Monday, May 13, 2019

Top Movies About Mars with Author Damien Larkin, What We Do in the Shadows, Top Grossing Movies, and Ninja News

Please welcome fellow Dancing Lemur Press author, Damien Larkin! His book. Big Red, comes out May 14. (I’m almost through reading it and it’s really good!)

He is here to share some of his favorite movies about Mars…

Mars has long since been a fascination for us lowly humans. From worrying about an advanced alien civilisation preparing to conquer us to dreaming of the day we set foot there, the Red Planet holds a special place in our imaginations. To celebrate the launch of my Mars-based sci-fi novel Big Red, I’ve selected some of my favourite Mars themed movies:

Total Recall (1990): Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, this action-packed tale of espionage and altered memories is an instant classic. With stunning special effects for the time, this romp remains a timeless sci-fi adventure. (Bonus points for anyone who can remember what character Star Trek: DS9’s Gul Dukat played!)

Doom (2005): I’m probably going to get some flak for this, but I loved this movie adaption of the cult video game. Plenty of cheesy moments, action sequences and a nice little first-person shooting spree scene as a nod to the game.

The Last Days on Mars (2013): This sci-fi horror isn’t the greatest movie you’ll ever see, but it covers a plot that you just don’t see enough of: zombies on Mars! Starring Liev Schreiber, it’s definitely worth a watch if you have a few hours to spare.

Mission to Mars (2000): Directed by Brian de Palma, this movie follows humanity’s disastrous first attempt to explore and colonise Mars. Although far from a box office hit, there’s plenty of tension to keep you teetering on the edge of your seat.

The Martian (2015): Based on the stunning novel by Andy Weir, The Martian depicts a single astronaut’s struggle to survive after being abandoned on Mars. With limited resources, Matt Watney (Matt Damon) defies the odds by utilising everything at his disposal until a rescue mission can be mobilised.



Traumatized by the effects of Compression travel, soldier Darren Loughlin holds the key to the fate of Earth's Martian colonies.

Damien Larkin is a part-time Planning Analyst and a full-time stay-at-home father of two young children. He enjoys turning terrifying nightmares into novels and currently resides in Dublin, Ireland.

Find Big Red on Amazon and Goodreads

What We Do in the Shadows Review

This series is from the creators of the movie of the same name. A film crew follows three vampires living in Staton Island. Think Monty Python meets The Office with vampires. Comedy is subjective but I find this extremely funny.
Add to the fact that the three are mostly idiots and you can see where the humor goes. Plus there is fourth vampire who sucks the energy out of people by boring them to death. They were supposed to conquer and hold a large trek of land – they rule a couple houses. As I said, not very bright!
It follows the standard vampire trope – they have a familiar, garlic and sunlight kills them, werewolves are enemies, etc.
The series is filled with funny, dry British humor. It’s very silly and overall very unique.
One of the writers, Taikia Waititi, directed Thor: Ragnarok. So he knows humor.
They’ve also an open invitation to any actor who has played a vampire to be on the show. Tilda Swinton, Danny Trejo, and Wesley Snipes took up the offer. Plus there are other guests.
If you want something silly and laugh out loud funny, check out this series. Season two has been greenlit, so more to come!

Here’s the trailer for season one, although it still doesn’t quite capture the zany, dry humor:


Top Grossing Movies

Jessica from Hollywood Mirrors shared this cool graphic.

What if some of the top grossing movies’ take was adjusted? Where would that place their box office income? The winner wasn’t Avatar. (And Avengers: Endgame doesn’t beat it either…)


Ninja News

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Annual Anthology Contest is now open!


Genre is middle grade historical – adventure/ fantasy and the theme is voyagers.


See the site for full details.




And finally, after the Starbucks cup in the Game of Thrones episode, LBrink5446 tweeted a screen shot from a RiffTrax: Live event and RiffTrax responded.
(The screen shot reads: Spoiler Alert – People will hate the Game of Thrones finale not for the way it ends, but because of all the product placement for Hot Pockets and AutoZone.)


Very true!


