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|Index||12 reviews in total|
It took two weeks to write and ten years to finish. In 1977 writer Bob
Greenberg and I were offered $50,000 to make a science fiction movie. We
thought that instead of trying to hide the low budget, we would make it a
central theme using the gimmick of a film-within-a-film.
Such was the genesis of Lobster Man From Mars. We wrote the screenplay in two weeks, but the money to shoot the movie never appeared. The project was set aside until the tragic demise of Bob Greenberg in an auto accident. I was determined to get Bob's name on the screen as a writer, and thanks to the efforts of producer Steven Greene, this became a reality.
Production began during the summer of 1988 --- a mere 10 years after writing the screenplay --- and culminated with the world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival six months later. The version shown at the festival was a 95 minute "first cut", later revised to 81 minutes, then released to theaters, television and home video in the shorter format.
The special director's edition DVD is one that has never been seen by the public, having only existed on a computer editing program! I've taken some of the better moments from the long version and have integrated them with the shorter version. And now, thanks to the modern miracle of computer editing, I've added new low-tech, even cheaper looking special effects, never before possible. Once again, the Lobster Man lives!
Well, I wasn't really expecting to be wowed by this movie, but it
turned out to be the funniest movie I've seen in a long time. I rented
it mainly because of the title. After all, who doesn't want to see a
movie named "Lobster Man from Mars"? I settled down with some friends
and chocolate, and had the most laugh out loud night.
This movie is filled with ridiculous moments, akin to the old fifties Scifi movies, complete with a badly costumed lobster who's face keeps changing between scenes. The acting isn't that good, but then again, it really isn't meant to be. This is the perfect movie to watch when you want to have a good time, and if you're full of too much energy.
Voracious flesh eaters from Mars invade the Earth! A very funny bad
movie made for the cost of coffee and donuts on any of today's
blockbuster epics. The film's star Tony Curtis puts this picture right
up there with "Some Like It Hot" and "Spartacus" - he says so right
there on the DVD edition this movie.
If you are a fan of trashy science fiction, you will most certainly enjoy this humorous spoof of such classics as "Invaders from Mars", "Night of the Ghouls" and "Teenagers from Outer Space".
It can all be summed up in this typical line of dialogue spoken by Professor Plocostomos (Patrick Macnee)... "If you were a Lobster Man, would you enter a haunted house surrounded by artillery?"
Well, would you?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"He came from the Stars, Lobster Man from Mars...
Earthman beware, he's after your air!!!
No place to hide, Lobster's right outside!!!"
The theme song suggests we are about to see a bad, bad movie. Not so.
This is a hilarious and great movie about a bad, bad movie (which turns out to be better than expected), and is probably the funniest science fiction movie since Dark Star. (It's a bit like a small-scale version of Mars Attacks with a smaller budget and more(!) jokes.)
I was quite surprised to see such a low score here for it. I suspect a few people who rated it poorly are just unfamiliar with the style of films it is parodying (think "Robot Monster"), or see only the surface "badness" of the movie in the movie without realising it is deliberately "awful" and does not take itself seriously.
In other words, the low quality of this film is only a translucent veneer; one sufficient to fool a surprising number of people, apparently.
Mild, small-scale, incidental spoilers:
There's a lot to like about this movie. The earnest over-the-top melodrama, the in-film narrator, the deliberately wonky effects, the range of stereotype characters from multiple genres added to the mix (how many sf movies have a hardboiled gumshoe as a supporting character?) all contribute. The music is especially perfect: the theme song, the spooky warbling electronic chase music, and the use of Siegfried's Funeral March could not be bettered.
But these are all touches of finesse to a great parody. The quality and caricatured accuracy of the parody is what makes this film so entertainingly amusing. This affectionate and good-humoured homage to low-budget science-fiction monster flicks is probably the funniest such since at least The Rocky Horror Picture Show (while being considerably different in tone!), and possibly since Dark Star.
The sheer ludicrous excess and exaggeration of the evil of the Lobster Man, the goodness of the heroes and the stakes of peril are all almost operatic, and would not seem out of place on the stage of Victorian melodrama (science-fictional trappings aside).
Many, many images, plot points and lines are delicious: the Lobster Man's entire character design, the way we see that most of the characters are sexist but the movie makers (at both levels) aren't, phrases like "smoking bales of Big Monk"...
If you've a passing familiarity with drive-in science fiction, and a sense of the ludicrous, I think you'll enjoy this little film; if your idea of visual science fiction starts with Star Wars and finishes with the X-Files, or you think humour and sf shouldn't mix, you may not.
