Film Times & Capsules

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Ghosts of Mars

John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing, Escape From New York) returned to New Mexico (after Vampires) to shoot his latest film. In this sci-fi/horror offering, a group of futuristic peace officers (Natasha Henstridge and Pam Grier among them) arrive at a Martian penal colony to transport a dangerous prisoner (Ice Cube). Unfortunately, some nearby excavations have unearthed an ancient Martian civilization, unleashing hordes of alien ghosties. Though the action is handled in tense fashion, one gets the impression that Carpenter's just coasting on fumes at this point. The scares are minimal, the dialogue lame and the plot lifted wholesale from Carpenter's previous film Assault on Precinct 13.