Ghosts Of Mars (UK)
You Don`t Stand A Ghost Of A Chance
Running Time: 94 mins
Retail Price: £19.99
Content Type: Movie
From director John Carpenter comes a sci-fi thriller full of explosive action and bone-chilling suspense that recalls such earlier Carpenter classics as Assault On Precinct 13 and The Thing. Natasha Henstridge is Melanie Ballard, a headstrong police lieutenant on Mars in the year 2025. Humans have been colonising and mining on the red planet for some time, but when Ballard and her squad are sent to a remote region to apprehend the dangerous criminal James "Desolation" Williams (Ice Cube), they discover that he`s the least of their worries.
The mining operations have unleashed a deadly army of Martian spirits who take over the bodies of humans and won`t stop until they destroy all invaders of their planet. With a stellar cast including Pam Grier, Jason Statham and Clea Duvall, as well as excellent special effects, John Carpenter`s Ghosts Of Mars is an intergalactic terror fest unlike anything you`ve seen...
Commentary by John Carpenter and Natasha Henstridge
3 featurettes including: Scoring Ghosts Of Mars, SFX Deconstructions, Video Diary: Red Desert Nights
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1
Dolby Digital 5.1 English
Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 German
Director of Photography:
Gary B. Kibbe
Paul C. Warschilka
Robin Michel Bush
William A. Elliott
Columbia / Tristar
Your Opinions and Comments
This movie could`ve been much much better, but, alas, the cast is horrible (I think even I can act better, and I`m no actor), the script is plain silly (too predictable, too) and the special effects are wasted on nothing.
The story is told in a semi-flashback manner, which is a good idea, generally speaking, but the narration is simply dreadful and too much information is given prior to those flashbacks. This sort of misses the point.
The video transfer is good. There are no compression signs and the dark scenes are nicely rendered. The editing includes some nice transitions and dissolves, but they do not compensate for the lack of content. The gore level is reasonable.
The DD 5.1 soundtrack is ok. The surrounds are used occasionally for sound effects. The soundtrack is mostly heavy metal stuff and is way too exaggerated, even during the so-called action scenes.
The menus are still and silent.
The extras include a commentary by the director and his lead actress, a behind the scenes featurette and some explanations about the special effects.
Bottom line - a pathetic attempt from a wannabe director.
carpenter has gone for gore, excessive amouts of gore,why can`t he go back to his roots aand produce a shlock picture(halloween).The picture quality is good along with the audio.As usual columbia puts at least some interessting features including the commantry.
The picture and sound aren`t bad, but the extras are pretty mediocre with the best being the audio commentary.
One to avoid.
The story is told in a flashback format, but why we have to see a couple of scenes twice I`ll never know. This is interesting as in the commentry JC says it was not originally meant to be like this. The starting point was supposed to be the unleashing of the ghosts, I think it may have been better to leave it like this as we have to wait 25 minutes for any set pieces and the pacing is quite slow to begin with (although JC ironically talks about how they cut a lot to speed the pace up). I reckon they could have spiced up the unleashing of the ghosts by maybe making it more like the opening of the ark in Raiders of the lost ark and thrown in a few scares (we don`t actually see people getting possessed in this scene).
In the commentry Carpenter says he used to turn up everyday and say this is the biggest pile of s*!t I`ve ever made (to help everyone relax), well it`s better than Village of the damned but aside from that he is not wide of the mark.
The characters are too dumb, for me Cube turns in an embarrassing display and Duvall looks out of place; the others do adequate jobs. Henstridge only got the job one week before the shoot began and whilst she is not an obvious choice, she just about convinces.
There is an inexplicable moment where Ballard (Henstridge) kisses Jericho (Statham) which even Henstridge says she didn`t get. She was also embarrassed to deliver the lines in the corny final reel!
Carpenter is normally so good at suspense but in my opinion this movie is almost devoid of any, although my mate said he felt it when we watched it at the cinema. The music at the start is good, but the rock music in the combat sequences destroys any atmosphere and I lost interest during these scenes.
I hope Carpenter doesn`t quit, it seems like he enjoyed making the movie, but maybe he is too laid back now. Perhaps he has smoked too much weed. Hopefully, he`s got another couple of good movies in him, but he should return to his old formula of suspense to deliver scares unless he can team up with special effects guru Rob Bottin (the Thing) again.
The extras are pretty good and the commentry is fun (lots of banter, a bit too much vanity from Henstridge though), Carpenter seems like a great guy. It`s a bit of a shame that the outtakes are absent in region 2 as these are mentioned in the commentry.
The quality is fine as you`d expect form a recent release
I didn`t make it to the extras.
What the hell is happening to John Carpenter! After the poor show of Vampires he makes this, as if he couldn`t get any more worse than he is at the moment! Crap acting, crap story
crap special effects and well crap every thing. Though the film does throw up some alright entertaining bit`s it`s just a big gore fest on Mars.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is good and is used well. Carpenters score works well with it.
A Commentary by Carpenter and Star Natasha Henstridge is alright and does give an insight into the film, but quite honestly as with Vampires do we care?