Ghosts of Mars (2001) Review

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Mars needs plot, dialog, and for that matter nudity.

Ghosts of Mars: 3 out of 10: All right how is this for a premise. In the future, on a Mars ruled by lesbians (so far so good), head cop Pam Grier (a little old but always a pleasure), her ecstasy addicted assistant Natasha Henstridge (yeah baby), and a kick ass Jason Statham (always watchable) take on an army of zombies in a western mining town. How could you possibly screw this up? 

Well, John Carpenter does. First there is no nudity, none, zippo, zilch. Since this is an R rated space opera, with lesbians, with Pam Grier, and for the love of god with Natasha Henstridge (I almost didn’t recognize her with her clothes on. I mean did she even have a shirt in Species?) This is a shock. Now I hardly demand nudity from films but I haven’t been this surprised since I rented that Shannon Tweed action film Face the Evil AKA No Contest II (Where a uniquely clothed Shannon Tweed pretends to be Bruce Willis and we all learn a lesson about the acting ability of former Playboy Centerfolds.)

Well, at least it has zombies, right? Well, sort of. Apparently the miners were possessed by those ghosts from that Final Fantasy movie and they have all gone off and pierced themselves, raided the post apocalyptic fashion closet and become cannibals. They look ridiculous and are about as threatening as a suburban junior high school dance. Their leader looks like a third rate heavy metal drummer joined his school’s body piercing club. 

Speaking of strange fetishes the movie seems to have one for flashbacks. None of the film is told in real time. Instead, we have a flashback within a flashback within a flashback. This destroys any semblance of tension. In fact, it such a bizarre choice one feels Carpenter choose it to hide the serious plot holes. It didn’t work.

With zero tension, no nudity, lame villains, horrible dialog and special effects that bring only one word to mind (Lionel), Ghosts of Mars is a mess. I’m still waiting for my futuristic lesbian zombie film. Maybe Wes Craven will give it a try.

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