And we’re back! I must say, I had fun talking about the Halloween series (even though a couple of the sequels made me a little angry), but it’s good to be getting back to some variety in my reviews. Which brings us to today’s review of The Last Days On Mars. It was directed by Ruairi Robinson, an Irish director. And from what I can tell, this is his debut full-length directing gig. So how does he do? Well, let’s find out.
The story is pretty straight forward. We begin with approximately 19 hours remaining of a manned expedition’s 6-month stay on Mars. Pretty much everybody is eager to return to Earth, but something was discovered that manages to distract the team from their dreams of leaving. Amazingly, an unusual form of bacteria has been discovered, which is needless to say a huge deal.
Unfortunately, an accident causes the scientist named Marko to fall into a fissure that formed right under his feet. Marko is infected by the bacteria that is also in the fissure and turns into a mutated, zombie-like version of himself. He immediately attacks another scientist who is waiting by the fissure for help from the others, and the two soon set their sights on their fellow peers. With the mutants seemingly unstoppable, and the base’s communications down, the remaining scientists must find a way to hold on and survive long enough for their shift replacements to arrive so they can escape.
I found myself enjoying The Last Days On Mars, but it wasn’t perfect. It had the benefit of strong acting from everybody, and I personally am a fan of movies that use a setting that gives a feeling of isolation or feeling trapped (which is why I’m such a huge fan of Carpenter’s The Thing). And what better place to get that scenario than another freaking planet!
There wasn’t a whole lot of action to speak of, and unfortunately most of the action was bogged down by shaky cam usage. And you all should know by now what I think of shaky cam. I did like the look of those who were infected by the bacteria though, especially the first two scientists, as they were really messed up due to exposure to Mars’ atmosphere for an extended period of time. I remember one part where one of the scientists decide to off his/her self when he/she was found to be infected, which I found kind of dumb. Granted, in such a situation you might not exactly be thinking too clearly. But it was previously proven that death does nothing to prevent the bacteria from doing what it does.
The bottom line is this: you’re not gonna walk away thinking this is some kind of masterpiece. But you’re not gonna be really disappointed either. It probably could have done more, but for what it did do, I don’t think it was all that bad. So I recommend you go check it out to see for yourselves. It’s out on iTunes and On Demand right now, and it has a theatrical release date of December 6, 2013. Until next time, be safe, and rest in peace.
Macabre Rating: 3 out of 5 tombstones