Speaking of hacks and crap. Aside from that, I don’t believe there is any further relation between Steve and John Carpenter, but it’s too close to begin with.This Carpenter, so self-assured and self-consecrated that he has to put his name in and before the title (not the first time either). One might posit that that ego could use a deflating blow. Set on Mars in 2176, the first thing we notice from Natasha Henstridge’s raiment is that in 175-years, there has been no improvement in clothing. Recounted by Henstridge, she tells the story of why she was the only survivor from a routine prison transfer in a Martian mining town. It’s an untypically bad “survivor” tale, as each member of the crew or prisoners are picked off one by one by the proliferative “ghosts,” which enter and take over human bodies as hosts until killed, then jumping to the next available host. (Like Azazel did in Fallen.) That of course renders the Martians unconquerable, as they are led by a reject Marilyn Manson/Alice Cooper/KISS daguerreotype. Carpenter and co-writer Larry Sulkis use a cheap omnipresent narrative device that lets Henstridge recall and explain what happened to others when she wasn’t there with them. (“So-and-so reported to me…” somehow not missing a single detail and seeing it through their eyes.) Ghosts of Mars is horribly edited, shot (with red gels), designed, imagined, etc. When is the last time that John Carpenter made any substantial horror movie? He never was much proficient to begin with, with one major success under his belt—Halloween—but even his better prolusions (e.g., Escape from L.A., The Thing) are much lesser in achievement. That’s the definition of a hack: John Carpenter. All his other Vampires or Bodybags, etc. counteract any small whiffs of accomplishment. The only thing that prevented me from walking out was Clea Du Vall, who ended up making it nearly to the end before being decapitated. Had she not been there, neither would I.
With Ice Cube, Jason Statham and Pam Grier.Final Verdict: F.