Ghosts Of Mars
Ghosts of Mars (titled onscreen as John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars) is a 2001 American science fiction action horror film written, directed and scored by John Carpenter. It was produced by Screen Gems and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. The film stars Natasha Henstridge, Ice Cube, Jason Statham, Pam Grier, Clea DuVall, and Joanna Cassidy. Set on a colonized Mars in the 22nd century, the film follows a squad of police officers and a convicted criminal who fight against the residents of a mining colony who have been possessed by the ghosts of the planet's original inhabitants.
Ghosts of Mars
Desolation's associates soon arrive and force Ballard and Butler to release him. While they originally plan on leaving the officers and remaining miners to die, Ballard convinces them to work together to survive. Their initial effort to escape is halted when the army of feral miners converge on their position, killing, injuring and infecting several of their number. Confronted by Ballard, Whitlock eventually explains that she fled from her post after discovering an ancient underground vault created by an extinct Martian civilization. When the door to the vault was opened, it released hostile spirits or "ghosts", which took possession of the workers, causing their violent behavior. Killing a possessed human merely releases the Martian spirit to possess another host. Ballard surmises that these Martian spirits believe humans to be an invading race. Ballard is briefly possessed until Butler feeds her a hallucinogenic drug, which forces the Martian spirit to leave her body.
The mining camp seems empty when the cops arrive. Henstridge is joined by Helena (Pam Grier), Bashira (Clea Duvall), Jericho (Jason Statham) and Uno (Duane Davis). They start finding bodies. Desolation is still in jail, proving he could not be the killer, and eventually a survivor named Whitlock (Joanna Cassidy) tells the story of how the miners found the entrance to a long-buried tunnel. It led to a door which, when merely touched, crumbled into dust and released, yes, the ghosts of Mars. They possessed humans and turned them into killing machines, to take, she says, "vengeance on anyone who tries to lay claim to their planet." That's the setup. The payoff is a series of well-staged action sequences, made atmospheric by the rusty red atmosphere which colors everything. At one point the cops barricade themselves inside the mining camp's police station, which will remind Carpenter fans of his first feature, "Assault on Precinct 13." There is also something about the ghoulish way the possessed miners lurch into action that has a touch of the Living Dead movies.
Statham was reportedly up for the main role of convict Desolation Williams in Ghosts Of Mars, though the studio didn't think he had the star power to sell the movie. Ice Cube took on that part, while Statham was instead cast as Officer Jericho. The movie takes place on a terraformed Mars in 2176 and sees a group of cops and criminals defending themselves from a horde of miners possessed by vengeful Martian ghosts. In addition to providing Statham with his first onscreen kiss - courtesy of Species' Natasha Henstridge - it was also an early indicator of his action prowess.
When they arrive, they find the mining outpost abandoned. They slowly realize all the residents have been possessed by ancient Martian ghosts who make them engage in various forms of violence against others and themselves. There are a lot of sharp objects and mutilations involved. The police team has to figure out a way to destroy these spirits, which possess a new body whenever one victim is killed.
Having humans on Mars discovering ancient alien ghosts is a fine place to start, but without clarification of what exactly is going on and why we should care, it's hard to get invested in this story.
The year is 2176 and Mars has being colonized by miners. Their matriarchal society is destroyed when they disturb ruins of an ancient Martian civilization and set off a doomsday defense system programmed to unleash ghosts that will destroy any alien presence. When a cop (Natasha Henstridge) arrives with her team, transferring a notorious criminal (Ice Cube), they find the Earth colonists dead; the only survivors are the outpost's criminals, all neatly tucked away in the local jail. However, Martian ghosts remain bent on possessing the intruders. Also with Jason Statham, Clea DuVall, Pam Grier, Joanna Cassidy and Richard Cetrone. [1:55]
VIOLENCE/GORE 9 - When the Martian ghosts "infect" a human host they begin performing gruesome self-mutilation; we see people 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. (there is a lot of blood and lots of squishy, slurpy sounds during the few scenes that depict this). We see a man in a vehicle with a knife as he slashes his own throat; there's a lot of blood, some of which sprays on the windshield. One woman who has been infected seems to vomit a red cloud. A man grabs a grenade just as it explodes, and he flies through the air. There are several scenes showing ghosts being shot and we often zoom in on their bloody faces. We see a man being thrashed with a sword and eventually beheaded as a crowd chants. Ghosts attack a group of people in several scenes by throwing saw blades and spears; a man is hit in the head and falls to the ground, a man is speared, a man loses his arm and then his head to a saw blade, a woman is decapitated also, a man is cut across the throat (blood spurts), a man is hit with a blade, and a woman is cut in the leg. A mob of ghosts grab a man and thrash him with sharp weapons. A ghost crashes through the roof of a building where he is set on fire; we see him smoldering and with a partially melted face. A group of people open fire on ghosts several times; these scenes show a lot of carnage, ghosts being shot, people being slashed, stabbed and decapitated, kicking, and punching. We see some ghosts who snarl and have bloody faces, mouths and teeth. A woman is attacked by some ghosts who swing at her with sharp weapons; one is shot and one is beaten (presumably to death) with the butt of a gun. We see a man stitching up a large bloody gash on a woman's leg. A group of people walk through a ghost town and two of them come upon a building filled with hanging, headless bodies covered with blood. Another group of people discovers a similar scene with hanging, headless, very bloody bodies. A man discovers a field with heads stuck on posts (we see this a few times); we see a Martian ghost putting one head on a post and hear it squish as the post goes through. A severed hand falls from a guillotine type mechanism, small bottles filled with bloody body parts hang from a ceiling, two people enter a building and see blood splattered walls and furniture and puddles of blood in a hallway. A man cuts his thumb off with a machete while trying to open a can (we see blood spurting out from the stump and a blood soaked bandage). There are several discussions of gruesome murders which left the victims mutilated, and there's a reference to a "slaughterhouse." There are a few jump scenes; a man comes around a corner and is startled by another man coming around the other side with a gun drawn, ghosts attack humans from behind, a door is thrown open and a woman in a sort of a trance falls out. A man and woman fight with punches and kicks and then the woman is knocked out by a punch in the nose; we see some blood trickle. A woman grabs a man and holds him down nearly breaking his arm after he threatens her verbally. A man threatens two women with a knife held to their throats, and several people are threatened with guns. We see a woman with a bloody cut on her neck several times. There are many explosions and fires, and there's a nuclear explosion which shakes people on a nearby train, a mining compound is destroyed, and a train car explodes. We see a wave of red particle dust several times: once through a tunnel causing people to run and scream, once over a hillside washing over people, and once approaching a settlement. A train lurches as we hear a report of a huge dust storm approaching, a woman crashes in a modified weather balloon resulting in an explosion and fire. We see a woman handcuffed to the berth of a train car a few times. A ghost train drives through a dark, red, dusty, windy countryside. 041b061a72