John Carpenter's Ghosts Of Mars

on August 24, 2001 by Dwayne E. Leslie
   After mutilated bodies are found at a miners colony on Mars, the Martian law enforcement accuses the planet's most notorious criminal, James "Desolation" Williams (Ice Cube), of the crime. A small squad sent to bring him in discovers the area uncharacteristically deserted. Soon they are in a situation way above their heads as they are forced to battle an ancient zombie warrior race that travels around as a red mist until it finds a human host. With no other alternative, the police form a temporary alliance with the criminals. Now they have to rely on each other's talents to annihilate the enemy and escape the colony alive.

   "John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars" relies heavily on multiple character flashbacks to fill gaps in the story. After the first few reenactments, the practice seems stale. The film shows sparks of promise with its battle royale action; unfortunately, that action looks as fake as a WWF match.

   Natasha Henstridge proves likable for the targeted audience, but the filmmakers fail to utilize the talented Pam Grier beyond a cameo; the following she has generated throughout the years will be less than pleased with her quick demise. They could have at least brought her back as a badass zombie warrior. Starring Natasha Henstridge, Ice Cube, Clea Duvall and Pam Grier. Directed by John Carpenter. Produced by Sandy King. Written by John Carpenter and Larry Sulkis. A Screen Gems release. SF/horror/action. Rated R for strong violence/gore, language and some drug content. Running time: 93 min

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