5.5/10
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Invaders from Mars (1986)

PG | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 6 June 1986 (USA)
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A boy tries to stop aliens who have taken over his town and are attempting to brainwash its inhabitants.

Director:

Tobe Hooper

Writers:

Richard Blake (based on a screenplay by), Dan O'Bannon (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Karen Black ... Linda Magnusson
Hunter Carson ... David Gardner
Timothy Bottoms ... George Gardner
Laraine Newman ... Ellen Gardner
James Karen ... Gen. Climet Wilson
Bud Cort ... Mark Weinstein
Louise Fletcher ... Mrs. McKeltch
Eric Pierpoint ... Sgt. Maj. Rinaldi
Christopher Allport ... Captain Curtis
Donald Hotton ... Old NASA Scientist
Kenneth Kimmins ... Officer Kenney
Charlie Dell ... Mr. Cross
Jimmy Hunt ... Police Chief
William Bassett ... NASA Scientist
Virginya Keehne ... Heather (as Virginia Keehne)
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Storyline

In this remake of the classic 50s SF tale, a boy tries to stop an invasion of his town by aliens who take over the the minds of his parents, his least-liked schoolteacher and other townspeople. With the aid of the school nurse the boy enlists the aid of the U.S. Marines. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's not safe to be Human. [UK video box] See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 June 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Invasores de Marte See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,046,576, 8 June 1986

Gross USA:

$4,884,663
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cannon Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (TVC)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When David comes home from school and turns on the TV, the movie playing is Lifeforce (1985), also directed by Tobe Hooper. See more »

Goofs

When the son and father leave for the school bus the shadow of the cameraman is on them. See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Maj. Rinaldi: General Wilson! We have one of their weapons here. I know it sounds crazy...
Gen. Climet Wilson: That just might work if we can figure out how to make it work in time!
David Gardner: General Wilson? Fuel! It needs fuel. Copper! Copper is what they use. I saw them onload this.
Gen. Climet Wilson: Well, maybe a penny will do it!
David Gardner: Dammit! I had a whole bagful!
Gen. Climet Wilson: Great Scott! Hasn't anybody got a penny?
MP #1: We don't carry loose change into combat, sir.
See more »

Alternate Versions

West German theatrical version was cut by ca. 3,5 minutes (the entire end sequence). This version was released on all subsequent VHS and DVD versions. Only in 2014 the uncut version was released on DVD. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Another flop for Hooper.
26 March 2016 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

Director Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre), visual effects wizard John Dykstra (Star Wars), make-up FX genius Stan Winston (Aliens), screenwriter Dan O'Bannon (Alien), cinematographer Daniel Pearl (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre): there's a wealth of experience and talent behind this lavish '80s remake of '50s cold-war sci-fi classic Invaders From Mars, but it amounts to little more than a thoroughly cheesy and rather camp piece of trashy escapism. For some, that might be enough, but given its pedigree, I expected, nay, DEMANDED much more.

The film's weakest point is undoubtedly its young lead Hunter Carson, who appears in almost every scene, but is unable to even run convincingly, let alone persuade the viewer that the planet is under threat from Martians (what's with the flappy arms, Hunter?). A better actor in the central role would have helped immensely, although Hooper's direction also proves lacklustre, his film lacking in suspense but loaded with schmaltz (the overly saccharine opening family scenes suggest that the director spent far too long in the presence of Spielberg during the filming of Poltergeist). Serving to undermine the film's effectiveness further are the somewhat clunky aliens—far from Winston's best work.

Mindlessly entertaining in the way that only an '80s Cannon movie could be, the film is admittedly never boring, and benefits from some interesting set design and impressive lighting, but as a big-budget sci-fi (by Cannon Pictures' standards, at least) from the man who gave us Leatherface, this can only be deemed a disappointment. Oh, well, at least this film's failure (along with his previous sci-fi/horror flop Lifeforce) resulted in Hooper returning to familiar territory for the long-awaited Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

5.5 out of 10, rounded up to 6 for IMDb.


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