|Total Recall (Alamo Drafthouse Cinema) Tyler Stout|
When 'John Carter' bombed earlier this year, I was surprised to learn that Hollywood has an unnatural fear of films set on Mars. Supposedly films set on Mars don't perform well at the box office, which is why 'John Carter' was not appropriately titled 'A Princess of Mars' or 'John Carter of Mars.' Given their Mars prejudice, the powers that be scrubbed the Mars out of 'John Carter' quite successfully. Unfortunately they also scrubbed the lifeblood out of the film. However, I still found 'John Carter' to be entertaining and enjoyable. I blame John Carter's failure on the marketing (and the uber-controlling director Andrew Stanton) rather than the film itself.
Granted Hollywood's fear of Mars may be valid. Excluding the original 'Total Recall,' most films set on Mars have flopped (i.e. 'Mars Needs Mom,' 'Red Planet,' Ghosts of Mars,' 'Doom,' 'Mission to Mars'). Clearly Hollywood believes that these films flopped because they were set on Mars or had Mars in the title. Why hasn't it occurred to anyone that perhaps the films themselves were sub par? Why is Mars to blame? Have they conducted focus groups on this subject? Do moviegoers really hate Mars?
|Jessica Biel and Colin Farrell in 'Total Recall' 2012|
What happened to old Hollywood's 'War of the Worlds' martian fascination? What's the matter with Mars? The original 'Total Recall' is deeply embedded in science fiction. So much so that even 'Warehouse 13' paid homage. Airlock Alpha has a great clip of Pete's nod to 'Total Recall.'