“Invaders from Mars (1986)” / Z-View

Invaders from Mars (1986)

Director:  Tobe Hooper

Screenplay: Dan O’Bannon, Don Jakoby based on a screenplay for the 1953 film by Richard Blake

Starring:  Karen Black, Hunter Carson, Timothy Bottoms, Laraine Newman, Louise Fletcher and Jimmy Hunt.

Tagline: He knows they’re here.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

One night young David Gardner (Carson) wakes to see a spaceship landing beyond the hill behind his house.  He wakes his parents (Bottoms, Newman), they come to his window, but everything seems normal.  The next day the boy discovers that his teacher (Fletcher) and one of his classmates have become possessed by aliens.

Of course no one believes him… except the school nurse (Black).  Now it is up to the young boy and the school nurse to save the world.

Invaders from Mars is not a good movie. I kept watching trying to figure out how much was a wink at the original 1953 film and how much was just an updated misfire.

If you take Invaders from Mars as a dream the boy had, it kind of makes more sense.  It explains how the kid is the real star of the film and why he has more brains than the adults, including military leaders.  It also explains the goofy (and far from scary) aliens.  It doesn’t explain the famous final scene though.

Invaders from Mars has good actors that don’t prove it with this movie.  Hunter Carson is Karen Black’s son and maybe Tobe Hooper got a two-fer;  Black would do the movie if her son got to play the kid.  Sadly, all poor Carson gets to do is repeatedly look scared and run flailing his arms.  Louise Fletcher’s most memorable scene is when she turns around with a frog hanging from her mouth.  I do applaud that Jimmy Hunt (who played the kid in the original film) is brought back to play a small role in this remake.

Invaders from Mars is one of those rare movies that I make it all the way through and then decide, it’s not for me.  Invaders from Mars rates 1 of 5 stars.