What are your favorite Mars movies? (Mine is John Carter.) Picking up Big Red? Have you watched What We Do in the Shadows, either the series or original movie? Surprised by which movie comes out on top? And who is entering the IWSG Anthology Contest?

71 comments:

Pat Hatt said...

#1 what fun!

Pat Hatt said...

I'd go with Total Recall or John Carter. Doom, yeah, couldn't get behind that one haha Never knew anything about What We Do In The Shadows. Sounds like one to give a go. When inflation comes into play, a lot of these "biggest evers" aren't.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I don't think I've watched John Carter! I'll have to see if I can stream it.

"Monty Python meets The Office with vampires"...that just blew my mind for the day, ha!

Damien Larkin said...

Thanks for posting this up, Alex! I'm standing by to take flak for Doom...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pat, you would really appreciate the humor - give it a try.

Elizabeth, it's the best way to describe it.

Damien, you're welcome, and the flak is all yours.

Mason Canyon said...

Congratulations to Damien on the upcoming release. Sounds intriguing. Mars does lend itself to some interesting movies and I like the list Damien shared.

Damien Larkin said...

Thanks Mason! There's definitely some gems in there!

Cheers Alex!

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex, and hello to my Irish friend Damien Larkin!

The Mars films on Damien's list of favorites are all recent releases. (When you're as old as Shady, 1990 is recent!) I remember and often joke about the 1967 film Mars Needs Women starring Tommy Kirk, a Walt Disney Studios regular, and Yvonne "Batgirl" Craig. My favorite Mars movie is Red Planet Mars (1952) starring Peter Graves and Andrea King.

Have a great week, good buddy Alex!

Damien Larkin said...

Hello Shady!

Thanks for these suggestions. I'm always on the look out for Mars-based movies, so I'll be sure to add these to my list!

Zhou Meisen said...

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Joanne said...

any show where Tilda Swinton could show up has to be wacky. Good to see her for her few minutes in Endgame. I liked the Martian and I always loved My Favorite Martian on tv. And yes, that means I'm old.
Have a good week!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you for featuring Damien and Big Red today. I still remember seeing Total Recall in the theater back in 1990 when it came out.

Titanic would be #1 - I have no problem with that.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I liked the movie The Martian, but I thought the book by Andy Weir was better. But I usually think the book is better than the movie anyway. :)

T. Powell Coltrin said...

So much news! I come here to find what I am missing out on.

I am such a Mars nerd. I secretly (not now) want to live there. I have to read this book. Looks so good.

Thanks for all you do to keep writers bonded with each other. Have a great week, Alex.

Teresa

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Shady, Mars Needs Women might have been an MST3K bit!

Madeline, I've never read it.

Teresa, thanks!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Congratulations to Damien on his new book Big Red. Yes, I want to read it. Have a great week everyone.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I liked The Martian, both book and movie. As for anything vampire, that's not for me. Nope. Not since I read Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Dry Brit humour is super and a favourite :) I watched a film on Mars a huge long time ago of which I can't remember the name and that is making me feel so o-o-old!

Birgit said...

I still have to see the movie of "What We Do in the Shadows" and my hubby and I really want to see the TV show which looks brilliant! I have seen parts of John carter and it does look quite good and I think it was much maligned. I do like The Martian and there are some great 1950's and 1960's movies but, right now, the names escape me...bummer. I am just listening to Que Sera Sera since Doris Day died this morning...sad news

L.G. Keltner said...

I read Big Red a couple months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it! I hope release day goes well!

I've seen the movie "What We Do in the Shadows" and loved the humor. I'll definitely have to check out the series.

Arlee Bird said...

I did like The Martian quite a bit, but my wife fell asleep when we watched it. Since I purchased the BluRay we can go back and watch it anytime. I'd watch it again.

A friend of mine keeps telling me how much he liked The Last Days on Mars. Now with this new recommendation maybe I need to put it on my to-see in the future list.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I think the only Mars movie I've seen is Mars Attacks. I read The Martian but didn't see the movie.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I got What We Do in the Shadows, the movie, for Mother's Day. I love dry, cheesy humor.

Damien's book sounds awesome.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nila, you need to check out this series then.

