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Ghosts of Mars

Ghosts of Mars
Year: 2001
Genre: Sci-Fi/Action
Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Ice Cube, Natasha Henstridge, Pam Grier, Jason Statham

ghosts of mars 1So, someone commented on my facebook page the other day that Ghosts of Mars was Carpenter’s worst film.  WRONG!  This is my favorite John Carpenter movie.  I fucking LOVED this movie!!  I had more fun watching this movie than having sex.  Well.. maybe not all sex.. more fun than bad sex at least, like sex with a heroine addict or something which is still fun sex just not as fun as say, Ghosts of Mars.  Actually this whole analogy is just going nowhere so I just shut the hell up and leave it at Ghosts of Mars is fucking awesome!

Did you ever read Stephen King’s novels “Desperation” and “The Regulators” (written as Richard Bachman)?  It dealt with an evil entity that possessed people, making them murder others.  The evil had been uncovered by some miners in Nevada who happened to dig too deep.  Well imagine that evil (called Tak in King’s novels) could possesses not one person but everybody.  Strip out King’s metaphysics and replace it with non-stop, brutal action and you get what is basically Ghosts of Mars.  The film’s plot is essentially the same: Miners on Mars dug too deep and uncovered ancient spirits whose only goal is to rid their planet of these human invaders.

The cast is awesome.  Ice Cube, Jason Statham, Pam Grier, that hot lesbo-looking chick from But I’m a Cheerleader and Girl Interrupted (Clea DuVall) and Natasha Henstridge.  This is Natasha Henstridge sexier than she’s ever been before too.  I could rant and rave about how sexy Natasha Henstridge is, but Trey Parker and Matt Stone once said it the best:

ghosts of mars 2The film was criticized upon realize for its hammy acting, confusing flashbacks and campy scenes.  The movie is campy as hell, that’s certain, but its goddamn supposed to be!  This is the same director of Big Trouble in Little China  and Escape from L.A. – what were those fucking critics expecting? The Abyss? This is a movie about alien zombies in a female-dominated world with lesbians!  IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE CAMPY FUN!  Did some critic really go into the theater to watch a movie about lesbians and space zombies and expect to find enlightenment?  If you saw this movie expecting John Carpenter to do another Starman then that’s your own damn fault!  Don’t bash the guy’s film because of your own stupid expectations!  This is the best soundtrack for ANY Carpenter film.   Yes, he does the music, as Carpenter always does, but this time he’s joined by Anthrax, Steve Vai and Buckethead! It does not get more metal than that!  People said this film was John Carpenter hitting rock bottom?  Fuck those snobs!  This is John Carpenter at his finest!

Let’s discuss these “confusing flashbacks’  The flashbacks are cliched, not confusing.  This is how Carpenter treats the few flashbacks that happen in this movie: A character will say: “I was on my way to the station when….”  Fade to that character on their way to the station.  How is that confusing?  Really?  That is about as unconfusing as a flashback could possibly get.  I looked up the citation on the quote for that “confusing flashbacks” to see if I could get at least SOME elucidation to what was so goddamn confusing about: “There we were at the mine” Fade to Mine!  It’s on Rotten Tomatoes site but its just a quote floating next to the title “confusing flashbacks” that’s not attributed to any specific critic, so there’s no one face I can throw my rage at.  Granted there are moments when there is a flashback within a flashback within a flashback which is stupid but it wasn’t confusing. .

ghosts of mars 3I’m not going to go as far in my Ghosts of Mars fanaticism to say that it’s the best movie ever, because it’s not.  It’s mindless, gory fun and that’s about it. But really good fun.  The movie does have its flaws, of course, and I’m not going to be ignorant about those.  There is a severe lack of any character development, as often is the case in Carpenter films.  The possessed humans, as epic as they look in body armor and the faces of their victims  they all sound like Smeagol from LOTR.  Though I hate to mention this topic again, there is an over use of flashbacks: BUT THEY ARE NOT CONFUSING!  Carpenter’s use of flashbacks to mend plotholes is like using duct tape to cover up a broken car window: It’s cheap and may get the job done but it’s really not the best way.

So, it seems that I may be the only person in the Universe that loves Ghosts of Mars.  So be it!  I will watch this movie a million fucking times before having to sit though any other Michael Bay movie again!  Leave comments if you want.

About The Author
Matthew Coats
Matthew Coats
Formerly known under the pseudonym of Alex Jowski. Site owner, movie aficionado, and film school grad. Matthew Coats presents reviews, some written, some as vlogs, and some as weekly shows, for a variety of different movies and television shows. After years of struggling to get his own projects off the ground amidst the normal routine of living, Matthew Coats decided to create a site in order to share and promote movie reviews, video games and much much more from talented and original people all across the internet.

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