Ghosts of Mars (2001)

Director:ghost of mars

John Carpenter


Larry Sulkis
John Carpenter


Natasha Henstridge – Melanie
Ice Cube – Desolation Williams
Jason Statham – Jericho
Clea DuVall – Kincaid
Pam Grier – Commander Braddock
Joanna Cassidy – Whitlock
LiamWaite – Michael Descanso
Richard Cetrone – Big Daddy Mars
Duane Davis – Uno
Lobo Sebastian – Dos
Rodney A. Grant – Tres

When I first encountered this movie back in the early nineties, most likely on HBO, and the only scene I remember seeing was the gun fight at the end.  Over the years I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t find this movie on TV again, or pretty much anywhere else. Once I learned that its was a John Carpenter film I was even more surprised, the man who had made “The Thing” and “Halloween” had a movie that wasn’t being shown often and hard to find in the local DVD stores and it wasn’t until I watched it again for the monthly horror movie night that I figured out why.

Plot wise there isn’t a whole lot going on, Melanie is being grilled about a botched military assignment in which she and the team she was in was suppose to pick a murderer named Desolation Williams. So the film is essentially done in flashbacks showing what happened to the best of her knowledge. In those flashbacks we learn some interesting thing things, the first being that she is an addict ad her crew seems less than capable considering the number or rookies and the Commander being more interested in Melanie than the mission. When they get t the outpost where Williams is being help for murder they find what should have been a busy Friday night to be completely dead. To shorten the rest the locals had been possessed by the ghosts of the Martians which slaughtered the rest of the people in the area.

So I can’t honestly say that the story is inspired but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be a good movie, honestly there is nothing all that amazing about the “Halloween” movie (be honest with yourselves now the only story is that this dude goes on a killing spree which is hardly original even for 1978) but the lack of distant narrative has not stopped that film from being considered one of the bet ever. The thing that kills a good portion of this movie is the dialog, to say some f it is amateurish at best is being fairly nice.  To prove my point I’ll post a few choice lines.

“Let’s put it this way… maybe I’ll sleep with you if you’re the last man on earth. But we’re not on earth.”

“Yeah, Friday night, the whole place should be packed. A whole twelve hours before sun up and there’s money to burn, whores to fuck and drugs to take.”

Another thing that hurts the films I the acting, not only is the dialog bad but the delivery is horrendous. I believe Ice Cube has said that this is the worst project he had ever be a part of (kind of doubt that…I’ve seen some of his other films). Some of the names are rather big, Statham wasn’t there yet, and still it seems like they were just there for a paycheck. There is only one person I give a pass on this and that is Natasha Henstridge. She was a last second replacement for the lead role, they had to stop filming at one point because she was almost hospitalized due to exhaustion. This was her third film in a row without a break so if she isn’t the best I can understand.

Grading this movie is hard, when I watched it recently it was with a small group of people. We had some fun and laughed with the film. I think if I watched this one by myself I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as ai did so I’m going to break the rules with this one and give it two grades, the first will be with a group and the second with e a solo watch. IF you want to watch  this one, get a group of people together for the love of God.

Grade C

Grade C

Grade F

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