Blu-ray Review: Ghosts of Mars (2001)

June 16, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Lieutenant Melanie Ballard (Natasha Henstridge) and a cadre of Mars cops are called out to a remote mining colony to pick up a prisoner, one Desolation Williams (Ice Cube), and transport him back to civilization…and more thorough incarceration. Once there they discover that nothing is left of the colony but mutilated corpses. Our heroes all have their theories as to what happened, but the simplest explanation eludes them…centuries old space lizard ghosts have possessed the miners and turned them into some sort of primal street gang lead by Big Daddy Mars (Richard Cetrone)…you know, like any other given Tuesday. Of course this makes survival a bit dicey for our heroes, but thankfully Desolation’s hard-ass pals show up to form an uneasy alliance making Operation: Save Ass a smidge more doable.

I’m just going to come out and say it; Ghosts of Mars takes waaaay more shit from horror hounds than it deserves. While admittedly not one of John Carpenter’s best efforts…and basically a remake of his Assault on Precinct 13, just with some sci-fi window dressing…the film nevertheless is filled with explosive action, an amazing cast (besides the fine folks mentioned above we also get Jason Statham, Clea DuVall, Pam Grier, Joanna Cassidy…great actors one and all!), memorable villains, alien spirits, hellish landscapes, and constant guitar riffs (never discount this). Seriously, what the hell is not to enjoy here?!!

To sweeten the pot, Mill Creek Entertainment have ported over some cool bonus features from previous releases onto this Blu-ray. First up is a great commentary from Carpenter and Henstridge. If you have never heard a Carpenter commentary get ready as he is always highly entertaining and brutally honest…often to hilarious effect. Next we get a look behind the scenes via a production diary, followed by featurettes on the film’s score and special effects.

And there ya have it boils n’ ghouls; Ghosts of Mars is a fun, action packed diversion, that while not a Carpenter masterpiece, isn’t the flaming turd you were lead to believe it was either.



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