Saturday, 3 February 2018

Invaders from Mars (1986)

Noisy, shrill and charmless, this pointless Cannon Films funded remake of the 1950s paranoid classic is everything the original wasn't.

The plot follows the original, with young David Gardner seeing an alien spacecraft land in a quarry behind his house. When his normally warm and loving dad goes to investigate he returns cold and emotionless. As this behaviour starts to spread, taking in David's mother, teachers and fellow townspeople, his only ally is the school nurse, Linda Magnuson. Can they persuade the Marines to help them stop a Martian invasion?

The original may have had bargain basement effects and obvious padding to the running time, but it also had a bleak mood and the feverish quality of a child's nightmare, which, in this context, makes the ping pong ball eye aliens and rushed plotting work. This version has a big budget (much of which went on the impressive special effects), and a knowing, ironic tone, with portentous dialogue, telegraphed scenes of tension and several scenes played for laughs, but little else beyond this.