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The tagline for John Carpenters latest film, Ghost of Mars declares: You dont Stand a Ghost of a Chance. I assume thats directed toward the audience, but it really should be a message to the filmmakers.
This is not really surprising. After all, you dont hear too many folks say My goodness, John Carpenter made an awful movie, how did that happen?
Though he showed promise earlier in his career, directing near-classics such as Halloween, The Thing, and Escape from New York, Carpenters recent work has been, more or less, dreadful. Can you remember the utterly forgettable Memoirs of an Invisible Man? How about In The Mouth of Madness, or Vampires? If they dont sound familiar, youre better off.
In his latest stinker, Ghosts of Mars, Carpenter once again comes through and delivers the dumbest film of the year (though the upcoming Bubble Boy may surpass.).
Sent to retrieve dangerous prisoner Desolation Williams (Ice Cube from Friday and Three Kings), a team of cops lead by Pam Grier (Jackie Brown) and Natasha Henstridge (Species) walks right into a mining town overrun by ancient flying Martians who turn people into self-mutilating berserkers. Seriously, thats what happens.
Soon the ever-shrinking circle of good guys are duking it out with the crazed mob. Blazing guns and heavy metal (supplied by Buckethead and Anthrax) roar for what seems like an eternity as the crew blasts away hundreds of bad guys, with no end in sight.
The entire second half of the film is made up of this tedious engagement. When the beyond-clichéd Get out of here, its going to blow! finally comes, it is a great relief those words usually signal the end to a bad movie.
Supporting players/targets include Clea DuVall (Girl Interrupted), Jason Statham (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) and Joanna Cassidy (Blade Runner). They have very little to do besides running, shooting, shouting and shooting some more.
Despite some wonderful moments of unintentional comedy (the main bad guy is hilariously corny) there is nothing of interest in this film.
If you see it, youll be haunted by the realization that you wasted $9.
Reach Qguide writer Glen Ferrara by e-mail at email@example.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 139.
©2001 Community Newspaper Group
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