on Mars (USA; 82 min.)
directed by: Wayne Coyne; Bradley Beesley; George Salisbury
starring: Steven Drozd; Wayne Coyne; Steve Burns
Jeff says: "My son described it as a cross between DARK STAR and ERASERHEAD.
"The first human colony on Mars seems doomed. The capacitor on the main oxygen generating unit has burned out, all the spares are gone, and the gravity has gone weird. The foul-mouthed leader of the colony can only bluster as most of the crew descends entropically into depression. And it's Christmas Eve, which leaves dazed and confused Major Syrtis (Steven Drozd) wandering the station trying to organize a pageant and a visit from Santa. Around the periphery of that spare plot are an alien (Wayne Coyne), a 'mother' nurturing an infant inside some sort of bio-mechanical womb, a flock of moths, a cameo by a nearly unrecognizable Steve Burns (no Blue, though), and a wayward Santa suit. It's shot mostly in black and white on low-res video with occasional flashes of super-saturated, candy colors. The actors, obviously not professionals, are asked to register little but shell-shock or outrage, the exception being Adam Goldberg as the colony's barely sane psychiatrist, doing a funny riff on nightmares.
"The sets really impressed me, I mean this movie looked like it had a budget of about $25, and the labor of love required to collect and assemble thousands of found objects into a credible looking space colony made it worth the price of admission. If you're a Flaming Lips fan, I guess this would be on your must-see list, but even if you're not, if you go in with the right set of low-rent expectations, you'll probably have a good time. 3 cats."