ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth though you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Ghosts of Mars (2001), R
CAP Score: 44
CAP Influence Density: 2.93

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

GHOSTS OF MARS (R) -- wearing faces ripped off of others as masks.

I guess the Martians didn't like the good Dr. Whitlock (Joanna Cassidy) disturbing their sleep. So bothered were they that they inhabited the earthlings and made demons of them. Demons that enjoyed sefl-mutilation and murder of the earthlings. During mining operations at Shining Canyon the diggers discovered a long-buried tunnel with an entrance that could not possibly have been an act of chance or nature. Indeed, when Dr. Whitlock touched the door at the end of the tunnel, it dissolved into atoms, releasing the Martians. The Martians were not grotesque or hideous gravel faced beings but rather were dust ... or spores or something of the like -- the ghosts of Mars -- which entered and took over the human host.

A shuttle train returned from the Shining Canyon but with only one passenger, police officer Melanie Ballard (Natasha Henstridge) who was attached to a detail to bring Desolation Williams (Ice Cube) in from the colony for prosecution for murder -- mass murder. But her detail did not return with her. Here is whe the plot of the movie became quite efficient. Each subplot -- each accounting of the past days and the contribution of key players -- was injected into the -plot flow with very good attention to detail. In an inquisition hearing into the loss of the entire detail except for her, Ballard was the pivotal character to take the audience into the numerous subplots and bring them back out of each in preparation for the next subplot. I was impressed with the almost proceduralized intricacy and detail of *Ghosts of Mars*, but this was a v-e-r-y "R" movie. *Very* "R."

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The reports of a mass murder at Shining Canyon could not be ignored, even with the loss of several officers. Another detail under police Captain Helena (Pam Grier) is dispatched to fetch Desolation Williams and to investigate the reports of murder. Upon arrival at the mining colony, they find it nearly empty of human life. One of the few lives they find is Desolation Williams. The police detail also finds many murdered bodies, all hanging by the feet -- decapitated. And they find the majority of the mining colony inhabitants not alive but rather "possessed" and mutilated. They also find many heads on poles. Imagine people wearing faces ripped off of others as masks and you'll have a good idea of the caliber of this movie [Ps. 101:3; Phil. 4:8].

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As I noted above, this is a *very* "R" movie. There is much killing, much gore and much graphic detail in people mutilating themselves such as people sliding a blade just under the skin of their face. There is graphic decapitation and amputation. And since all stops or gone, there is much foul language. I will leave the listing of programming of most concern for parents and grandparents to the listing in the Findings/Scoring section.
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  • Ps. 101:3 I will set no wicked thing [worthlessness, ruin, destruction] before mine eyes:
  • Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]

    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: Ghosts of Mars (2001) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • severed forearm
  • many hanging decapitated bodies - repeatedly
  • defensive firearms
  • explosive startles - multiple
  • insane desperation - multiple
  • abductions
  • traumatic dementia
  • defensive killing
  • self mutilation gore - multiple
  • human heads on poles - multiple, repeatedly
  • mounting of a human head on a pole
  • decapitations, graphic - multiple
  • "demon" gatherings with much gore
  • defensive killings, graphic - many
  • ripping the face off of others and wearing as masks
  • amputation of thumb
  • long gun battle sequences - multiple
  • amputation of arm
  • many, many deaths - many quite graphic
  • sacrificing fallen comrade
  • fighting

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 42 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • 25 uses of the most foul of the foul words

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • sexual innuendo
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure
  • suggestive eye movement
  • sex talk
  • ghosting of female anatomy through clothing
  • adult in underwear

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drug induced hallucination - repeatedly
  • smoking
  • consumption of illegal drugs

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • one use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 5 without

    Murder/Suicide (M): (battle deaths were incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime, not Murder/Suicide)(3):
  • suicide by slicing own neck
  • murder

    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our five-year study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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