Plot: What’s it about?
As the lights dim in the local theater, a numbers of viewers have settled in to watch the newest volume in the Space Patrol serial, titled Back From The Future. In this installment, the evil scientist manages to time travel back into the 1950s, which means he has to be chased and that means adventure and action, elements the audience loves. As the reels roll and time passes, some of the viewers find themselves involved in other efforts, some normal theater actions and others, well, not so normal at all. In addition to the various hoodlums, making out couples, and those actually watching the screen, some folks have become tangled in a real mess, with a massive monster that has overtaken the theater. This huge and disgusting vampire creature has landed on the theater’s roof and started to off people, working toward the inside of the theater. Can anyone escape this hideous monster’s attack and more importantly, will anyone be alive to find out what happens next, in the amazing adventures of Space Patrol?
Also known as Midnight Movie Massacre, Attack from Mars is like a bad 1950s sci/fi movie, but it was made in 1988. I like many of those cheese laden sci/fi movies from the 50s, but Attack from Mars never hit the mark with me, for some reason. I suppose it was because I felt the workers tried too hard to be campish, as opposed to it just happening, as it did with those 50s flicks. I just never connected with the material, it never made me laugh too often and it just seemed like a forced effort, one that didn’t pan out. It had a couple small moments, but on the whole, it was a chore to watch and in truth, I would have better off to revisited a true 50s camp picture, to be sure. I suppose it holds some interest to genre fans, but one watch is enough in this case, at least if you want my opinion, that is. Even with Wade Williams as producer, Attack from Mars never rockets into fun and humor, which is a real let down, without a doubt. I recommend this release as a rental to genre buffs, but keep your expectations low, as low as you can manage, in fact.
Video: How does it look?
Attack from Mars is presented in a full frame transfer. I have no idea of the original aspect ratio, but I do know I didn’t see any visible pan & scan here. So it could be a clean crop or just the intended aspect ratio, but I am not sure myself. Although this movie was made in 1988, it looks much older than that, due to less than pristine source materials. The print used here shows a lot of damage, wear signs, and debris, much more than you expect, given the film’s age. Some sequences look worse than others of course, but some are almost unwatchable, I think. The colors and contrast are even handed, but when the print gets bad, none of that matters anyway. I think this is a passable image most of the time, but when it gets bad, it gets bad and that forces me to lower the score. If you’re a fan however, I doubt the tattered visuals will dissuade you.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included stereo option seems more than adequate, given the nature of Attack from Mars and what not. This movie uses old school sound effects and such, which means no surround presence is needed, though it might help in some scenes. So while this stereo track offers little range, it handles the material well enough and that’s what counts. The vocals remains clean and always easy to understand, although the poor line delivery make you wish differently. A basic, but more than effective mix is present, which is about all you could ask for here.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc contains an alternate title sequence, which is a cool inclusion, but no other extras can be seen.