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Ghosts of Mars (Special Edition)

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Editorial Reviews

From John Carpenter, the master of horror behind 1998's hit John Carpenter's Vampires and classics like The Thing and Halloween, comes a sci-fi thriller full of explosive action and bone-chilling suspense. Natasha Henstridge (Species) is Melanie Ballard, a headstrong police lieutenant on Mars in the year 2025. Humans have been colonizing and mining on the red planet for some time, but when Ballard and her squad are sent to a remote region to apprehend the dangerous criminal James "Desolation" Williams, played by Ice Cube (Three Kings), they discover that he's the least of their worries. The mining operations have unleashed a deadly army of Martian spirits who take over the bodies of humans and won't stop until they destroy all invaders of their planet. With a stellar cast including Pam Grier (Jackie Brown), Jason Statham (Snatch) and Clea Duvall (The Faculty), as well as explosive special effects, John Carpenter's GHOSTS OF MARS is an intergalactic terror fest like you've never seen.


Special Features

  • Video diary: Red Desert Nights
  • Featurette: "Scoring Ghost of Mars"
  • Special effects (SFX) deconstructions

Product Details

  • Actors: Joanna Cassidy, Ice Cube, Natasha Henstridge, Pam Grier, Jason Statham
  • Directors: John Carpenter
  • Producers: Sandy King
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 4, 2001
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CY6P
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,170 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ghosts of Mars (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By S. Harris on June 27, 2004
Format: DVD
It's John Carpenter, so what does everyone expect? I know what I expected, and "Ghosts of Mars" pretty much delivered. Thudding sound track, B-movie dialogue, heads on stakes, "Road Warrior" like zanies with metal sticking out of their faces stalking the "good" guys. Bring on the popcorn. Then there's a humorous twist. The "guys" in this future world live in a Matriarchy. Guys make the coffee, defer to the women, but also are told to deal with mechanical problems when they arise. (Well, at least the "breeder" - Jason Statham as Jericho - does.) Carpenter works all kinds of little jokes into the script on this wrinkle alone. Natasha Henstridge as the tough cop hero, and Ice Cube, as the con hero, are serviceable - and they know when to shoot, kick, and punch. And that's all that's needed here. I don't know who the main Martian is (he looks like Marilyn Manson in Kabuki), but he's perfect! Four stars for operating well within genre.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Costantino on March 18, 2003
Format: DVD
John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars has pretty much everything I'm looking for in a Horror film. A barely plausible storyline, Wisconsin-French dialogue (Cheez-ay!), non-stop action, gore, eye candy (Natasha "Shoulda Got Naked Like She Did in Species" Henstridge), and a killer soundtrack.
"Whatever used to live here we woke it up."
The cast is great, Ice Cube as Desolation Williams and Mrs. Henstridge as Melanie Ballard are awesome in their roles. Pam Grier has a head supporting role, and her best line is "Who goes there?" which is a sly nod from Carpenter to his insane masterpiece The Thing (based on the story Who Goes There?).
Decapitations, body mutilations, an angry army of Martian Ghost Zombies and plenty of jolts make this a worthy 98 minute diversion. Watching this you can just tell that everyone was enjoying the hell out of making the film. Which is the best part about seeing a Carpenter movie, you know that big studio tampering was either kept to a minimum or eliminated altogether. A masterful mix of sci-fi and horror that seems destined to become a cult favorite, just like John Carpenter.
Any fan of no brainer popcorn flicks should check this movie out.
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Format: DVD
Despite the basically unexplained absurdity of the whole storyline, Ghosts of Mars is a pretty entertaining film to watch, what with all of the explosions, gun battles, decapitations, and bare-fisted brawls riding the crests of John Carpenter's hard-driving musical score. Sure, it takes a little while to put the characters in place and set the Martian scene for us, but once the gauntlet drops, it's pretty much on. You don't need a lot of character development in an action thriller like this one because you know most of the characters you meet aren't going to survive in the end, anyway. I do have to deduct some points for the whole flashback business, though. It's bad enough that the bulk of the film is presented as a flashback, but when you start putting flashbacks inside your flashbacks, I've got to stop you right there and call Shenanigans. Flashbacks within flashbacks should be the sole province of fifth-year, we've-run-out-of-ideas sit-coms.

It's the year 2176 and man has established a strong presence on Mars, setting up mining colonies all over the increasingly terra-formed planet. Society is set up along matriarchal lines, which should be interesting but isn't because the story just throws that out there and does nothing with it. It certainly does nothing to stop the practice of male sexism because Sgt. Jericho Butler (Jason Statham, who always brings plenty of action to the party) spends most of his time (when he's not fighting for his life, of course), trying to get into the 22nd century knickers of his superior officer Lt. Melanie Ballard (Natasha Henstridge). Ballard and Jericho are part of a quintet of cops dispatched to a remote post to pick up a prisoner and bring him back for trial.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 8, 2004
Format: DVD
Ghosts of Mars (John Carpenter, 2001)
Man, was everyone down on this movie or what? Come on, folks. This wasn't great art, and it wasn't meant to be. It's simple turn-your-brain-off fun that follows the formula of most of John Carpenter's earlier flicks to every dotted I and crossed T. And while that seems to be exactly what had the fans howling in the aisles, please, folks, help me out here.
Okay, so all the guns exist today even though it's in the future. (Escape from New York, anyone?) The bad guys look a lot more like the guys from GWAR than they do actual bad guys. (Vampires, They Live, erm, the crazies from Escape from New York.) The action runs a very taut line between not gory enough and ludicrously faked. (Escape from New York-- are you sensing a pattern here?) So what? Everyone overlooked it twenty years ago.
The basic idea is that a team of space marines has to go get a prisoner, Desolation Jones (Ice Cube of Trespass and Friday fame), from a remote outpost and take him back to HQ to stand trial. Problem is, when they get there, they found out a whole lot of crimes matching the ones he's supposed to have committed have happened while he was in his holding cell. So the team, headed up by a drug-addled Lieutenant (Natasha McElhone), her commander (Pam Grier), and their new officer, an overly cocky and wildly oversexed Sergeant (Jason Statham, best known for his Guy Ritchie films) figure there's something nasty going on, and have to figure out what it is and how to stop it before the train, which has gone on to make a few more stops, gets back.
No, you're not going to find great acting, the plot's been done before, and, well, it's about as silly as can be. But folks, that's pretty much what John Carpenter has always been about, from Dark Star till the present day.
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