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Invaders from Mars (1986) – 80s Remake of 1953 Classic Falls Short of Original, But Still Fun

Last night I watched the 1986 remake of the 1953 Sci-Fi classic, Invaders from Mars and was surprisingly pleased: this campy homage to the original managed to stay true to the cheezy, innocence of the first film.

I watched this with two friends that didn’t seem nearly as into the film as I was, which was too bad, as I don’t think they gave it the chance it deserved.

Here’s the gist of the story: A flying saucer lands just over the hill from the back yard of a family during a meteor shower, who’s young, intelligent and imaginative son, David Gardner, is the only witness to this event. Excitedly, he runs and wakes his parents and tells them what he saw. Soon he is put back to bed, after being told that he obviously imagined the event. Still, his father George Gardner, who works the Space Agency decides that he should go out and check out the spot David pointed out, just in case.

The next morning, David and his mother report his father missing, calling the local police. While the police I searching, George returns, with a wooden, to the point and sullen attitude. Soon the police arrive back, affecting a similar attitude as George. They all insist that all is well, but in fact, they’ve all been taken over by the Martians. Each now sport a tiny wound at the base of the neck – the spot where a probe has been injected that allows the Martians to control their victims/agents. One by one, more and more people from the town and nearby NASA base are being co-opted by the Martians, including David’s mother.

At school, David is agitated (hey his folks have come under the control of aliens), and is sent to the nurse, Linda Magnusson(played by consumate B-Movie actress, Karen Black) by a bitchy teacher. The nurse realizes that David is extremely upset and listens to his incredible tale (including the bit about the would on the neck of those co-opted). At first she believes he is imagining things until she to notices behavioural changes in those around her, and the fact that many people are sporting bandages at the base of their necks. Soon Linda and David are on the run – they end up at NASA, speaking to a big wig that actually listens. Soon a plan is formed to fight the invaders.

A silly movie, intentionally, Invaders from Mars keeps enough of the campiness of the original, with a modern (well, 1986 modern) update. The real Martians, when you eventually see them are pretty cool looking (and not CGI – this is all practical effects). Very cheezy, totally campy and fun. I say go ahead and watch this one.

Here’s the trailer:

And looky here – here`s the whole damned movie:


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