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"Invaders from Mars" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

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"Invaders from Mars" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

Old 09-24-23, 11:38 PM
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"Invaders from Mars" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge



Invaders from Mars (1986)




Selected by shellebelle


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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

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2023 DISCUSSION | 2023 LISTS
Old 10-15-23, 12:17 AM
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Re: "Invaders from Mars" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

I watched this remake of the 1953 classic on Svengoolie tonight and found it thoroughly enjoyable, despite its flaws. While I wouldn't call it a good movie per se, it makes for a delightfully creepy children's nightmare. The production values are far superior to the original, though this version lacks the McCarthyite anti-Communist undertones. It's a shame that kitschy sci-fi films are often overlooked by the Academy, as the late Louise Fletcher deserved a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her portrayal of the evil teacher, and Stan Winston's visual effects work was equally deserving of recognition.

Last edited by Gobear; 05-18-24 at 02:44 AM.
Old 10-15-23, 02:18 PM
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Re: "Invaders from Mars" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

I watched this back to back with the original and much preferred the original. I liked how lean the original was in its storytelling. There just seemed to be a lot more in this one - and not necessarily to its benefit. I would say that the tone in this version felt like it better matched being all in a kid's dream.
Old 10-16-23, 10:13 AM
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Re: "Invaders from Mars" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

So, chalk another 80's kids' horror movie on to my blackboard that I thought I had seen before but appears I never did. If I did, I have no recollection of this one at all.

All in all, I enjoyed it. I loved the practical effects and of course it is every 11-year-old boy's dream to command an army at his whim. I wasn't a big fan of the Wizard Of Oz ending but as clckworang stated, the way the movie played out, it makes sense. I also wasn't a big fan of the kid actor and Karen Black is as campy as ever. But you can't go wrong with James Karen or Louise Fletcher in anything.

This was a fun movie and I plan to know watch the original this month as well as I don't think I have seen it either. This movie gave me some serious Invasion Of The Body Snatcher vibes but seeing as how the original Invaders From Mars came three years before Invasion, I guess there was no copying there.

My rating: *** out of *****

Funny how obvious the pack of M&Ms was, sitting by the bed. I figured they felt they fucked up so bad not letting Spielberg use them for E.T. that they didn't want to miss anything chances in the future.
Old 10-21-23, 07:42 AM
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Re: "Invaders from Mars" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

I watched the original (1953) this morning since I had never seen it before. It was fun like the remake but certainly of its age. The kid is much better in this than the remake in my opinion. And damn...he gets bitch-slapped by his Dad and thrown in jail! Actually locked in a cell! Harsh!

The effects, at times, are good but how many times do you have to watch the same shot of the aliens and the soldiers running back and forth in the same corridor? Or all the stock footage being replayed over and over for minutes on end? The transfer I watched looked great. So great you could see the zippers on the back of the aliens crushed velvet outfits.

It was still dumb fun, and I enjoyed the scientific gooblygook talk.

I also had no idea that Whoopi Goldberg had her first role in this movie!



My rating for the original: *** out of *****
Old 10-22-23, 08:38 AM
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Re: "Invaders from Mars" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

Let's talk a walk up at the hill.

David and his school nurse fend off the most obvious alien invasion ever. The special effects steal the show, especially the leader and those cavernous alien hallways are brilliant. The minions have the right mix of lifeless cheese and magic. We need more horror films where the solution is to call in the military to blow the tar out of the supernatural. It meanders a bit in the middle through the routine of the least convincing military collaboration but ends on such a high. They dont make films like this anymore, I can only imagine how horrible it would be CGI. Great stuff.

I think I liked the original better, effects aside. Dan Obannon (remake writer) is usually on fire but this script is a bit happenstance. The espionage and pseudoscience of the original seems top tier and a bit gets lost. Nevermind the scene chewing theatrical actors of the 50s.

The more I think about it the more I feel IfM (remake) should get points for being family friendly and genuinely wholesome while also being chock full of legit movie magic and surreal visuals. Too many times, especially now, this stuff gets too dumbed down or played for comedy.

Last edited by Undeadcow; 10-22-23 at 11:21 AM.
Old 10-22-23, 09:30 PM
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Re: "Invaders from Mars" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

Dr. Pepper for breakfast?
Old 10-23-23, 05:23 AM
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Re: "Invaders from Mars" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by WillieMLF
Dr. Pepper for breakfast?
Tobe Hooper did famously love Dr Pepper...
Old 10-23-23, 08:33 AM
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Re: "Invaders from Mars" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Undeadcow
Tobe Hooper did famously love Dr Pepper...
Man there sure is a lot of product placement in this one. Loads of cereal on the table, but mom slaves away making breakfast.
Old 10-23-23, 10:04 AM
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Re: "Invaders from Mars" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

I, too, prefer the original which had a simple naivete. This film was a very close remake but the 50's-era simplicity didn't play as well and came off as a little too dumbed down, IMHO. My attention wandered. Still, a nice change of pace for this point in the challenge and I always enjoy Karen Black. It was odd to see Lorraine Newman in a non-comedic role. Her doing the alien voice was an odd SNL moment.
Old 10-23-23, 06:40 PM
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Re: "Invaders from Mars" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

Other than the production values really this remake didnt bring any improvements to the table. I prefer the original
Old 10-30-23, 03:10 PM
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Re: "Invaders from Mars" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

I watched this on Friday night and finished on Saturday morning. I had never seen it before, never saw the original either. I guess I liked the first half more than the second, because watching it I was thinking how it was something that I really could've enjoyed as a kid, and even been a bit scary. The second half meanders and kind of lost me for a while. Creature effects were pretty great though. I'm the right age that this probably could have been a classic if seen at the right time.

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