Thursday, July 28, 2011

Invaders From Mars (1986)

Genre: Science Fiction, Martian Invasion, Remake

Source: My Own Collection

Grade: B+

  Well this 1986 Tobe Hooper remake of the classic 1953 science fiction movie by the same name has been something i`ve wanted to check out for quite sometime now. So now that i`ve finally got my hands on a copy and watched it i`d have to say I have mixed emotions towards it. But as far as remakes go this one was very respectfully and thoroughly done, and had only a couple drawbacks.

      For starters though i`d like to give you the conversation I had with the actor Jimmy Hunt who played the main character in the original 1953 version, who also respectfully got a role in this remake playing the towns police chief. Anyways his thoughts of this movie overall on this remake were of disappointment. He just didn't feel that this movie was really that great. Though he was impressed that they thought to ask him if he`d like a role in this remake. But none the less me and him both agreed that the original Invaders From Mars just really didn't need to be remade in the first place. Though he did share some rather interesting trivia about this movie with me that I did not know before, he told me that there were two directors who were actually up for grabs on directing it, those two directors were none other then Steven Spielberg and Tobe Hooper. Well in the end the job obviously went to Hooper for whatever reasons and ole Spielberg would have to wait until to 2005 to remake another beloved 50`s classic science fiction movie (which is War Of The Worlds in case you couldn't guess). So there you have it the great Jimmy Hunts perspective is of disappointment towards this remake.

         Now my whole views on it were of along the lines of Mr.Hunts except a little more optimistic. Starting with what I did like about the movie was I really appreciated all the respect and tributes this 80s remake made to the original 50s classic. Such as for one casting Jimmy Hunt the star of the original into a supporting role in this version, then it kept that awesome surreal fence design from the original even using it on the poster, then there's a scene were David Gardner and the nurse are hiding in the school basement and while the police search for them they shine there flash lights on the Martian head in the glass case which was from the original.
          I also really loved Stan Winston`s monster designs in this movie. They were some truly awesome state of the art stop-motion monsters. That were massive and terrifying to look at, this was one thing though that they changed from the original, in the original the Martians looked very humanoid, in this they looked like straight up monsters. Even the leader Martian is creepy to look at, and I honestly can`t even describe what it looked like. The sets were really also very well done and just as impressive. In fact the scenes were inside  the Martian space ship were fully made and filmed inside one of Howard Hugh`s old plane hangers.

          Story wise this movie basically followed along the lines of the original, except they seemed to have added a whole bunch of stuff. Which honestly didn't bother me to much, like it might to other people. Now the only things that really served as a drawback were for one Hoopers choice for who played the kid. That kid just didn`t have what Jimmy Hunt had, when I try to compare the two child actors Mr.Hunts performance just puts this kids performance to shame in ever way. There were just too many times were this kids performance was super obviously a tongue-in-cheek effort.
      But honestly most of all I just don`t understand why they felt they needed to remake this movie! I can`t help but wonder if the reason the studio green lighted this project was to cash off all the other Science Fiction movie`s that had been hits in the past decade ( for example E.T and Terminator). Oh well, I do believe though that I read that this movie opened to a disappointing  box office revenue and overall just did not make much money. Which was especially sad because on the special features of this DVD the narrator on the Sci-Fi promo featurette talks about how because of all the great talent and effort behind this movie that is destined to become a timeless classic. Sadly this would prove that it obviously made before the movie was released, because hardly anyone seems to know about this movie.

     All in all Tobe Hoopers 1986 remake of Invaders From Mars was respectful, well done remake in my eyes. Still it does not  come near to the greatness of the original 1953 classic. Though the incredible monster designs in this movie are enough to make any sci-fi or monster movie enthusiast want to check this out. My only advice to those who are just curious to watch it is to go in not expecting a lot! That way you might walk away from this movie with a slight sense of enjoyment.

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