HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Storm Boy
Storm Boy
Frozen II
White Sheik, The
Whalebone Box, The
Hunt, The
Invisible Man, The
Honey Boy
System Crasher
Judy & Punch
Bacurau
Battling Butler
Vivarium
Seven Chances
Dogs Don't Wear Pants
Navigator, The
Knives Out
Hit!
Charlie's Angels
Passport to Shame
Le Mans '66
Keep Fit
Doctor Sleep
Friend or Foe
Brass Target
Mine and the Minotaur, The
Sky Pirates
Syncopation
Sea Children, The
Ghost of a Chance, A
Go Kart Go
Great Buster, The
Seventy Deadly Pills
Wings of Mystery
Treasure at the Mill
VFW
Crime Wave
Terminator: Dark Fate
Slithis
Antonio Gaudi
   
 
Newest Articles
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
   
 
  Invaders From Mars My Parents Are Aliens
Year: 1986
Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Karen Black, Hunter Carson, Timothy Bottoms, Laraine Newman, James Karen, Bud Cort, Louise Fletcher
Genre: Science Fiction, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: In this remake of the 1953 sci-fi classic, young David Gardner (Hunter Carson) spies a UFO land and burrow beneath the sandpit behind his house. The next morning his beloved Dad (Timothy Bottoms) starts behaving strangely and after a walk in the sand dunes, Mom (Laraine Newman) is also possessed by alien invaders, whose sole trace is mark left on the back of victims’ necks. Pretty soon, the whole town is under Martian control, from the local police force (including original child star Jimmy Hunt) to David’s stern science teacher (Louise Fletcher). Aided by his sympathetic school nurse (Karen Black), David races against time to foil the Martian plot.

Just as this decade was inundated with Seventies horror remakes, the 1980s were an era where baby boomers re-imagined the science fiction movies of the Fifties as big-budget blockbusters juiced up with whiz-bang visual effects. Some were worthy successors, e.g. The Thing (1982) or The Fly (1986), while others were not so lucky. Production on Invaders From Mars was instigated by Wade Williams III, the millionaire exhibitor and sci-fi fan who bought the rights to the original in 1978, but the real force behind the remake were our old friends, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, in their latest attempt to turn Cannon Films into a major studio. Working with the same team behind their recent debacle Lifeforce (1985) - director Tobe Hooper, screenwriters Dan O’Bannon and Don Jakoby and visual effects supervisor/2nd unit director John Dykstra, plus Stan Winston on monster duties - Golan and Globus yet again managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

While the original plays like every child’s worst nightmare, Hooper over-eggs the horrific undertones without keying them to the anxieties of a new decade. Louise Fletcher swallows a juicy frog and drives a van seemingly furnished by Leatherface. Stan Winston’s elaborate monster effects are outstanding (bulbous laser-blasting quadrupeds with gaping jaws, and a supreme intelligence brain with a face) and almost Lovecraftian in nightmarish intensity. And in place of the original jokey ending, Hooper concludes with an unsettling freeze-frame on David’s screaming face. All of which suggests this is a children’s movie from people who really didn’t want to make one.

Certainly Hooper fails to draw an engaging performance from child lead Hunter Carson, the real-life son of Karen Black and screenwriter L.M. Kit Carson, who won acclaim for his role in Paris, Texas (1984). David Gardner comes across as another of those Eighties kids concocted by screenwriters who either don’t like or don’t know how to write children, or else genuinely find foul-mouthed, smart aleck brats amusing. They’re everywhere in Eighties cinema, with producers chasing the big bucks raked in by E.T. The Extraterrestrial (1982) yet clueless how do it with grace. Strangely, where Menzies was forced to tack on the cop-out ending and pad his film with military stock footage, Hooper restages both flaws. There are in-jokes aplenty, from David watching Lifeforce on television to a cameo from the original Supreme Martian Intelligence as a Christmas ornament in the school basement (!), but the tone veers from silly (especially Fletcher’s prim schoolmarm chasing David down the road, arms flapping inanely) to nasty. Still, it’s worth a chuckle when the Martians gobble up David’s least favourite teacher with a great gurgling laugh.

Click here for the trailer

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2791 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Tobe Hooper  (1943 - )

American horror director who has spent his whole career trying to live up to his electrifying The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. After the similar but not as good Eaten Alive, he directed the miniseries of Salem's Lot, slasher The Funhouse, and blockbuster Poltergeist (despite rumours of producer Steven Spielberg's hands-on involvement).

Then a string of under-achievers: vampire sci-fi Lifeforce, sequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, and remake Invaders from Mars led to mostly straight to video or television work: Spontaneous Combustion, Night Terrors, The Mangler and Crocodile. In TV he has directed episodes of Dark Skies and Taken. A remake of The Toolbox Murders went some way to restoring his reputation with horror fans.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: