Princess of Mars
Directed and written by Mark Atkins
The Asylum are the masters of the Mockbusters, the films released on DVD the same day that films with similar titles open in the theater. We got Transmorphers, The Terminators, and Dragon. Thanks to the magic of the public domain, the first couple of Barsoom books are copyright free in the USA, thus allowing Asylum to get away with this cash in. Surprisingly, this is not a mockbuster of John Carter of Mars, the upcoming Pixar film due out in 2012, but is a mockbuster for Avatar, complete with mentioning Avatar on the DVD cover.
Now, a few of you will not be that familiar with the story of the Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter books. A brief explaination: John Carter is a Virginian and former Confederate soldier who is wandering around the West and goes in a cave, and ends up on Mars, called Barsoom by the natives. He’s captured by Green Martians, who are 14 foot tall green Martians with tusks and four arms, who admire his great strength and hopping ability (a gift from his Earth muscles on the lighter gravity of Mars) and train him up to be a warrior. They also capture some Red Martians, who are human-like except for their red skin. Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, is the main captive, and Carter falls for her and soon they are escaping and lots of fights happen. And everyone on Mars is naked all the time. Guess which part is not in the film! Most of it, actually.
Barsoom – planet of substandard emissions standards
So here at TarsTarkas.NET we have a vested interest in Princess of Mars because there is a dude named Tars Tarkas in it. He’s played by Matt Lasky, who has also left comments on the blog, so we got that going for us.
But the question is…is Princess of Mars a good film? Ha! It’s not the worst thing Asylum has churned out, but it is far from a masterpiece. It isn’t awful, but parts make absolutely no sense. I would have much preferred that they just went with an original story, but, whatever. I can say it is the best Barsoom movie ever, because it is the only Barsoom movie! Yet. I will not rag on some of the CGI or costumes (except when they get really bad…) because at TarsTarkas.NET, we forgive small budgets. We don’t forgive bad writing, so expect that to get pointed out.
Enough jibber-jabber, let’s do this thing, Martian style!