Still Watching the Skies: Episode 85 “Invaders from Mars”

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Robert, Nat, and Cody are joined by Jim Laczkowski for a double dose of childhood nightmare fuel with 1953’s INVADERS FROM MARS and 1986’s INVADERS FROM MARS.

A young boy witnesses a flying saucer land late at night. He wakes up to an alien invasion in which adult authority figures are being taken over one by one. Can he find an adult that will believe him before it is too late?

Invaders from Mars (1953)

Directed by William Cameron Menzies, INVADERS FROM MARS (1953) in notable for telling its story from a child’s point of view, which extends to its expressionistic set design, and engaging with childhood imagination and logic. Almost no adult is to be trusted.

Invaders from Mars (1953)

Invaders from Mars (1953)

Even among other 1950s alien invasion films, INVADERS FROM MARS stands out as something unique. Unique doesn’t always equal good, but there’s a lot to discuss.

Invaders from Mars (1953)

Tobe Hooper’s 1986 remake is faithful in many respects to the original. It’s clear that there are many cooks in the kitchen, and the film swings between tones, but there’s affection to the original evident throughout.

Starring Hunter Carlson and his real life mother Karen Black, INVADERS FROM MARS (1986), Tobe Hooper’s film is trying to tap into the 1980s child adventure zeitgeist. History tells us that it wasn’t able to, but for a lot of people it’s a fondly remembered cult classic.

Invaders from Mars (1986)

The big deviation / addition to the 1986 version is the addition of a teacher nemesis to the protagonist. Louise Fletcher is added to chew scenery and other things in this version and wins over a few viewers.

Invaders from Mars (1986)

INVADERS FROM MARS (1986) clearly represents its time in the craft department. There’s a decidedly more cartoony depiction of the story compared to the original version. That cartoonishness is definitely a subject for discussion in the episode.

Invaders from Mars (1986)

You’re not dreaming. You can give us a play below or Download the episode. Also, feel free to let us know what you think by commenting below or Email Us at as we appreciate feedback.



Time tracks:

INVADERS FROM MARS (1953)  Discussion: 0:00 to 27:25

INVADERS FROM MARS (1986) Discussion 27:25 to 1:11:37

Next Film and Outro: 1:11:37to End

Next month, We stick with the 1980s and one of Val Kilmer’s earliest starring roles with 1985’s REAL GENIIUS. We hope you’ll join us.

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