The purpose of this blog is to have a little fun. It is NOT to start arguments. I don't profess to be an expert on Sci-fi, nor do I aspire to become an expert. You are welcome to comment on any and all content you find here. If my opinion differs from yours, as far as I am concerned, it's all okay. I will never say that you are wrong because you disagree with me, and I expect the same from those that comment here. Also, my audience on the blog will include some young people. Please govern your language when posting comments.

Posts will hopefully be regular based on the movies I see, the television shows I watch, and the books I read as well as what ever strikes me as noteworthy.

Spoilers will appear here and are welcome.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Zombie Apocalypse On The Red Planet - The Last Days On Mars - Strong Acting, Weak Story

The Last Days On Mars – 2013

Magnet, the same film distributor that brought Europa Report to the U.S., again brings this film to us on a limited release.  I checked on Amazon and found that I could rent this for $7 and thought I would pop for it.  It wasn’t worth that in my estimation.

A crew of eight scientist/astronauts are finishing up their expedition on the Red Planet and are making ready to get back to earth on their Aurora transport ship.   They are all tired and starting to get on each other’s nerves and are looking forward to going home.  One of the scientists, Petrovic, has discovered that there is something that looks like it may have been alive on Mars.  He doesn’t reveal this to his crew mates presumably because he wants to get the credit for his discovery.  Against the wishes of the others, he decides to make one last trip to gather more samples.  While taking a core sample, the ground underneath him collapses and he falls into a deep fissure and is presumed dead.

The commander of the crew, Brunel and rover driver Dalby head out to retrieve Petrovic and realize they are going to need equipment to get their ill-fated crew member.  Brunel leaves Dalby at the site and disappears before the rest of the crew returns.  Campbell volunteers to descend into the fissure to retrieve Petrovic’s body, but there’s no body to be found, but instead he discovers that there is indeed some sort of life present, and it is growing.

The crew returns to their habitat and are immediately attacked by two humanoids that we soon learn are Petrovic and Dalby turned into…

Wait for it…

Zombies.  Yes, now we have zombies on Mars.

Commander Brunel is one of the first to be attacked, with a rock hammer.  He of course becomes infected and begins to become zombified.   Since the habitat has been taken over by Petrovic and Dalby, the rest of the crew moves Brunel into the hydroponic structure and tries to help Brunel.  They take a blood sample and determine that a bacterium is responsible for the problem and might be treated with antibiotics.  While the antibiotics seem to work for a while, they are ineffective as a cure.

So one by one, every member of the crew is zombified with the exception of one Campbell.  He manages to escape, but discovers a small cut on his face.  Figuring he has been likewise infected, he decides that he will plunge the ascent vehicle into the Martian atmosphere rather than take a chance of bringing the infection back to earth.

So thanks to Campbell, the Zombie Apocalypse is avoided, this time.

I am not a huge fan of horror films, and am not a fan of zombie films.  I am therefore not a huge fan of this film.  While I do not care for this movie, it is not without some good points.

The acting and direction is quite good.  One could see that the people on the expedition were ready to leave Mars after their six-month sojourn away from earth, and were ready to come home.  Where this movie suffers is in the story and script.  It wasn’t strong enough to be a great film, and wasn’t quite corny enough to be a ‘B’ movie, so sadly it just kind of falls flat.  The location chosen for the filming was convincing enough to be a Martian landscape, and the vehicles as well as the sets were well thought out and constructed.  In all aspects outside of the story, this was a decent film.  I would have liked to see a bit more character development, especially for Campbell.  There were really no strong characters in this film; even Campbell didn’t stand out as a person with much strength, which is too bad because this film really needed a strong character to take on the lead.  It could have been done better.

Well, there it is…