However I am willing to admit that Escape from Mars has a few flaws. First and foremost the budget for special effects was about $6.50 plus what they could find in the change slot of local phone booths. This is probably what led most science fiction fans against this film. We're used to fantastic specials which create a real visual treat. To have that missing really hurts the film.
The second flaw is that the story, however realistic, is now standard for anyone who has read anything from the hard science genre. Whoever wrote this has obviously read Robinson and Bova as well as checked the NASA site every now and then. So I guess my complaint is that there were few surprises or new stuff.
Third is that the whole thing is shot on video which makes everything look cheap, like a news room set. There is little which looks realistic and one can feel a bit ripped off by the sets they have although I did notice a few nice touches in the background.
What saved this film in my opinion was the acting. Every actor in this film did a sterling job despite the problems. Many of us are used to some atrocious over-acting which is enough to make Jack Palance proud and me nauseous. Ironically it is the faults of this film which allow viewers to see what a hard job acting is. With limited special effects and poor sets you can see what normal actors see when they work. The large temptation is to over act but the entire cast bring out believable, human performances which is why I gave the film a 7.