This one’s for Duke, who specifically mentioned Mars Attacks! when we were talking about doing 90’s monsters for this month.
“Ack ack ack!”
Tim Burton’s tongue-in-cheek homage to 1950’s sci-fi movies – and the 1960’s trading cards with the same name – was a bit of a flop. I think it’s hilarious myself, with a ton of then A-List stars embracing the cheese. It still has my favorite Tom Jones scene ever. “I know how to fly a plane!” It was always going to come in second to the OTHER alien invasion flick of the 1990’s – Independence Day – though. The 1990’s weren’t ready for the dark hilarity that Mars Attacks! presented. (And I wonder, sometimes, what Burton’s proposed Dinosaurs Attack! movie would have been like, had Jurassic Park not come out first.) Maybe we’re not ready yet, as the movie can feel pretty big, loud, dumb and mean-spirited.
All that being said, I love the Martians themselves so much that I forgive the film’s foibles as a whole. They’re CGI of that particularly plastic variety that most 90’s flicks seemed to suffer with, but I think it works for these guys. They’re basically cartoons, after all. I love their look, I love their tech, and I love their sense of humor – violent and dark as it is. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it – and I feel the need for some “ack ack ack!” if you know what I mean.
And I know you know what I mean.