Birgit, John Carter got hosed by bad marketing.

LG, you will dig it.

Sandra, sorry about Mars Attacks.

Elizabeth, what an awesome gift!

nashvillecats2 said...

Saw Totoal Recall on TV a few years back thought it excellent.
Great news and reviews Alex, always something for everyone.


Yvonne.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

The only listed movie I'm surprised by is Pirates of the Carribean. Not sure why it cost that much, and I'd say it wasn't worth it.
Have a good week, Alex.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - 'Gone with the Wind' - a great film. I can't get my head round the plethora of Mars info at the moment ... so your thoughts here seem to have lost me! I've seen Damien's Big Red around ... good luck to him. Cheers Hilary

Damien Larkin said...

Thanks for the best wishes everyone! Keep those movie suggestions coming - I'm planning on treating myself to a few hours of great movies over the weekend!

Fundy Blue said...

Happy Monday, Alex! As always, I thoroughly enjoy your posts. Thanks for the reminder of "Big Red." I wanted to read it, and I now have it preordered from Amazon. It will probably arrive just as Terry gets back from Vegas, and I'll get the "not another book" look from Terry ~ LOL! No house yet. That's fine by me. I really liked the 1990 "Total Recall," but my favorite is "The Martian." Loved Andy Weir's book too. His "Artemis" is excellent as well. Have you read it? All the best to you!

LynNerdKelley said...

Congrats to Damien on his new book. Sounds like a winner. Total Recall is one of my favorite movies, one that I like to watch every few years. The Martian was a good movie, too. Have a great week, Alex!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

John Carter is tremendously underrated sadly. Damien's Big Red is really a fun and enticing read. I am posting my review of it on my blog tomorrow ... be there or the Martians from Mars Attacks will find you! :-)

J E Oneil said...

I'm really hoping What We Do In The Shadows goes up on a streaming service that I actually have.

Spacer Guy said...

Total Recal has its moments with Arnie fighting his super secret, sexy, deep, deep undercover wife who tries her best to kill Quaid

Andrew Leon said...

John Carter might be mine, too.
There haven't been a lot of good movies centered on Mars.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Robyn, not sure why the sequels made that much.

Louise, Damien will appreciate that. No, haven't read that one.

Roland, no!!!!!

Andrew, certainly not Robinson Crusoe on Mars!

Liz A. said...

I really liked The Martian. I've read a lot of good things about Shadows.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats to Damien on his book. I liked The Martian.

I was glad to see LOTR on the movie list. I was surprised that the Harry Potters weren't on the list too.

The Angry Lurker said...

Ghosts of Mars with a very young Jason Statham!

mshatch said...

I saw the movie, What we do in the Shadows, and it was very funny. I loved The Martian and Total Recall :)

Truedessa said...

The Martian would be my favorite. I don't think I've ever seen John Carter. I might have to look into that one. I've never liked vampire movies. I stayed up late one night as a kid and I watched some old vampire movie and had nightmares for weeks.

Big Red looks interesting.

Have a great week!

Botanist said...

I haven't seen any of the other Mars movies mentioned, but I did enjoy The Martian.

And I find a lot of Americans just don't get British humor, so when you say Monty Python meets The Office, as long as it's the British original that works for me :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Natalie, they are - it was a random selection of billion dollar films.

Fran, crap, I remember that film! John Carpenter. How the mighty have fallen...

Ian, watch one episode - I think you will dig it.

Rhonda Albom said...

I would have thought something would have knocked Avatar off the top of the list by now. And as for Mars, Total Recall is probably my favourite sci-fi movie.

T Drecker said...

Congratulations to Damien. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC and enjoyed it! Avatar is still on top, huh? I wonder what movie will beat it someday.

Damien Larkin said...

Thanks for all the kind words everyone! I'm just delighted that I got away relatively unscathed for including Doom!

Christine Rains said...

Congrats to Damien! Good movie picks. I remember playing Doom A LOT when it first came out. I've been watching What We Do in the Shadows too. Hilarious! I was iffy on the pilot, but it really got funnier after that. Have a terrific week, Alex! :)

Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine said...

Congrats Damien!

