November 25, 2008
Warner Home Video
An all-star, high-tech (and subversive) spoof of those science-fiction films of the 1950s, such as "The Day The Earth Stood Still" and "The War of the Worlds."
The zaniness begins when the Martians arrive and announce to the crowd that they're on a peaceful mission... before promptly annihilating them. When the aliens later fry Congress, a huge -- and bizarre -- war begins. The film follows the wacky proceedings from the points of view of numerous colorful characters, from the inane U.S. president, to a trailer-park family, to, well, singer Tom Jones.
So will the bug-eyed visitors take over Earth? And if so, will they do a better job of taking care of it?
When a shiny silver flying saucer lands in the Nevada desert, a group of bubble-headed Martians exit the gleaming craft. Although they claim to be peaceful, they promptly vaporize a gathering of unfortunate Earthlings. Director Burton's studiously campy sci-fi spoof, based on a series of Topps bubble-gum cards released in the 1960s, gleefully parodies not only the schlock-horror films of the Fifties, but also the overblown blockbusters of today such as "Independence Day." Bubble-gum fun, but with a cold edge. Nicholson pulls double duty as a clueless U.S. President and a Las Vegas sleazebag.
Released theatrically in the USA December 13, 1996.
Color by Technicolor; in DTS Sound and SDDS (Sony Dynamic Digital Sound).
Additional cast: Brandon Hammond (Neville); Janice Rivera (Cindy) and Timi Prulhiere (Tour Guide).
Additional credits: Mark S. Miller (associate producer); James Mitchell and David Andrews (visual effects supervisors).
The film is based on rare trading cards produced by the Topps in the early 1960s.