Saturday, July 31, 2010

SyFy Hates You: My Review Of "A Princess Of Mars"


Watching SyFy's adaptation of "A Princess Of Mars" (one of my favorite books as a kid) is like watching one of your old childhood toys being brought magically to life... for the express purpose of being tortured to death by Satan-worshipping Nazi zombies. Slowly.



This movie is an abomination. May Edgar Rice Burroughs arise from his grave and take bloody revenge on all responsible. Now THAT'S something I'd enjoy watching.  It makes me ashamed to have cable. It makes me regret having retinas. It *almost* makes me feel sorry for Traci Lords. It's THAT bad.  It's "Plan 9 From Outer Space" without the sincerity. It's every stupid sci-fi clich√© that was never entertaining in the first place, inadequately portrayed by Anthony Sabado's pecs. Traci Lords looks as weathered as the Headless Horseman's saddle, except the Headless Horseman's saddle could probably act better. It's like taking a sip of a fruit smoothie, only to discover it's made from rancid blended fish guts.

Whoever gave the green light to this thing should be waterboarded until they repent, and then they should be waterboarded again just to make sure. Rubbing a DVD of this thing against your crotch would probably cause sterility. If Jesus returned to Earth while this thing was on, he'd probably just say "screw it" and blow the planet up, and he'd probably be right to do so. 

"Traci Lords" and "entertainment" do not belong in the same sentence. Ten bucks would get me a sexier time with the crackhead ho that works a few blocks away from here, and that crackhead would be both sexier and a better actress, even if she was comatose at the time. And I'd feel better about that than I do watching this movie. At best, Traci Lords is "A Princess Of Mars" the same way I would be "A Princess Of Cellblock D" if I was in prison. Except I would retain far more dignity. Yet, despite all this, she still comes across better than Anthony Sabado Jr.

It's hard to tell what Anthony Sabado Jr. wields less believably: his sword, or his dialog. He is less believable than Traci Lord's wig. He only has one emotional setting... assuming that "anesthetized" is an emotion. 

And, Tars Tarkas? Despite being a fictional character, he should sue anyway.

"A Princess Of Mars" is as shamelessly, unabashedly contemptuous of its audience as every movie SyFy has foisted on its audience I've seen in the last year. I'm assuming that the SyFy audience must now consist entirely of the paralyzed, forced to watch it by cruel underpaid nurses... and those stalwart few who keep praying that "Caprica" will somehow get better. SyFy apparently has a pure, unadulterated hatred and contempt for its audience. It makes most of the stuff on Spike TV look like King Lear.

Literate, intelligent fans of science fiction should not merely ignore SyFy: they should issue a fatwa against it. Better yet: they shouldn't even bother. Watching SyFy slowly drown in its own excrement will be a lot more satisfying, and infinitely more entertaining.

Not recommended.

2 comments:

Matthew The Astrologer said...

And THAT was just the FIRST hour.

Cliff said...

Don't hold back Matt, how do you really feel?

Here's the good news:
http://www.slashfilm.com/2010/01/13/john-carter-of-mars-to-be-pixars-first-live-action-film-bryan-cranston-joins-cast/
In other words, SyFy rushed out a cheapie version planning to cash in on home DVD when the big budget Disney version is just hitting the theaters. They do this a lot.

Check out this grim and dark visual version of the series, like a medieval nightmare of violence and dispair:

http://io9.com/5163130/the-princess-of-mars-that-pixar-wont-show-you