Damn it, I don't have time anymore! I'm assuming I'm still just getting used to my new lifestyle and that someday, one day, I will wake up from this busy coma. I better at least. I think a lack of blogging makes me feel depressed. Is that normal? Anyways, a few nights ago I decided to watch Mars Attacks! For no particular reason other than the fact that I hadn't seen it in a long time and that one particular scene always used to give me nightmares (I kid you not). Then when I started watching it I realized a few things and here are those things. Things that I'm going to talk about right now.
1. I GET IT NOW
When I saw this when I was younger, I had no clue about old Sci-Fi films. I think I thought Star Wars was the first, last and only Sci-Fi film ever made because I have no memory of ever thinking about or watching anything else. Mars Attacks just seemed like a weird bad movie to me. It was over the top and ridiculous and the aliens wore little red speedos?
I mean what the hell was going on there?
Now however as I find myself to be semi-well versed in the art of horror and Sci-Fi movies....I get Mars Attacks! It's a homage, a spoof, and it contains so many little nods of joy that it's almost challenging to keep track of them. My favorite aspect is how the alien spaceships are so classic in their ultra retro saucer shape.
It gives them that eerie characteristic of floating as if by a string although this time they're floating thanks to poorly orchestrated CGI. No matter though, these alien spaceships are nice little throwbacks to a time when this design was the only one that we knew. Neat isn't it?
2. Who isn't in Mars Attacks?
Again, when you are young and impressionable---any actors that are older than 30 (or who are not Jack Nicholson) mean nothing to you. Due to this, I had no clue that Mars Attacks had such a fantastically star studded cast. Annette Benning was the loopy, hippie, woman?!
Natalie Portman is the presidents daughter? JACK BLACK is the douche head bro?
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE is the trailer slut next door? PAM GRIER?
This movie hurts my head. Plus, Tom Jones, Sarah Jessica Parker, Marty McFly, Pierce Brosnan, Martin Short, Jack Nicholson, Danny Devito.....the list forges on and on and on and on.
3. The Martian Girl Haunts My Dreams
If you aren't a total whiz at Tim Burton and his trademarks and style (Or if you do not read the "Trivia" section of IMDB), then presumably you do not know who Lisa Marie is. Lisa Marie by the way is NOT the same person as Lisa Marie Presley, however much myself of the past would like to believe it to be true. Nope, Lisa Marie is actually an ex of Burton himself which therefore equals face time in a few of his films. Like Ed Wood where she played Vampira, or in Sleepy Hollow where she played Lady Crane. Here in Mars Attacks, Lisa Marie plays the Martian Girl also known as one of the main reasons I have an irrational fear of people floating.
One of these days I will form of a collection of scary people floating moments, and certainly this one may take the top spot. I dreaded this scene so much when I was little, that I would change the channel when it was happening. I hate the way that the Martian Girl floats as she walks with her arms doing that weird thing and the scary Danny Elfman in the background. It really gives me the willies.
4. Shit Is Serious (Only Not)
I couldn't help but notice as I re-watched Mars Attacks last night, that shit is serious. If you take away the fact that film is a comedy and a spoof then you're left with one brutal and depressing film. I read (In the trivia section yes) that the studio objected to Jack Nicholson being killed off in the film and proclaimed that he simply could not be killed. This of course prompted Burton to place Nicholson in two roles....and kill both of them. The point is. Jack Nicholson? That's all we care about?
In case you've forgotten, pretty much anyone who is anyone dies in Mars Attacks. This is a case of the Janet Leigh syndrome multiplied by 30 and shoved up your butt. Not only that, but entire branches of the government are wiped out in mere seconds---and cute golden retrievers get fried as a mere afterthought. There's a lot of carnage in Mars Attacks, and when you're 10 years old--that whole "Oh this is a comedy so it's okay" thing does NOT apply. I was horrified to see Marty McFly's skeleton roasting in the desert sun.
Horrified to see Glenn Close get crushed by a falling chandelier. Horrified to see that cute golden golden retriever get fried. Which reminds me...
5. Dark and Loving It
Mars Attacks is dark yo. And believe it or not--much of it was supposed to be even darker. Several scenes or ideas for scenes were cut out of the final project that would have tipped the scales indefinitely towards the dark side. Scenes like Mr. Lee in the beginning being trampled to death by the herd of burning cows,
Byron actually dying and just more and more frying of people by the martians. Looking at Mars Attacks is one of those situations that confuses my head. I know it's supposed to be funny and a spoof, but watching all these seemingly innocent people get killed in 2 seconds for no good reason---has always left me with a bit of a sad face.
It terrified me as a child, seeing all these well known landmarks being wiped off the face of the earth.
I kept picturing myself watching my own family get killed by the martians, my own dog, my neighbors and friends. In fact, I'm about 90% sure that at this point in my life, I feared an alien attack more than a shark attack. And it was definitely Mars Attacks that kept me more afraid than a film like Independence Day. Can you believe it? Me neither. Suffice to say, Mars Attacks holds more weight than a lot of people give it credit for. Let's have a moment of silence for all those lost in the martian attacks of 1996 shall we?