cube. I think it’s because he’s the perfect tough guy for “B” movies with his kick butt attitude and sarcastic rhetoric. The basic story premise and idea is a good one. Had it been done in a different way (intense and scary without being gory and goofy), it would have been a better movie. The not-so-good: Making a sci-fi movie about Mars being possessed with ancient spirits that overtake humans probably looked good on paper but when the characters and grotesque masochistic creatures are on-screen speaking the ridiculous dialogue, acting out the macabre violence and carrying out brutal acts of terror, it ends up being a different kind of movie. John Carpenter is known for his shocking thrillers so I expected this movie to be close to what is was only really scary and really good. Even though there are a couple of good scenes and intense moments, overall this is a disappointing movie. It’s a violent story filled with harsh characters, disgusting monster-looking humans who safetypin their flesh, paint themselves up to look like the rock group “Kiss”, behead and kill anything that walks. The violence is played out in gory fashion with several beheadings, brutal and lethal hand-to-hand combat and other tactics that basically depict demonic possession. Profane language, sexual dialogue, and drug use is used throughout the story. I found it rather humorous that in one scene, even the ghost that enters the body of a woman hallucinating on drugs immediately leaves again. Even though this movie plays like a “B” cartoon-like sci-fi action flick, it will be too gory, dark and demonic for most moviegoers.