Peter Suderman Reviews The Last Days on Mars

Senior Editor Peter Suderman
reviews the new zombies-on-Mars movie, The Last Days on

Zombies, once the exclusive province of low-budget horror, seem
to be just about everywhere in pop-culture these days — on popular
TV shows, in big budget movies and teen-targeted comedies and
interspersed with classic literature. I suppose it was only a
matter of time until they made it to Mars.

No one ever says the word “zombie” in “The Last Days on Mars,”
but there’s no question that it is a zombie movie. And aside from
the extraterrestrial location, it’s really a rather conventional
one, in which a small group of people in a remote area must fight
for their lives when a viral outbreak starts turning them into
power-tool-wielding undead menaces.

The future undead and their victims are near-future astronauts
on an early, six-month manned mission to the Red Planet. It’s a
lonely gig in an inhospitable world, but they’ve got only 19 hours
left (really, the movie could have been called “The Last Day on
Mars”) in their inflated Martian living habitat. Mission
specialist Vincent Campbell (Liev Shreiber) longs for the
blue sky and green grass of Earth, and wants to start the six-month
commute home as fast as possible.

But some of the team wants to work until the very end. One of
the scientists (played by Goran Kostic) gets special
permission from mission leader Charles Brunel (Elias
Koteas) to make a last minute run to fix a sensor. Or so he says.
He’s actually off to collect a specimen he believes could prove the
existence of microbial life on Mars.

Life on Mars! Do undead zombie astronauts count? The movie
lumbers forward in standard zombie-pic fashion, pitting man against
walking dead in a familiar array of sterile corridors, pitch-black
exteriors and strobe-lit hallways. It’s paint-by-numbers sci-fi
monster movie stuff, and it borrows a lot from both the original
“Alien” and John Carpenter’s 1982 remake of “The Thing.”

Read the whole review
 in The Washington

from Hit & Run

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