Bad Movie Beatdown - John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars

(93 votes, average 4.68 out of 5)
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Comments (46)
  • Jael
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    Oh God, I remember this movie. I took a class on Mars in pop culture last year for school and watched this movie. Then I had to write an essay using "Ghosts of Mars", one of the novels we had to read (I picked the Martian Chronicles), and something Martian related of our choice (I chose the Doctor Who episode "Waters of Mars") and write an essay connecting all three sources together (in my case, how can Mars fight back against the humans on the planet and force them to become Martians themselves). The loosest term I can use to describe all this was "interesting". Only because it's not every day you write an essay using a great novel, a great TV show, and a shitty movie as sources.
  • blitz Gamer
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    ahh waters of mars, where doctor ten loses it at the end
  • EpicFish
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    Good review FB. Although no, nobody actually wears those kind of outfits to a Slipknot concert. And I like Rap Critic's voice-cameo.
  • HoboAliceCooper
    From what I've seen in the review, Big Daddy McManson seems to be hobo Alice Cooper (From John Carpenter's own Prince of Darkness) IN SPACE.

    While I really like John Carpenter (even Vampires, though mostly because of James Woods' awesomeness), he's lost it since the mid-90s. And for the Mars curse thing, Total Recall (1990) might have been the exception.

    "Come on, Cohaagen, you got what you wanted, give these people eyre!"
  • Sewblon
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    7:15 But Jason Statem is on a planet full of women in real life.
  • Film Brain
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    It's a reference to the fact that its hinted that the woman actually outnumber the men, who are only on the planet as "breeders". Another concept never even remotely explored.
  • Snack Toxin  - Well, this is something you don't expect:
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    Jason Statham... HAS HAIR.
  • PatrickRivieraJr  - I dunno...
    Yeah, the movie breaks its own rules, it makes no sense, it's gory without any reason...but I kinda like it, I can say it's one of my guilty pleasure.The visuals are not that bad (Red Faction Guerrilla take the design of some of the veicles and the buildings out of it), the bad guys are fun to watch (and I suppose that was the intenction of Carpenter), the music is kick-ass (that's the name of the main theme, if I remember right), the action is that kind of cheesy action that I enjoy.Hell, I can think of it like a sort of Doom movie: I hope in a sequel where they have to fight their way to a vessel or where they have to find a way to destroy the ghosts (and maybe with Desolation's brother as the new leader of the "infected").
    I enjoy trash movies, even the ones made by big directors...and this is one of them!
    regards from Italy
  • leviadragon99
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    Well... given that the guy that locked himself in the car was possessed, it could be that the spirit made him kill himself to free itself, maybe after seeing that oppertunity slip it by it was finally able to overpower the resolve that had allowed that guy to sequester himself in the first place.
  • Seikjo
    I remember watching this a long time ago on the SyFy channel.... I remember most of this movie in my subconscious. But what I remember most of all was this- "If big Daddy Mars was ON FIRE, wouldn't he have lost his hair? Wait... wouldn't his clothes be burned too? And his flesh?... Did the alien heal him?"
  • baba44713
    This is one of the movies I simply cannot believe wasn't made bad on purpose. Incredibly fake sets, incredibly stupid antagonists, pointlessly disjointed narrative... when I watched this first I was sure Carpenter was doing a homage or something, it just didn't click that a movie this cheesy and bad would be greenlighted as a theatre release. From someone who made "The Thing", of all things.
  • Blizz3112
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    Don't you mean "stupid protagonists"?

    And yes, this thing is literally a train wreck...
  • mehja
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    Nice to know that mankind advanced so far that space travel is normal, they can terraform entire planets - and sexism is still around.

    I guess after the few thousand years of patriarchy a comeback of matriarchy is the next big thing...
    and the switch in gender roles is apparently the reason the tough miners stashed tons of make up at their outpost allowing them to paint themselves white when they became possessed.


    Gender equality - too far out to ever become reality.
  • Guild Navigator
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    I think this movie has an interesting basic plot,but everything else is so underdeveloped that it almost feels like a made for TV sci-fi flick from the 1970s.

    What's funny is that up until now I hadn't noticed the similarities of this flick with Pitch Black. Honestly,that movie is so above this mess of a flick that you don't think of comparing them.

    LOL at the rousing speech. Still,you gotta admit Clancy "The Kurgan" Brown is an intimidating dude.

    Oh,and that bit with Rap Critic was hilarious.
  • TwistedEllipses
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    I am so glad you did this film. It's just so frustratingly annoying how it ignores its own rules. The ending just screams "WE LEARNT NOTHING!" as they prepare to go kill possessed people and achieve nothing...ugghh...
  • KiramidHead
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    This is definitely one of my guilty pleasures, probably because I saw it when I was pretty young. Also, I saw that Silent Hill Revelation poster you have there. Awesome. :)
  • smek2
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    Not only seems this movie to be Assault on Precinct 13 - IN SPACE, Precinct 13 itself is basically an adaption of the classic western Rio Bravo, which Carpenter is a huge fan of.
  • kitlerc
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    I actually watched this movie earlier this year with the mentality of "how bad could it be?" If only I had known...

