When Hollywood needs a place to stir up some sci-fi space capers, they often look no further than our neighbor, Mars. With myriad films dating back to the golden age of cinema, the desolate red planet has been home to many adventures, with aliens and monsters among the list of obstacles man must face in trying to find a new home away from home. Think you’ve seen them all? Today’s Here’s 5 are Mar movies you probably never saw.
H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds (2005)You're no doubt you're thinking, what do you mean? I saw this, it starred Tom Cruise. Nope. This was a direct-to-DVD release starring Thomas C. Howell and was made entirely to cash in on the publicity of the bigger budgeted film. It basically follows the same story except with far less convincing visual effects and lots of cheesy dialogue, making the mistake of trying to a serious adaptation rather than really having some fun with the premise. Oh, it has a sequel.
Red Planet (2000)With Earth dying from overpopulation and pollution, it's time to head to space and make a new home on Mars. Leave it to the Americans to start things off as an exploratory team must deal with differing personalities as they struggle to stay alive after a major equipment malfunction leaves them stranded. A pretty shallow story and some awkward dialog leave this mediocre space epic adrift, even with a robot dog named AMEE. Failure to liftoff.
The Last Days on Mars (2013)On the last day of a manned mission to Mars, one of the crew makes a startling discovery that changes everything. Wanting to keep the glory for himself rather than for the next crew soon arriving, he disobeys orders and goes to collect it. Bad move. It's Martian zombies. A tepid horror movie that tries too hard to be a bit of sci-fi and thriller, this one has a great concept but is ultimately forgettable. Can't fault the cast though, who are all good, especially Liev Schreiber and Elias Koteas.
Stranded (2001)When an accident while attempting to land the first manned mission to Mars leaves the commander dead and their ship incapacitated, the survivors need to find a way to stay alive until a rescue can be mounted. That means only two of the five can stay with the ship and the others must fend for themselves. Luckily, there are some mysterious maze-like structures hidden in the mists of a nearby canyon. Should they explore? Duh. With Johnny Ramone in your cast (in his only acting credit), how could you go wrong?
Martian Child (2007)So yes, not technically a movie on Mars, this little film sees a widowed man named David Gordon (John Cusack) seeking to adopt and is introduced to Dennis (Bobby Coleman), a little boy who believes he is from Mars and won't come out of his cardboard box. A touching little film about what it means to be an Earthling, it's bit soggy and manipulative but sometimes that's just what we sappy humans need.