It is surprising how far we’ve come in the domain of space travel since the genesis of the first satellite. Only a few days ago, the world saw NASA’s InSight spacecraft touch down on the formidable yet much-fantasied-about Red Planet. This smooth and flawless Mars landing signifies the epitome of human achievement. Don’t you agree?
Besides the scientific minds, Mars also grips the cinematic soul in one form or another. This planet shines particularly bright as a hostile/friendly emblem in many sci-fi films. In case you’re curious and feel like celebrating this weekend landing with a boatload of Mars-related movies, then oh boy, have I got a list for you!
Check out the best Red Planet movies below. You can stream them online or order them on-demand ASAP if you’ve subscribed to such a triple play. You can even buy the original DVDs for the right vintage feels. Whichever way suits you best!
1. Aelita: The Queen of Mars (1924)
This is an oldie-goldie number, which means that it is silent and monochromatic. Directed by Yakov Protazanov, this Soviet film showcases a totalitarian state on Mars headed by Tuskub, whose daughter Aelita falls for an Earthling, Los, who later comes to Mars and raises the proletarian revolution there. It’s an action-filled flick, depicting the rudimentary imagining of the Red Planet.
2. Rocketsip X-M (1950)
This post-WWII film is about a crew which is bent for Moon but lands on Mars instead due to an internal navigational error. On exploring, they realize that that whole red planet has been ravaged by atomic warfare and that their once-amazing civilization has been reduced to strange cavemen-like creatures.
3. Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)
In this movie, you find the classic Daniel Defoe novel setting shifted to the Red Planet. Directed by Byron Haskin, ‘Robinson Crusoe on Mars’ tells the tale of a young U.S. Commander Kit Draper whose mission fails in the worst way possible, and he’s forced to crash-land his ship on the Red Planet—filled with all kinds of hostile barrenness.
4. Total Recall (1990)
Hello, futuristic cyberpunk! This movie is a part of a decade which was filled with some of the most amazing sci-fi cinematic creations. Adapted loosely from a Philip K. Dick story, ‘Total Recall’ takes the technology of memory-implant and intertwines it with espionage on Mars. This Arnold Schwarzenegger number is the one to watch!
5. Mission to Mars (2000)
Directed by Brian De Palma, the film’s plot goes something like this: The first manned mission to Mars goes awfully awry with three crew members dead and a fourth one lost. Subsequently, a rescue mission, comprised of Luke Graham and others, is sent to the Red Planet to investigate what went wrong. Once there, the team realizes that there’s much more to the dead planet than what meets the eye.
6. Doom (2005)
Here comes the monstrous turn! This video game-turned-movie features the infamous yet highly-infectious alien DNA which can supposedly turn human beings into dangerously-mutated flesh-eating monsters. ‘Doom’ is depicted through the perspectives of a tactical team of space marines, who battle their way through a compromised facility on Mars, losing their numbers in the process. Ultimately, they yearn to find a way back home with the knowledge of what they’ve discovered, i.e. mankind’s failure in trying to tame an unwieldy planet.
7. The Space Between Us (2017)
Lastly, we have the romantic paradigm! This Peter Chelsom directed movie is a twist on the usual grim view of Mars. It tells the story of Gardner Elliot, who is the first human being born on the Red Planet, and who travels to the Earth in search of Tulsa, a girl he befriends online. Together, they on a wonder-filled road trip. But things start going terribly wrong when Elliot’s internal organs start failing given the non-adjustability to the new atmosphere. This is when he starts running the race against time to find out who he is and where he truly belongs in the vast universe.
At the end, please remember that these are some of the best movies over the decades which feature the Red Planet – in my personal opinion. Let me know which ones do you like the best!