Ghosts of Mars
dir. Carpenter
Opens August 24
Various Theaters

Okay! The following plot summary for John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars is fairly complicated, but try to stay with me. First, there's Mars. It's the year 2176, and colonists from Earth are digging ore out of the ground. For what, I dunno. Now, the colonists are ruled by a matriarchy. Why, I dunno (but I suspect it's because Carpenter wanted to add some lesbians to the mix). So there's this group of cops (three gals, two guys) who are sent to one of the colonies to bring back Ice Cube, who we are led to believe is a murderer, but surprise! He really isn't. Anyway, the cops arrive at the colony, and what's this?? Everybody is dead and hanging upside down with their heads cut off. And the cops are like, "Damn you, Ice Cube!!"

But see, it's not Ice Cube. According to a survivor who is a lesbian/scientist/balloonist (don't ask), it's actually these weird bio-organism ghosts of an ancient Martian race who are really pissed about all the colonialism going on, so they're jumping into the bodies of the Earthlings and turning them into crazy killers who look like mutant modern primitives from Burning Man.

Oh. And I forgot to mention our cop hero (Natasha Henstridge from Species) is kind of a drug addict but that's not important right now. Anyway, Natasha is forced to team up with Cube to drop the whup-ass on the Burning Man zombies, who throw circular saw blades and scream "Da-Da-DAAAAAAAA!!"

So. As we can see, in the future, there is not much need for logic on the planet Mars. However, that doesn't mean that Ghosts of Mars isn't a moderate hoot--especially if you love decapitations. While I'm normally not a fan of beheadings, Ghosts supplies some of the funniest and most crowd-pleasing decapitations of the modern cinema.

Though it's sometimes impossible to decipher whether John Carpenter is being ironic or just stupid, he sure does know how to make a good B-movie. And while Ghosts is not on the same caliber as Escape from New York or Halloween, it's far better than his lesser efforts, Vampires and Escape from L.A. And the decapitations are Saaaa-weet!