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Ghosts of Mars

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence/gore, language and some drug content
not reviewed
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Action, Sci-Fi
1 hr. 38 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
August 24, 2001
Featuring: Ice Cube, Natasha Henstridge, Jason Statham, Pam Grier, Clea Duvall
Director: John Carpenter
Producer: Sandy King
Distributor: Columbia Tristar

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: (from the producer) Set in the year 2025, humans have moved to Mars. They have organized a division of labor and they are mining the planet for natural resources. However, when one mining team digs up a long-buried pod full of aliens, and the bodies of the human workers are instantly inhabited by the strange beings, a war ignites. What first seems to be a battle against crime for justice suddenly turns into a human battle for survival against the haunting alien force.

Viewer Comments
Negative—“Ghosts of Mars” was a macabre and repugnant movie. It was filled with self-mutilation, decapitations, massacres, people tearing their skin, piercing themselves with knifes-scissors-forks and hacking themselves and each other. At one point these demonic “Ghost of Mars” gathered around a fire and appeared to be worshiping what I would describe as a satanic figure. It was at this point that we walked out. I picked this movie (unfortunately) on an evening when we had an unexpected “kid-free” night and we decided to go to the movies on an impulse. We usually go to the movies with our 15-year-old son and we are careful about the movies we select, but since it was an “unplanned” movie night, I did not get a chance to read any of the reviews about this movie. I selected the movie by the title (thinking it was sci-fi) and the PG-13 rating. BIG MISTAKE.

I am a born-again Christian but I don’t consider myself “squeamish”. There are some movies that I will not see due to intense profanity, violence or sexual content, but there are some movies that contain some of these elements that I would consider “a good movie for mature audiences” like “The Shawshank Redemption”, “Gattaca”, and even “The Matrix”. But even these movies are not for everyone. I can’t imagine anyone who would like this movie. “Ghost of Mars” was over the top with unadulterated EVIL and it has no redeeming value. Do yourself a favor: save your money and time—SKIP this movie.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1½]
—Norah Casas, age 42
Movie Critics
…gruesome self-mutilation… tearing at their skin, poking themselves with sharp, pointed objects, slashing themselves, sharpening their teeth, cutting off their faces and wearing them as masks, etc…
…at least 26 “f” words… explicit and non-explicit, sexually related dialogue…
…if you’re a fan of mutilation, dismemberment and decapitation, have I got a movie for you! John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars (that is the full title) is a flick that makes director Paul Verhoeven look like an effeminate humanist…
—J. Robert Parks, The Phantom Tollbooth