When it comes to Tim Burton’s 1996 flick, ‘Mars Attacks!’ (the exclamation point is important, even though the site-builder doesn’t want me to use it every time), I’ve found there are really only two responses.  The first is to herald it as brilliant over-the-top satire, as meaningful to the decade it came from as the original 1962 card series was to its Cold War time.  The other is to lambaste the film as stupid, campy gross-out material that encourages Burton to embrace his worst instincts as a director.  I’m in the first group, for a number of reasons (a young Jack Black, the Slim Whitman joke, Rod Steiger chewing the hell out of all the scenery ever made, and some pretty decent CGI for the era among ’em), but I can appreciate the urge to be harsh when judging Mars Attacks, leading to today’s squishy green query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced “ACK ACK!”) reminds Faithful Spoilerites of the MS-QOTD dividing line for quality, wherein good things are lofty “Genius” and things not-so-good are a humble “Cheese Sandwich”, because reasons, asking: Judging Mars Attacks: Genius or Cheese Sandwich?


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Daniel Langsdale on

    I’m not sure that the two things are mutually exclusive; the original 1962 card series was campy gross-out material.

    So I’ll err on the side of positiveness. It’s a genius-ly made artisanal havarti on rye with a side of tomato basil soup.

  2. I like it in the same way I love a lot of weird B-movies. It isn’t a great movie (though it does have some pretty decent satire), it is just completely ridiculous and terrible enough to circle back around to enjoyable for being so bad.

    Which I always thought was kind of the aim of the movie, it wasn’t meant to be thought provoking or some brilliant gem, it was just supposed to be mindless fun.

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