My [Martian Movie Marathon](/2003/08/27/martian-movie-marathon/) is progressing. After I watched the quite crummy [original of Invasion from Mars](/2003/08/31/invasion-from-mars-1953/), I continued with the updated version. The story is basically the same: A spaceship from Mars lands behind the young guy David’s house and starts to take over people in the little town. After a lot of running and screaming, the USMC is brought in who save the day by shooting things and blowing stuff up.
As I had expected it was quite interesting to see the two movies side by side. Sure, the 1986 edition isn’t exactly hard sci-fi, but it manages to avoid the glaring mistakes of the original. The story is more tightly presented, with updated effects and sets and much, much better acting. It’s not exactly a piece of art, but it can be watched without one’s eyes starting to bleed.
There are even some inside jokes; for example, while searching the hill behind David’s house, the sheriff says “I haven’t been here since I was a kid”. The same guy plays David in the original movie, according to the DVD text. I also appreciated that the designers tried to keep some sets close to the original. David’s house and the hill behind it look a lot like their 1950s counterparts. It is really a remake, and not a new movie that pretends to be one.
Unfortunately, the DVD I watched only included the movie and only in German, and really nothing in the way of extras. A few trailers for different movies, but I would not call that “extras” – it’s advertisement.
If you like invasion sci-fi, 1950s sci-fi or b-movies, then you should probably get this movie for your collection. The contrast 1953 – 1986 is pretty cool, and the movie isn’t all too bad… but while I have seen worse, I also have seen better, and the weak presentation of this particular DVD edition isn’t helping. So-So.