With two months before his wild follow-up to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 1986 proved to be a strange time for Tobe Hooper, as evidenced with this peculiar remake of the 1953 sci-fi classic Invaders From Mars. From start to finish, the movie is grounded in a kind of firm PG territory that works as a fun remake of the original, but is ultimately hampered with an in-your-face '80s aesthetic where Stan Winston's creature effects take precedent over the story's deep-rooted fear of paranoia. Filmed stunningly well by expert cameraman Daniel Pearl, Invaders certainly is packed with its share of iconic shots that show off the production's skill with optical effects. The trouble comes with the casting of the main little brat Hunter Carson, who might have dazzled some with his role in Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas, though his wild overacting chops aren't fooling anyone in this one. Karen Black and the rest of the cast do an acceptable job in their roles, though Louise Fletcher ends up cheesing it all up with her frog-eating performance and one note delivery -- "I'll get you, David Gardner!" Invaders is certainly a tale that the kiddies are safe to watch, but it might be a little too goofy for those that don't have a love for the sci-fi of yesteryear.
by Jeremy Wheeler review