Entertainment » Movies

Ghosts Of Mars

by Ken Tasho
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday May 14, 2019
Ghosts Of Mars

My love of John Carpenter movies came at the age of nine when he released his horror masterpiece "Halloween" in 1978.

Since that time, the director/writer/producer/composer released a slew of other classics but, sadly, his career faltered in the 2000s and screeched to a halt after his last release in 2010 ("The Ward"). He's become an executive producer on his remakes and endless franchise sequels after 2010, but "Ghosts of Mars" became one of Carpenter's last attempts at horror movie glory.

It tanked, unfortunately, and not only that, it received scathing reviews from both fans and film critics (it must be noted that the late Roger Ebert gave it the "thumbs up"). Now the film is out on Blu-ray, you can decide for yourself whether it should be vilified or praised.

"Ghosts of Mars" is like a smorgasbord of what makes a John Carpenter film work and what makes it yawn-inducing. This 2001 sci-fi thriller basically remakes Carpenter's far superior "Assault on Precinct 13," and sets it on planet Mars.

Melanie (Natasha Henstridge, "Species") tells the story of "Ghosts of Mars" from flashbacks, as her role as a police lieutenant in 2025 brings her to the red planet. Her mission: To arrest the criminal known as Desolation (Ice Cube), but instead Melanie and her army team come into contact with alien "ghosts" who are trying to possess humans.

From here, the audience gets treated to redundant explosions, bloody fight sequences, and typical science fiction dialogue that's been seen/heard a plethora of times before. A loud heavy metal-like soundtrack only adds to the confusion and makes "Ghosts of Mars" a glorified, overlong music video. But the Carpenter-isms are somewhat intact, most notably with his use of filming in widescreen and a few tension-filled sequences.

Bonus features on Mill Creek's Blu-ray get carried over from a prior home entertainment release, which includes an audio commentary from John Carpenter and Natasha Henstridge and a "Scoring of Ghosts of Mars" featurette.

"Ghosts of Mars"

Ken Tasho is a Corporate Drone by day and Edge Contributor by night. He has a love for all things ’80’s and resides in the Wayland Square area of Providence, RI...but would much rather be sharing an apartment in NYC with ’80’s rock goddesses Pat Benatar and Deborah Harry.


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