Space Western Main


Space Cowboys

More Space Western


Latest Space Western Topics:


Similar Sub-genres: Frontier Sci-Fi

Space Western is a subgenre of science fiction, primarily grounded in film and television programming, that transposes themes of American Western books and film (e.g., cowboys) to a backdrop of futuristic space frontiers; it is the complement of the science fiction Western, which transposes science fiction themes onto an American Western setting.

Frontier Sci-Fi centers on stories of people conquering new frontiers, leaving our world to colonize a preferable one. Usually told with a "Grass is greener" aspect, only to learn that the same problems face them in the new colony. Similar to hardscrabble miners, crafty independent spacemen ply the asteroid belt in search of resources to send back to civilization.

I will be highlighting films of both sub-genres in this section. This is a new feature project and as you can see at the moment, it is a bare bones article. I will be including many more films as time allows.

Ghosts of Mars 2001

An IMDB Reviewer: This is a tremendously entertaining film that shouldn't be viewed as a horror film, but rather, as a tongue-in-cheek western, in the vain of the Spaghetti Westerns.

John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars is an American science fiction action film composed, written, and directed by John Carpenter. The film stars Ice Cube, Natasha Henstridge, Jason Statham, Pam Grier, Clea DuVall, and Joanna Cassidy.

The film was a critical and financial failure, scoring just a 21% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and earning $14 million at the box office, against a $28 million production budget.

Michelle Yeoh, Franka Potente and Famke Janssen were the first choices for the role of Melanie Ballard, but they turned it down. Natasha Henstridge came on board by the suggestion of Liam Waite.

Jason Statham was originally going to play Desolation Williams, but he was replaced by Ice Cube because the producers needed some star power for the part and Statham instead played the character of Nathan Jericho. Although Mars has a day/night cycle almost identical in length to Earth's, most of the film is set at night.

Mars is shown only once in the daytime, in a flashback when a scientist describes how she found and opened a "Pandora's Box," unleashing the alien spirits. Much of the film was shot in a New Mexican gypsum mine. The pure white gypsum had to be dyed with thousands of gallons of biodegradable red food dye to recreate the Martian landscape.

Plot: 200 years in the future, Mars has been colonized by a high-tech company. Melanie Ballard (Natasha Henstridge) arrives by train to a Mars mining camp which has cut all communication links with the company headquarters. She's not alone, she is with a group of fellow police officers.

They find the mining camp deserted except for a person in the prison, Desolation Williams (Ice Cube), who seems to laugh about them because they are all going to die. They were supposed to take Desolation to headquarters, but they decide to explore first to know what happened. They find a man inside an encapsulated mining car, which tells them not to open it.

When they do it, he tries to kill them. They must team up together, which is something difficult. However, one of the cops see many strange men with deep scarred and heavily tattooed faces killing the remaining survivers. They really need to leave the place fast. Desolation explains that the miners opened a kind of martian construction in the soil which unleashed red dust.

Those who breathed that dust became violent psycopaths which started to build weapons and kill the uninfected. They changed genetically, becoming distorted but much stronger. They leave the prison with difficulty, but they divise a plan to kill all the genetically modified ex-miners while leaving.

However, the plan goes awry, and only Melanie and Desolation will reach headquarters. She realises that her bosses won't ever believe her. Later, the red dust arrives to headquarters, and Melanie and Desolation will fight once again.

Space Western Main


Space Cowboys

More Space Western

Site design by SFMZone. Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved. Viewing Requirements: 1280 resolution or above. | TOP^