Invaders from Mars (USA, 1986)

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Invaders from Mars is a 1986 science fiction horror film, directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Salem’s LotPoltergeist, Lifeforce) for the Cannon Group from a screenplay by Dan O’Bannon (Alien) and Don Jakoby (Arachnophobia).

The film is a remake of the 1953 movie Invaders from Mars, and is a reworking of that film’s screenplay by Richard Blake from an original story by John Tucker Battle. Its production was instigated by Wade Williams, millionaire exhibitor, science fiction film fan and sometime writer-producer-director, who had reissued the original film in 1978 after purchasing the copyright to the property.

Elaborate creature and visual effects for this remake were supplied by Stan Winston (Gargoyles, Pumpkinhead) and John Dykstra, respectively.

Main cast:

Hunter Carson, Timothy Bottoms (The Fantasist, Parasomnia), Laraine Newman, Karen Black (Trilogy of Terror, Burnt Offerings), James Karen (The Return of the Living Dead), Bud Cort (Bates Motel) and Louise Fletcher (Exorcist II: The Heretic, Strange Behavior; Flowers in the Attic).

 

On April 15, 2015, Invaders from Mars was released on Blu-Ray in the US by Scream Factory. The bonus features are:

  • New audio commentary with director Tobe Hooper
  • The Martians Are Coming! – The Making of “Invaders from Mars”, an all-new retrospective featuring interviews with director Tobe Hooper, actor Hunter Carson, special creature effects artists Alec Gillis and Gino Crognale, and composer Christopher Young
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV spot
  • Original Storyboards
  • Original Production Illustration Gallery with commentary from artist William Stout.
  • Still Gallery

Buy: Amazon.com

Plot:

On the night of a meteor shower, young David Gardner sees an alien spacecraft land in a sand quarry behind his house. This is the beginning of an alien invasion that sees David’s parents (George and Ellen Gardner), his teachers and the townspeople slowly assimilated by the alien life forms, returning with less emotions.

The only one who believes David is the school nurse, Linda Magnuson. Together, David and Linda enlist the aid of the U.S. Marines to help save the world…

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Reviews:

“…whereas the original worked by building up an increasingly black mood, this version relies almost entirely on the special effects; and such limited brooding tension as it has is gratuitously undermined by a string of sequences played purely for laughs.” Time Out

“In the span of his six-decade career, Invaders from Mars falls squarely in the middle of Tobe Hooper’s canon. Far from his best, it’s not nearly as bad as the majority of his output that followed. It’s a feeble attempt at updating a sci-fi classic for a then-fresh audience. Proof that history often can repeat itself, this sucker is every bit as forgettable as many of our modern day rehashes: Slickly done but hollow and trite. Unless, of course, you’ve got fond memories of Louise Fletcher and those frog legs.” Matt Serafini, Dread Central

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“What I like about the Hooper is his looseness but yep, that’s his downfall too. The second half of Invaders is as slack as a wet noodle. Plus, I can’t believe I’m saying this about the guy who directed The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but I think he can be too lenient with his performers. Was he afraid to ask for a second take from this bunch?” Kindertrauma

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Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

“I think people really have a problem with this movie because of the childish tone of the story. In case nobody noticed, the events are all viewed through the filter of a little boy, of course it plays out halfway like a cartoon. When you are about four feet tall the world is a very different place, think back on that for a second.” F*ckshit! The Home Video Review

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Buy Invaders from Mars A3 poster from Amazon.co.uk

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Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

Wikipedia | IMDb | Some images are courtesy of Wrong Side of the Art

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Categories: 1980s, alien, creature feature, monster movie, remake, rural horror

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. I think a few of the films that Hooper made that get the hate, have proven to be much better over time than first thought. This is not one. One of the worst remakes ever.

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