HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
Horror Crowd, The
Matthias & Maxime
Bullet for the President, A
Constant Husband, The
Anbessa
Man in Grey, The
Harakiri
Way to the Stars, The
Man Who Skied Down Everest, The
Bottoms Up!
   
 
Newest Articles
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
   
 
  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 2961 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
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: