#70: MARS ATTACKS!
Of all the aliens to invade earth, none have been more efficient and impressive than the Martians from MARS ATTACKS! These super brained fighting machines first appeared in a TOPPS trading card set from 1962. The beautifully illustrated set (which usually goes for well over a thousand dollars) tells a simple story about...you guessed it...Martians attacking the world!
By frying their poor victims alive, and unleashing giant monsters to eat up the survivors, these little dudes were the most effective killing machines since the Ebola virus.
Though a few diehard collectors and fans kept their memory alive for the following 35 years, it wasn't until Tim Burton's love of the old card series inspired him to make a full blown feature film, which was surprisingly faithful to both the original character design, and story.
Though not too successful by box office standards, Burton's MARS ATTACKS! from 1996 is gorgeous fun. With most of the humans portrayed as bumbling idiots, it's one of the rare monster movies where you laugh and actually cheer the "bad guys" on. And with Jack Nicholson playing a dual role as both the President, and a Las Vegas real estate hustler, how could you go wrong?
In an early issue of Bob Burden's FLAMING CARROT comics, there was a seemingly unstoppable flying dead dog that was wreaking havoc on the town, until Flaming Carrot killed the reanimated mutt by letting him smell the gum from an old pack of MARS ATTACKS! cards.
With that in mind, it's kind of funny that the weakness of the Martians in Tim Burton's film was an equally silly adversity to SLIM WHITMAN records, the very sound of which would case their brains to explode.
Poor little fellas. I feel the same way everytime I hear Kid Rock.
And here's a special retroCRUSH treat! The complete set of MARS ATTACKS! card! YEEE-hooo!
Dr. Phibes Shopping Zone
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