A film within a film; a producer needing a tax write-off agrees to screen and buy the rights to a student film called LOBSTER MAN FROM MARS. Most the of the film spent viewing the film which about an alien lobster man wrecking havoc on Earth. The producer finds the film so shoddy that he agrees to buy it in order to lose money so he doesn't owe the IRS so much money. The film is obviously inspired by the producers. The film is loaded with many jokes that only buffs of horror and science fiction films would get. For example: the colonel is named "Ankrum", after Morris Ankrum who played military men and other authority figures in dozens of 1950's science fiction and horror films. The film is loaded with gags like these that most viewers probably would not get. I would mention any more as I would not want to spoil it for people who are in the know.
i just bought this movie for 2bucks thinking that it will surely be worth it's cost... and i was so right!! i saw it with a friend of mine and we just loved it's (mostly intended) badness. There are movies that are just bad and then there are these flicks that are so freaking' bad that they are really entertaining. the movie made me really laugh hard a couple of times and Tony Curtis just rocked being this bad producer. the day after i watched it i immediately wanted to watch it again.. and if that's not positive about a film.. for a movie as "b" as one movie could be, the cast isn't that bad: Tony Curtis and Patrick McNee are two stars of the 80ies, starring here and they do a good job (being bad). the story is really strange: i mean a lobster man and his adjutant, an ape with a spacehelmet, stealing earth's air for the mars is not a common thing in Hollywood. the characters are all very funny and the story is except for some lengths in the middle very amusing.. i'll give it an 9 out of 10
This movie is an excellent parody of the American horror movies from the 60s. I don't know how people who watched this movie can make a negative comment on the camera, the lightning and the play. They just didn't get it I guess. The special effects, the play and the camera were all meant to be badly done so they can resemble the 'drive in' movies from the 60s. This is one of those movies which you can't and must not take serious. The quality of such productions lays by my opinion in the way that the story is served to the viewer. A thing that Stanley Sheff and Bob Greenberg have done in a very good way. Overall a great parody - 10/10!
i saw this film some years ago now, and i can still remember it. at the time, and on subsequent viewings, it made me laugh myself quite silly, not quite as silly as this film however. it is somewhat like a cheaper, tackier, Z grade, sci-fi version of gremlins two, just taking the piss out of as many things as it can. somtimes it misses, but mostly it hits. a bizarre indie classic. go find it now, you won't regret it.
Yes, this is a stupid movie, but it was intentionally stupid, so how can you go wrong? this movie actually is quite funny, and has some humor that might be over some audience's head. Funny and enjoy-able.
So what have we got here with this "Lobster Man From Mars" (1989)
movie? Think "The Producers" (1968) meets "Plan 9 From Outer Space"
(1959). If you don't get parody you should give this one a wide berth.
If you want really "clever" parody you should probably skip it as well.
If you thought Buster Crabbe's Flash Gordon stuff was fun because it
was so "unintentionally" hokey you might want to go into avoidance mode
along with the others.
The hokey elements in "Lobster Man From Mars" are anything but unintentional, it wants your attention like a one-trick pony mad for a carrot. This lack of subtlety would pretty much doom the thing had it not already expired from a case of terminally lame screen writing.
The root of the problem is that they were given too much money to make this thing. Much like the fake disaster movie playing in the background of "Drive-In", it utilizes a film within a film device; only this time a Hollywood executive is screening what is supposed to be a bad "student" film. The saving grace of bad student films is their unity of weak writing, poor production values, and unpolished acting. But the student film being viewed in "Lobster Man From Mars" has some recognizable cast members and enough money for semi- authentic production design; which does not work to its benefit.
Here's the premise: a Hollywood studio needs a really bad film to use as a tax write-off. They screen a high school kid's science fiction film, which while really bad would be another "Citizen Kane" compared to any bad student film. In the film within the film, Mars is running out of air and sends the "dreaded" Lobster Man to earth where he and a hairy sidekick begin randomly zapping people with a ray gun. The too competent cast includes Patrick Macnee (playing a British scientist) and Deborah Foreman looking (as the film moves along) like she is gradually deciding in favor of retiring from acting (which she actually did-was it coincidence or was her decision made midway through the production of this turkey?).
The problem is that there is very little in the movie that is particularly funny, intentional or unintentional. The only bit that works repeatedly involves the zany space bats who fly around cackling manically. And there is one good line by Tommy Sledge, as a film noir parody private detective who inspects the giant lobster tracks leading away from the site of an explosion and then says: "It means that either he escaped, or he walked backwards from the horizon to commit suicide in this bonfire".
If you want to see this stuff done right, cleverly written and with a student film level of production design, check out Larry Blamire's "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra" (2001). 90 minutes of inspired spoofing.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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