Invaders from Mars (1986 film)

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Invaders from Mars
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tobe Hooper
Produced by Edward L. Alperson Jr.
Yoram Globus
Menahem Golan
David Rodgers
Wade H. Williams III
Screenplay by Dan O'Bannon
Don Jakoby
Story by Richard Blake
John Tucker Battle
Music by Sylvester Levay
Christopher Young
David Storrs
Cinematography Daniel Pearl
Edited by Alain Jakubowicz
Distributed by Cannon Film Distributors
Release date
6 June 1986 (USA)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $7 million[1]
Box office $4.9 million (domestic)[1]

Invaders from Mars is a 1986 science fiction horror film, directed by Tobe Hooper from a screenplay by Dan O'Bannon and Don Jakoby. It is a remake of the 1953 science fiction film Invaders from Mars, and is a reworking of that film's screenplay by Richard Blake from an original story by John Tucker Battle. Its production was instigated by Wade Williams, millionaire exhibitor, science fiction film fan and sometime writer-producer-director, who had reissued the original film in 1978 after purchasing the copyright to the property. Elaborate creature and visual effects for this remake were supplied by Stan Winston and John Dykstra.


On the night of a meteor shower, young David Gardner sees an alien spacecraft land in a sand quarry behind his house. This is the beginning of an alien invasion that sees David's parents (George and Ellen), his teachers and the townspeople slowly assimilated by the alien life forms, returning with fewer emotions.

The only one who believes David is the school nurse, Linda Magnuson. Together, David and Linda enlist the aid of the U.S. Marines to help save the world.

Ultimately, David awakes in his bed and tells his parents about the events, all apparently a nightmare. After he and his parents return to sleep, he is suddenly reawakened by the alien spacecraft beginning to land. Running to his parent's bedroom, he screams as an alien noise is heard.


Associations with other films[edit]

Jimmy Hunt, who plays the Police Chief in the 1986 version, played David MacLean in the 1953 film (renamed David Gardner in this version). David is seen watching this film's director Tobe Hooper's previous film, 1985's Lifeforce, on television when his mother surprises him.

When the indoctrinated police officers are searching for David and Nurse Magnuson in the school's basement, they briefly shine a flashlight on some stored theatrical props, one of which is the Supreme Intelligence alien inside its clear orb as depicted in the original 1953 version. It is not known if this is the original prop or a replica made for the 1986 film. The Gardner's mailbox shows the name of the town as Santa Mira, an homage to the town where another sci-fi film, 1956's Invasion of the Body Snatchers, was set.

Filming locations[edit]

The scenes shot on location at David's school were filmed at Eagle Rock Elementary School in the Eagle Rock suburb in Los Angeles, California. The school bore a temporary fake nameplate in the film that read "Menzies Elementary School" as a tribute to the 1953 film's director, William Cameron Menzies. The Gardners' home in the film is the same house that was purpose-built for the 1948 Cary Grant/Myrna Loy film, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, and still stands as the administrative offices for park employees at Malibu Creek State Park. Other locations include Simi Valley, California.


Box office[edit]

Invaders from Mars was released on June 6, 1986 to a disappointing theatrical intake, opening in seventh place.[2] In total, it earned a paltry $4,884,663 at the US box office, a major loss from its $12,000,000 budget.[2]


The film received mostly negative reviews from critics during its release, and currently holds a 36% approval rating on movie review aggregator Web site Rotten Tomatoes.[3]

Time Out wrote, "... whereas the original worked by building up an increasingly black mood, this version relies almost entirely on the special effects; and such limited brooding tension as it has is gratuitously undermined by a string of sequences played purely for laughs."[4]

It was nominated for two awards at the 7th Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Supporting Actress for Louise Fletcher and Worst Visual Effects.

Home media[edit]

Scream Factory released the film first time on Blu-ray on April 7, 2015.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Andrew Yule, Hollywood a Go-Go: The True Story of the Cannon Film Empire, Sphere Books, 1987 p189
  2. ^ a b "Invaders From Mars (1986) - Weekend Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Invaders from Mars - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Invaders from Mars Review. Movie Reviews – Film – Time Out London". Archived from the original on 16 August 2007. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Scream Factory Overload: Carrie! Ghoulies! Sleepaway Camp 2 and 3!!

External links[edit]