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Ghosts of Mars
(2001)
Album Cover Art
Composed and Performed by:
John Carpenter

Produced by:
Bruce Robb
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Varèse Sarabande
(September 18th, 2001)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
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AWARDS
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you caught pieces of the heavy metal ramblings in the film itself and seek fuller recordings of those ideas.

Avoid it... if you expect to hear either much of Carpenter's own keyboarding from the film on this album or, in a more general sense, music that has any structural resemblance of effective film scoring technique whatsoever.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #737
WRITTEN 10/20/03, REVISED 10/4/08
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Ghosts of Mars: (John Carpenter) There is a place in Hollywood history for John Carpenter, a writer, director, and composer whose films of the 1970's and 80's had a significant impact on the plethora of B-rate horror thrillers that he inspired. Unfortunately, in the subsequent two decades, Carpenter himself became that very stereotype of schlock, creating films like Vampires and Ghosts of Mars that had completely abandoned the production values that had at least allowed his early films to straddle the line between first and second rate cinema. In fact, by Ghosts of Mars, Carpenter wasn't even trying to hide the circumstances of this own artistic demise. The film, a translation of Assault on Precinct 13 onto Mars of the future, is an absolute intellectual loss, with no redeeming qualities in its script, acting, or special effects. It's cheap, it's dumb, and it's painful to the ears. That last comment is in regards to Carpenter's intentional attempt to mask the limited success of the remaining production elements by doing something radical with his music. Rather than rely solely on his typical synthetic elements to create the ambience familiar to many of his films, he continued a trend he was exploring with Vampires, merging that traditional sound with a collection of artists in an unrelated genre of music. The purpose in the case of Ghosts of Mars was to simply crank up the intensity and volume of a heavy metal soundtrack to such an extent that it compensates for the lack of excitement inherent in the film. Unfortunately, while on an extremely basic level, that technique works for viewers aiming at getting a quick thrill out of the film, it does absolutely nothing to actually elevate that work to a higher level of artistry. Of course, if you're looking for a positive review of the Ghosts of Mars soundtrack at practically any film score website, then you're bound to be irritated by what you find, instead choosing to justify the score's effectiveness as a collection of heavy metal pieces outside of the realm of any traditional notion of film music. Let's be clear: as a metal album, it's fine. The wailing guitars aren't the problem. But in its duties as a film score, the work fails to provide any kind of structure that music has been meant to provide for film over the previous century.

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VIEWER RATINGS
227 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.32 Stars
***** 28 5 Stars
**** 18 4 Stars
*** 39 3 Stars
** 57 2 Stars
* 85 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
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Filmtracks Sponsored Donated Review
James Wang - October 4, 2008, at 2:54 p.m.
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We don't have April right now, do we?   Expand >>
Matthias N. - October 29, 2003, at 9:43 a.m.
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Newest: November 15, 2003, at 8:13 a.m.by HZF
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 43:01
• 1. Ghosts of Mars (3:42)
• 2. Love Siege (4:37)
• 3. Fight Train (3:16)
• 4. Visions of Earth (4:08)
• 5. Slashing Void (2:46)
• 6. Kick Ass (6:06)
• 7. Power Station (4:37)
• 8. Can't Let You Go (2:18)
• 9. Dismemberment Blues (2:53)
• 10. Fightin' Mad (2:41)
• 11. Pam Grier's Head (2:35)
• 12. Ghost Poppin' (3:20)

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NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes a note about the score and film from Carpenter, as well as photos from the recording sessions. To see additional photos from the sessions (including Buckethead's ridiculous Kentucky Fried Chicken buckets), see: http://www.theofficialjohncarpenter.com/pages/themovies/gm/gmstrkstills.html
Copyright © 2003-2015, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Ghosts of Mars are Copyright © 2001, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 10/20/03 and last updated 10/4/08.
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