I didn’t really know what to watch when I started up Shudder, but it wasn’t long until I spotted Invaders from Mars. I had forgotten that this forgotten Tobe Hooper movie had been added to the service. I’m always interested in seeing any movie of his that I haven’t seen before. I remembered seeing a video about it from GoodBad Flicks but didn’t remember anything from the video.
Invaders from Mars was written by Dan O’Bannon and Don Jakoby and the script was based on the script of the original movie by Richard Blake. I’ve not seen the original movie, so I had no base for what to expect from the story in the movie. Tobe Hooper was able to make this into a kid’s movie that only he could have made. This is another one of his movies that shows how versatile Hooper was as a filmmaker. There’s such a distinct otherworldly vibe to the movie that carries the movie throughout the runtime.
The cast helps the movie with the surreal otherworldly vibe. Karen Black, Hunter Carson, Timothy Bottoms, Laraine Newman, James Karen, Bud Cort, and Louise Fletcher star. Louise Fletcher is fantastic as the kind of antagonistic character you expect when you see her onscreen. Mrs. McKeltch is on par with Nurse Ratched as an opposing force to the protagonist, though far less manipulative. Karen Black and Hunter Carson made a hell of a duo of protags. I didn’t realize that they were mother and son when I watched the movie, but it did explain the closeness between the two onscreen. All of the performances are so much fun with how weird they get.
The effects in the movie are just so amazing but I would expect nothing less from Stan Winston. The different Invaders are something that I’ve not seen before and will almost certainly not see again. The way they move is so different than what would be possible from a man in a rubber suit. John Dykstra also did work on the visual effects used in the film which added that little extra to the movie. The music from David Storrs and Christopher Young is fantastic. The score adds extra elements to the movie that make the movie have such a surreal quality.
Invaders from Mars is the exact kind of kid’s movie that you would expect from Tobe Hooper that wouldn’t be made nowadays. This is another movie that goes against the lie that’s been spread about Poltergeist being directed by Spielberg instead of Hooper. I’ve only recently learned of that lie and it has blown my mind the more that I’ve seen of Hooper’s filmography. This fits right in with Poltergeist when it shows what Hooper could do when making a kid’s movie with an edge. I give Invaders from Mars 9.5 pennies out of 10.