1-11 - Movie Review: MARS ATTACKS!Warner Bros. Pictures
1996
PG-13

“I want to thank my Grandma for always being so good to me, and, and for helping save the world and everything.”

AWAKE, EARTHLINGS! It’s later than you think. Don’t miss this hilarious frenzy as Tim Burton directs–and Mars Attacks! SEE!…stars that shine across the galaxy. Jack Nicholson (in a dual role), Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito and a dozen more! SHRIEK!…at mean, green invaders from the angry red planet! Armed with insta-fry ray guns, endowed with slimy, humongous brains–and enlivened with out-of-this-world but state-of-the-art special effects. GASP!…as the U. S. legislature is overwhelmed. (Don’t fear, we still have 2 out of 3 branches of the government working for us, and that ain’t bad!) THRILL!…as Earth fights back with an unexpected weapon. Take that, Martians!

We have movies based on books, television shows, cartoons, toys, video games, comic books, and even movies based on board games. But, how many movies can boast being based on a series of bubble gum trading cards? Two, that I can think of: the Garbage Pail Kids Movie, and Mars Attacks!. And since I have no intention of watching the former, it gives me great tingly pleasure to tell you about the later.

After an incident involving a stamped of spontaneously combusting cattle, a horde of Martian space ships arrive on Earth, causing more than a bit of a stir in the general population of this fine planet of ours. After massive speculation and news coverage, the Martians finally make first contact with the President and several other representatives of the Human Race populating the planet…where they proclaim their peaceful intentions by zapping everyone there with their death ray in psychotic glee. Of course, all the politicians think this is a result of a misunderstanding, to which they try and reach out to the Martians again…which ends up exactly as how you would expect it, only with more pointing, laughing and general mockery on behalf of the Martian invaders. While the human population is being subjected to either a fiery death or horrific experimentation by the invaders, every attempt to strike back fails…until a plucky bunch of unlikely survivors stumble upon the Martian’s Kryptonite: the music stylings of Slim Whitman. That’s been known to make my head explode, as well.

I remember watching this in the theater along with my buddy Scott and loving every single cheeseball minute of it. Even now, so many years later, I like to throw it on and revel in the intentionally cheesy homage to the Sci-Fi B-movies of yore. Sure, the pie-plate-and-string saucers and rubber suit with visible zippers are replaced by 90s-era CGI, but everything that makes the old movies like this fun are there: the hammy acting, the star-studded cast working it all with a scene-chewing glee, the fun absurdity of the story, the whole thing ending on Tom Jones aping a Disney animated movie scene. Yeah, I can understand why so many just don’t get the movie and don’t like it as much. But for me, this is the glorious homage to the cheesiness that I love so very, very much. Mars Attacks! comes recommended by your Uncle NecRo.

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