Listen to our Mars Attacks! episode on:
- Google Play
- Player FM
- Pocket Casts
After the disaster that was our Dangerous Liaisons episode, it was clear that a change of pace was required to keep this Glenn Close wagon on the rails. So let’s move away from Glenn as 80s Oscar darling and take a look at her 90s reinvention as a queen of camp. From the high drag of 101 Dalmations (sadly ineligible for this podcast) to the underrated Cookies Fortune, Glenn handled her inevitable transition from leading lady into middle-aged character parts with more humour and gusto than many of her contemporaries. Enter Mars Attacks…
It’s fair to say that Mars Attacks! isn’t really a Glenn Close movie. She’s one of about a dozen stars of the era who gamely jumped aboard for Tim Burton’s love letter to campy 50s B-movies. None of them have particularly compelling characters – that’s hardly the point with this kind of genre exercise. The novelty of watching some of the most respected actors of the era being vaporised by little green men – or in Glenn’s case, crushed to death by a falling chandelier – is entertainment enough.
That said, as paper thin as it is, Mars Attacks! does hold up as more than a curio thanks to the obvious passion Burton has for the source materials – passion that’s sadly been lacking in pretty much everything he’s released this side of Sweeney Todd. Mars Attacks! isn’t quite a spoof – more of a loving recreation with a sly sense of humour. The special effects are knowingly shonky, the dialogue is frequently terrible and the costuming has a wonderfully odd blend of 90s fashion and 50s retro thanks to the presence of Oscar winning designer Colleen Atwood.
The film was broadly well received and made good money back in 1996, but Burton moved on to other things and no sequel was ever forthcoming. Which is kind of a shame, because now that the Marvel franchise has put the ensemble movie firmly back into vogue, the time could absolutely be right for this kind of all-star pastiche.
Check out our Mars Attacks! episode – featuring our usual blend of review, drinking games and fantasy sequel pitches – by downloading or streaming for free using the links at the top of this blog post, or by searching for Beyond The Box Set on your preferred podcatcher. You can also hit subscribe for a new episode every Friday morning, and don’t forget to rate and review if you enjoy the show…
Next week, we conclude our season of Glenn with a trip inside the White House for one of the defining action movies of the era. Until then, happy listening and please release your Doves responsibly…