I really need to watch What We Do in the Shadows. I backed their kickstarter a few years ago and got a hoodie as a result, but I haven't watched the show yet. ^^;;

Al Penwasser said...

Monty Python, The Office, and the director of Thor: Ragnarok? Looks hilarious. I'm definitely going to check it out.
Energy vampire and when that paper skeleton went up in flames? OMG!

Mary Kirkland said...

I really like Mission To Mars, The Martian and Total Recall. I haven't seen the others.

Sandra said...

Wishing Damien much success with his wonderful new release. He's right, we are fascinated with Mars aren't we?

Have a great one, Alex:)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rhonda, Endgame just might do that.

Tonja - Endgame. Followed by the next Avatar movie!

Christine, glad you're hooked on the show!

Patricia! You need to watch. And how cool you have a hoodie.

Al, you will appreciate the humor.

Carrie-Anne said...

Congratulations to Damien!

I've never written fantasy before, but I'm willing to try. I have a great setting and premise in mind for my entry, but it needs more research.

Roland Clarke said...

Your description of 'What We Do in the Shadows' makes me want to dash of and find more - Monty Python sets me wondering.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

The Martian is one of my all time favorites. The book was even better. I'm braced to hate the last episode of GoT.

Mark Koopmans said...

Very cool to see Damian is from Dublin, too!! Wishing him all the very best with his book launch :)

DMS said...

The tweet made me laugh. :)

I like The Martian and have always thought about living on other planets. When I was little I thought I would live on Mars when I grew up. Not quite.

~Jess

Powdered Toast Man said...

I am glad you did not mention the remake of Total Recall with Colin Farrell cuz that one was terrible.

The Cynical Sailor said...

"Monty Python meets The Office with vampires" - that totally makes me want to check it out!

All the best to Damien with his release :)

In terms of Mars movies, I really like the Martian. I read the book as well.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

As far as Mars-based movies go, does War of the Worlds even count? The aliens are from Mars but the story takes place entirely on Earth. Also, no love for John Carter of Mars? I think that story just came a bit too late for people to really latch onto it, but I'm glad it happened.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Carrie-Anne, awesome!

Susan, you and me both.

Powdered Toast Man, it was...

Michael, I thought John Carter was awesome.

Doreen McGettigan said...

Congratulations to Damien on the book release! I loved Mars stories as a kid, I need to catch up.

Em-Musing said...

Congratulations Damien on your book release! You must be super excisted. My connection to Mars is in the night sky. Always can pick out the red planet. Hope you sell a ton of books.

Susan B said...

Thank you Damien for this post on Mars. Congratulations on your launch of the Big Red. Have you watched the series/documentary on National Geographic, Mars ? I'm sure you have but just in case,
the project 2022 go here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYFZRg2RLt8&frags=pl%2Cwn
and the doc/fiction here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNm-QgeYy9o&frags=pl%2Cwn


Thank you Alex for inviting Damien.
I have nominated you Alex for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Please visit me to share and contribute.

Have a pleasant day.
Brilliant Sunshine here in Toulouse, 26ºC in the afternoons.

Cheers

Susan B.

Patsy said...

I enjoyed Total Recall.

Raimey Gallant said...

I have a love-hate relationship with The Martian. On the one hand, I love the movie; on the other, it still gives me nightmares, except I'm the one stranded! Congrats on your release, Damien!

Eric Rajchel said...

Most people can only see movies at nights or on the weekends, but sometimes.
123movies

Fundy Blue said...

"Big Red" arrived today. I'm looking forward to reading it!

Blue Grumpster said...

When The Force Awakens is on that list but Star Wars is not, something's amiss.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

We've seen all the highest grossing movies you have listed. I always loved Johnny Depp's entrance in the Pirate movies. We don't watch horror. I have nightmares. Your blog posts are so interesting. Thanks for sharing this, Alex.

Magic Love Crow said...

Congrats Damien! Total Recall has always been one of my favourites! Thanks for another great post Alex! Take Care!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Susan, thank you!

Raimey, scary.

Fundy, awesome!

Blue, it's a random slice of billion dollar movies.