Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


The Supreme Martian Intelligence -- no wonder the martians lose!
INVADERS FROM MARS (1986). Director: Tobe Hooper.

"They're huge, ugly ... Mr. Potato-heads." -- David.

David Gardner (Hunter Carson) sees a spaceship land in the sand dunes past his back yard, but can't get anyone to believe him. His parents (Timothy Bottoms and Laraine Newman) seem to have been taken over by alien mentalities, along with stern teacher Mrs. McKeitch (Louise Fletcher), but a sympathetic school nurse named Linda (Karen Black of Trilogy of Terror) teams up with David to find out what's going on in the sand dunes. There are very large, ugly martians whose bodies are basically big heads with teeth on weird legs, stalking around underground, all lorded over by a "Supreme Martian Intelligence" who seems all brain. Will Linda and David be able to convince the military that there is danger afoot? This remake of the 1950's Invaders from Mars can't quite seem to make up its mind whether it's a parody or just a whimsical sci fi flick seen, like the original, through a child's eyes. This version has much better FX than the original (with elaborate Alien-influenced sets) and much more action as well. A nice touch is that there is that same winding fence leading into the sand dunes as in the original. A highlight -- if that's the word -- is when one of the aliens makes a snack out of Louise Fletcher [Exorcist II: The Heretic] and devours her practically in one gulp! I didn't spot Jimmy Hunt, who was the kid in the original, but he plays a police chief. The performances are all okay for the most part.

Verdict: Slightly more entertaining than the original. **1/2.


angelman66 said...

What a cast-- how have I ever missed this one, with such a great cast, directed by the great Tobe Hooper--Poltergeist is one of my top favorites. Need to see it soon.
- C

William said...

Speaking of Hooper, I think I was the only person who didn't think his "Lifeforce" was so terrible.