    Great review, you nailed just about everything I found wrong with the movie. The only other things that stand out as horribly bad to me was the fact that this movie was made in 2001 and looks like it was made in the early 80s, and the incredibly droning heavy metal soundtrack, which kills any tension this movie could have had, and does nothing for the action scenes.
  • Tw1stedMoogle  - I liked it!
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    I remember renting this when it was newer and really liking it. In fact it is the ONLY movie i have ever watched twice in a row. (literally one after the other, 2nd time with Commentary on) And i watched it again recently on Netflix... i still like it! It's cheesy and the acting isn't Oscar material by any stretch, but it's enjoyable as hell.
  • rcivit
    Great review as always.

    FB's reviews are the main reason for me to come back to this page every week, specially now that the Critic is gone. Seeing someone so young having gotten so good at what he does by sheer effort is quite inspiring.
  • archer1949  - I remember SO wanted to see this movie....
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    I remember this. I saw it for free and still felt ripped off.

    What a waste of a great premise.
  • Rue_Ryuzaki2
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    It hurts seeing directors like John Carpenter do poorly made films when you know he can do better.
    Drugs can stopped processions? lol oh I like how that disclaimer came in.
  • TooMuchFreeTime
    I'd actually be very curious to see you do a BMB of Mission to Mars as I actually kind of liked it. Pretty much in the same way Nostalgia Chick likes Moulin Rouge (some- parts- ASPECTS of it). There were definitely some interesting ideas there.

    I do know there was dumb crap like how did they not know about the HUGE leak in the fuel system? (Nvm the fact that liquid boils in a vacuum, not freeze...right?)
  • cvrpapc
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    MATTHEW BUCK you bad boy!

    How can you take this seriously?? Its a lezbo matriarchy.It was fucken great! This movie is so bad and hilarious...it should be a SCIFI channel special.
  • Captain Siberia
    I now want a full set of lyrics for the opening theme to /Pinhead's Playhouse/. Actually, I want a full-fledged comedy sketch.

    Sometimes, I think a studio does know what kind of movie a rival studio is going to make and so rushes a similar movie of its own into production. Consider the dualing of Pixar by DreamWorks.

    Rararararara! Rarara, rararararara!

    It's nuclear! Noo-clee-urr, lady! Where the fuck are you getting "noo-kyoo-lurr" from?

    Because as we all know, explosive charge plus nuclear material equals nuclear bomb! It's really that simple, kids! That's how nuclear bombs are built! Forget all that complex stuff about inducing fission under carefully controlled circumstances! Just some TNT and some uranium; that's all you need!

    More! More of that American accent! Actually, it kinda sounds like Benzai.

    Also, that explosion spread ridiculously fast. It looks like a primitive video game effect more than anything.
  • TheRocketeer
    I really liked the review but the disclaimer was dumb.
  • MrChrisW
    If you look at this film as a comedy it is quite watchable. Especially love the part where the guy cuts off his own thumb. The whole movie is unintentionally hilarious.
  • ThatGuyWithTheThreeHeads  - Too much flashbacks crammed together, indeed...
    Is this "Ghost of Mars" or "the Manuscript found in Zaragoza"???
  • brick mooncode
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    so there are martian ghosts who possess people, and every time one of these people gets killed the ghost just possesses another person, there's no way whatsoever to stop this from happening, yet the heroes just keep killing possessed people, and the climax of the movie is the heroes killing them all at once with a nuclear explosion, which results in the ghosts jumping into new people again. this movie sounds like a form of torture.
  • knyghtmirror  - Overuse of Dissolve
    When I saw this film I remember the overuse of dissolving into the same scene. Its usually meant to show a passing of time like in the beginning of Taxi Driver, but its like Carpenter found a new toy. Then there are a ton of pointless fade to black scenes like when they let Ice Cube out of jail.
  • BlazingOwnager
    This movie makes so much more sense if you realize that in the original film, Jason Staham had Ice Cube's role and Carpenter fought for this, but the studio decided Ice Cube would be the more marketable star (hilariously).

    Ice Cube drags this movie down, otherwise I'd find it an solid B movie. Also if you look at the art design and feel of the film, it's a better Doom film than the Doom film - much of it's look was copied in Doom 3 (the game) and possessed people on mars is closer than genetic experiments on an alien planet (with a tacked in graphic added in post that says Mars).

    PS: The soundtrack is so cheese ball it's amazing. This really is a Doom film.
  • 3DMaster
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    Actually, a matriarchal society in the future no doubt coming out of our misandric, feminist zeitgeist bullshit that women are so awesome and would make so better a society and how they all their emotions are perfect and sweet and all made out of candy, means that they do not inundate themselves against instinct, means that if they even bother frowning at the alpha male, it is only to make themselves feel superior right before they fuck him.
  • AtrosMM
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    My dad and I, well, we loooove Carpenter brand of BAD, we really do. We decided to catalog this one as: so bad its good
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