Invaders From Mars (1986)

There’s no place on Earth to hide

I watched the 1986 Cannon Pictures science fiction horror film “Invaders From Mars” on Svengoolie. Elaborate creature and visual effects were supplied by Stan Winston[1] and John Dykstra[2] in this re-make of the 1953 film. The movie was directed by Tobe Hooper an American director, screenwriter, and producer best known for his work in the horror genre. The British Film Institute cited Hooper as one of the most influential horror filmmakers of all time.

Hooper has directed Eggshells, Peter Paul and Mary: The Song Is Love, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Eaten Alive, The Funhouse, Poltergeist, Lifeforce, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Spontaneous Combustion, Night Terrors, Crocodile, and produced The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning.

In this remake of the classic 50s Sci-Fi story, a boy tries to stop an invasion of his town by aliens who take over the minds of his parents, his least-liked schoolteacher, and other townspeople. With the aid of the school nurse, the boy enlists the aid of the U.S. Marines.

The screenplay for the film is by Dan O’Bannon (Dark Star, Alien, The Return of the Living Dead, Lifeforce, Total Recall, Screamers, Bleeders)

  • Karen Black as Linda Magnuson, the school nurse – Easy Rider, The Great Gatsby, Airport 75, Capricorn One, The Last Horror Film, Plan 10 from Outer Space, House of 1000 Corpses, TV episodes of The Big Valley, The Invaders, Mannix, Adam-12, Saturday Night Live, E/R, Miami Vice, Profiler, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Trilogy of Terror
  • Hunter Carson as David Gardner – He is the son of actress Karen Black and film director L. M. Kit Carson, He played Bud Bundy in an unaired pilot of Married… with Children
  • Timothy Bottoms as George Gardner – The Paper Chase, Rollercoaster, The Man in the Iron Mask, The Land That Time Forgot, TV episodes of Land of the Lost, That ’70s Show, Grey’s Anatomy
  • Laraine Newman as Ellen Gardner – Tunnelvision, American Hot Wax, Problem Child 2, Coneheads, The Flintstones, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 106 TV episodes of Saturday Night Live, Laverne & Shirley, Friends, 7th Heaven, According to Jim
  • James Karen as General Climet Wilson – Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster, Hercules in New York, All the President’s Men, Capricorn One, The China Syndrome, The Jazz Singer, Poltergeist, Time Walker, The Return of the Living Dead, Return of the Living Dead Part II, Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love, Congo, Piranha, Nixon, Apt Pupil, Any Given Sunday, Superman Returns
  • Bud Cort as Mark Weinstein (Credited as “Young NASA scientist “) – M*A*S*H, Harold and Maude, Bates Motel, Dogma, Coyote Ugly, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou
  • Louise Fletcher as Mrs. McKeltch – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Exorcist II: The Heretic, Firestarter, On Deadly Ground, Cruel Intentions, TV episodes of Bat Masterson, Maverick, Wagon Train, Perry Mason, Kai Winn on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, VR-5, Profiler, ER
  • Eric Pierpoint as Sergeant Major Rinaldi – Liar Liar, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, TV episodes of Hot Pursuit, Fame, Alien Nation, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Silk Stalkings, Sliders, Star Trek: Voyager, JAG, Star Trek: Enterprise
  • Christopher Allport as Captain Curtis – To Live and Die in L.A., Jack Frost, Jack Frost 2
  • Donald Hotton as Old NASA Scientist – The China Syndrome, Up in Smoke, Dances With Wolves, The Bodyguard, TV episodes of Dark Shadows: The Vampire Curse (Reverend Brand), Airwolf, Alien Nation, Quantum Leap, Cheers, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • Kenneth Kimmins as Officer Kenney – My Best Friend Is a Vampire, Bridge of Tunnel, Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, Stella, Some Kind of Wonderful, TV episodes of Dallas, Hill Street Blues, Soap, Archie Bunker’s Place, The Fall Guy, Night Court, The Bob Newhart Show, Hunter, The Love Boat, Dynasty, WKRP in Cincinnati, Cheers, Remington Steele, Highway to Heaven, The West Wing, Silver Spoons, L.A. Law
  • Charlie Dell as Mr. Cross – Love at First Bite, Liar Liar, Fight Club, TV episodes of Jason of Star Command, Trapper John, M.D., The Facts of Life, Silver Spoons, Married… with Children, Suddenly Susan, Columbo
  • Jimmy Hunt as the Police Chief – Invaders from Mars (1953)
  • Virginia Keehne as Heather – Pump up the Volume, TV episodes of E/R, Highway to Heaven, The Twilight Zone, Punky Brewster, Silk Stalkings
  • Chris Hebert as Kevin – The Last Starfighter, TV episodes of Family Ties, Tals From the Darkside, Airwolf, The Twilight Zone, Murder She Wrote
  • Mason Nupuf as Doug
  • William Frankfather as Ed – Foul Play, Flashpoint, Harry and the Hendersons, The Rocketeer, Death Becomes Her, TV episodes of MacGyver, Tales from the Crypt, Wings, Dark Skies
  • Joseph Brutsman as M.P. #1 – completed many projects with Marlon Brando, including editing Brando’s final personal project: Lying for a Living – Brando’s video examination of acting
  • Eric Norris as M.P. #2- an American former stock car racing driver and stuntman. He won the 2002 NASCAR Winston West Series Championship. Norris is also a director and directed several episodes of the TV series Walker, Texas Ranger, which starred his father, Chuck Norris, The Delta Force, Universal Soldier, Resue Me, Top Dog, The Guardian
  • Debra Berger as Corporal Walker – The daughter of actor William Berger from his first marriage in 1957, Rosebud

  1. Stanley Winston (April 7, 1946 – June 15, 2008) was an American television and film special make-up effects creator, best known for his work in the Terminator series, the first three Jurassic Park films, Aliens, The Thing, the first two Predator films, Inspector Gadget, Iron Man, and Edward Scissorhands. He won four Academy Awards for his work. Winston, a frequent collaborator with directors James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, and Tim Burton, owned several effects studios, including Stan Winston Digital. The established areas of expertise for Winston were in makeup, puppets, and practical effects, but he had recently expanded his studio to encompass digital effects as well.
  2. John Charles Dykstra, A.S.C. (born June 3, 1947) is an American special effects artist, a pioneer in the development of the use of computers in filmmaking, and recipient of three Academy Awards, among many other awards and prizes. He was one of the original founders of Industrial Light & Magic, the special effects and computer graphics division of Lucasfilm. He is well known as the special effects lead on the original Star Wars, helping bring the original visuals for lightsabers, space battles between X-wings and TIE fighters, and Force powers to the screen. He also led special effects on many other movies, including Batman Forever, Batman and Robin, Stuart Little, X-Men: First Class, Spider-Man, and Spider-Man 2.

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Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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