Traci Lords: 7/10
Alien Intelligence: 4/10
There is a production studio out there that should just go ahead and reserve a permanent spot on my blog, because their bread and butter is making crappy versions of popular movies. The studio in question, The Asylum, is responsible for such cinematic minorpieces as Snakes On A Train, Transmorphers, Battle Of Los Angeles, and the upcoming Almighty Thor (I hope to do write-ups of all of these in the future), all of which have obvious higher-end counterparts. The Asylum does branch out and do other movies, such as my previous entry, 2010: Moby Dick, and this current entry for Princess Of Mars, and when it does, we can see what the studio is creatively capable of doing. As it turns out, it’s not much.
The story centers around John Carter, a lone sniper in the Middle East who gets betrayed by a tea/opium dealer. When his damaged body is taken to some tent-hospital, the doctors inform him that they will be sending his body digitally to a far away planet (not Mars) via 16Gb thumb drive. Don’t bother asking me any details, because there isn’t enough time or booze in the world for me to work out an explanation. Soon, John Carter is on the surface of a foreign planet, and he gets captured immediately by some strange aliens that look like lizard-people (with tusks). He eventually earns their trust thanks to his skill in battle against giant bugs, and quickly becomes best friends with the leader of the tribe.
When his new-found family attacks a ship that is flying by, he captures Princess Thoris (Traci Lords) and learns of the war between humans and Tharks (the reptile-dudes). Apparently, the humans have been in charge of running a giant air purifier that keeps the atmosphere stable on the planet, and the Tharks think that it is all some trick to keep them under control. John Carter decides to take it upon himself to bring peace to the warring nations, as well as make the Princess fall in love with him. Oh, and did I mention that he has super jumping and super strength abilities now? Well, he totally does!
The Tharks bring the Princess to their leader, Tal Hajus, who decides to go ahead and kill them all for being idiots. John Carter gets forced in to the ring with his friend from the Thark tribe, and decides to use his super strength to smash the poor guy in to a wall. Then, he figures out (before anyone else) that it would be super easy to kill Tal Hajus and take over the entire tribe, but he gives the honor to his friend. Princess Thoris and Carter then race to the air purifier to stop a random bad guy from blowing it up for no reason. At the end of the day, John Carter saves the planet, gets the girl, and then returns to his broken body on Earth where he refuses to talk about any of it. They never explain why his body didn’t die or what happened to his other body, though, so I guess it is a cliffhanger ending. In a shitty way.
I guess that there is a bunch of source material to back up this movie, and they even tagged it as the inspiration for James Cameron’s Avatar movie. The make-up was pretty decent, and I have no objection to Traci Lords running around in a cheap Princess Leia costume either. What I don’t understand is why there was only one air purifier for the entire planet, and why nobody knew whether it actually worked. And why there were humans on that planet. And how the teleportation worked. And how no one knew how weak Tal Hajus was. And pretty much everything else. If anything, this movie has prompted me to add other films from this studio on to my bad movie queue, because I have a job to do, and they can’t get away with this.
Until next time, boys and girls, keep watching those bad movies, because the fate of an alien world might depend on it!
P.S. Just cause…