200 years in the future a Martian police unit is dispatched to transport a dangerous prisoner from a mining outpost back to justice. But when the team arrives they find the town deserted and some of the inhabitants possessed by the former inhabitants of the planet.Written by
Sure, it's predictable. This is basically the same story as _Pitch Black_. And why is it that science fiction basically revolves around horror themes? It would be nice to see a really thought-provoking science fiction film that consisted of more than a motley group of people trying to escape from some monster. Given this, _Ghosts of Mars_ is really a pretty decent film and John Carpenter's best in some time.
I really wanted to like _Vampires_ and much of that was pretty good, but the small budget really hurt. Here, Carpent uses the budget limitations to positive effect. Most of the money apparently went for red dye for the ground. The buildings and "futuristic" train didn't require much. The story basically boils down to the basic stalk and slash as dozens of other "science fiction" films of recent vintage, but there isn't a lot of time wasted on extraneous plot.
The story is well-told, via a pretty complicated series of flashbacks and even flashbacks within flashbacks, as a group of gung-ho Martian police attempt to pick up a transport a prisoner, played by Ice Cube, only to discover that the mining station where he's being held has been overrun by the spirits of dead Martians, who inhabit their host bodies and make them do their bidding.
The story is also basically an updating of one of Carpenter's earliest films, _Assault on Precinct 13_. Along the way, there are intriguing glimpses at the matriarchical society that runs Mars, although it is never explained how or why things got to be this way. Carpenter supplies some neat music to the film's soundtrack as well. All in all, there are certainly worse ways to spend your money.
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