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Ghosts of Mars

Ghosts of Mars Movie Poster

Sony Pictures, VHS, DVD, 2001, Rated R, 1 hr. 55 min.

What a waste of 115 minutes of my time.  Don't let a bad movie happen to you too.

For some strange reason, I was really excited to see this film.  I think John Carpenter is decent and Ice Cube can be entertaining.  Two minutes into it I knew I had made a big mistake.  In short, I could have made a better movie with a video camera, some eye shadow, and the local high school drama club.  

It's 2025 and humans have colonized Mars.  A mining team at an outpost unearth something - aliens, I guess - it's never really explained well - and everyone there starts turning into zombies.  Commander Braddock (Pam Grier) and her team are sent to the outpost to transport a prisoner, James "Desolation" Williams (Ice Cube), back to the main city.  When they get there, the zombies try to kill them, blah, blah, predictable blah.  

First, does anyone think Pam Grier can actually act?  I was so happy when her character was killed that I cheered for the zombies.  Seeing her head on a post was the highlight of the movie.  Strangely, Braddock is a lesbian in the movie, but you never really know why that is brought up or how it is relevant. 

I was surprised that Joanna Cassidy would take a role in this film, much less a role that was so poorly written.  I was going to say her character lacked development, but that can be said of all the characters.  Sadly, I think that is just Carpenter's style.

Ice Cube does his best thug with a heart of gold impression.  But he can't save the movie.  And I'm worried about his teeth.  Are they really his teeth, or were they inserted for the movie?  Now that's scary.

The filming of the movie was very odd.  I know they were trying for a certain style, but it just ended up looking jumpy and poorly edited.  There are flashbacks inside flashbacks in the film, all for no real reason.  You get the feeling that they are trying to make the movie more complicated than it really is.  

The scenery and the makeup looked like a high school production.  I think the budget for makeup and set must have been $1.50 and limited to whatever they could find at K-Mart.  The zombies looked like gothic aborigines.  It really was laughable.  Again though, I think that's what Carpenter was going for.

My favorite line:

Melanie: "Don't you believe in anything?"

Desolation: "I believe in staying alive."

I believe I just wasted 115 minutes.

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Sony Pictures






115 Minutes







Actor / Actress


Pam Grier

Commander Braddock

Joanna Cassidy

Darlene Whitlock

Natasha Henstridge


Clea DuVall

Bashira Kincaid

Ice Cube

James "Desolation" Williams



John Carpenter


John Carpenter


Larry Sulkis


John Carpenter


Sandy King


Gary Kibbe    


Robin Michel Bush

Costume Designer

Greg Nicotero


William Elliott

Production Designer

John Carpenter



Reviewed by: Hauntmistress 9/01/2002


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