Reed Alexander's Review of 'Last Days On Mars' (2013)
Saber-Tooth in Space!
SABER-TOOTH IN SPACE!... well, on Mars. To be honest, I didn't even consider watching this movie 'til I learned that Vincent Campbell was in it. It just didn't grab my interest as good horror, good-bad horror, or even bad-bad horror. It just seemed "eh" and in my book, that means I move on to the next movie.
But I like Vincent Campbell, and I was getting low on my Netflix queue, so I just said, "Fuck it," and watched the movie. Standards already low, I wasn't super disappointed. But what can I say? It's just not a great movie. It's even outright boring at time. For what they could have done with the concept, they just settled for second rate. Honestly, this movie was a lot like Harbinger Down except that movie did more with way less. The worst part is when they try to establish the science elements of this movie, and can't even seem to get that straight. Its their own bullshit science and more often than not they have to constantly change how it works just to keep the plot moving.
I guess as horror, it killed an hour and a half and didn't make me outright hate it... but that's still time I can't get back.
ZOMBIES IN SPACE!!!... well, zombies on Mars. I mean, is this the best we could come up with? It's not that I don't like zombie movies. I just feel like they could have gone so much farther with this. I mean Harbinger Down had fucking Metroids and Cronenbergs, and the same level of isolationism, and it didn't even have to take place on Mars. I don't know. Zombies just shouldn't seem lame and somehow they seemed lame.
I also don't like what they did with the "bitchy," strong, female character. They set her up to be an insufferable bitch which really comes off as quite charming as far as I'm concerned, and of course none of the other characters like her. So they make a point to develop the human elements behind her "bitchiness," as one should for proper character development. And then they just fucking kill her off. I guess they had to kill someone off to set up the coward who is likely gonna get everyone killed... but they COULD have just had him get someone else killed.
The point I'm trying to make is that this movie avoided what I complain about in a lot of horror; making you hate all the victims. Now, in most horror movies, you're so sick of the "bitchy" character you just hope she dies. And usually it's because she's not actually a strong female character. Usually, she's the typical, hysterical, ninny woman which so often are type casted in horror. So when they made a likable "bitchy" character, you really want her to live and be this movie's Ripley. But we couldn't have that. Instead, we need Vince's love interest and Freudian "Mother" figure to live to the end, so we can have a tear-jerker moment when she turns into a zombie and Vince has to bash her skull in with a rock. I mean, awesome scene... but couldn't we have that and keep the bitchy character?
And then, of course, there's "Black Guy Dies First." BLACK GUY DIES FIRST IN SPACE!!!... Well, a black woman dies first on Mars. There's only one fucking minority in the whole fucking movie, and she dies in twenty minutes. And yes, it counts; the white guy that dies before her was completely undeveloped as a character. So, yeah, there's that... not smooth.
And how does this zombie virus spread? Fucked if I could figure that out. At first, it seems like it has to be direct blood to blood contact... but then the cowardly guy who gets everyone killed turns and he only got choked. Not to mention, multiple characters came into contact with A LOT of blood and no one got infected at that point! Even how long it takes to infect someone is kind of a tossup.
Fucking Christ! And then there's this one scene where the cowardly guy threatens to leave Vince's love interest to die, and then a couple minutes later Vince is like, "Here, take the keys to our only means of escape. No way this is going to blow up in my face"... fuck...
Yeah so, meh...