Asylum’s “A Princess of Mars” Trailer – A Question

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Speaking of trailers, I stumbled across this and recalled that I’ve never been able to bring myself to watch the movie. But a few people have told me it’s not all that bad, considering the budget. Is that possible? It just looks painfully bad to me but this time around I tried to look at it with “new eyes” ….still not sure. Can somebody who has actually seen the movie explain how/whether it follows the book and whatever else can be explained. is it worth 90 minutes of life to watch it, or will watching it just get me riled up?

I also discovered that Asylum’s Princess owns of the “great moments in cinema history” …… the pee bucket scene.

The weird part is that Antonio Sabato is actually capable of acting …. but you wouldn’t know it from this clip. I know they must have been shooting in a hurry because of the budget, but I’m still surprised at how wooden he seems.


  • I didn’t think I could watch this movie with Dejah Thoris being played by a notorious ex-porn star. If she really throws the contents her pee bucket on JC like a prison gassing scene, then I know for sure I can’t watch it. That is so wrong.

  • I remember years ago on the IMDb John Carter forum when Matt Lasky posted about being cast as the young thark warrior on Stanton’s film. He was excited because he had played Tars Tarkus in “A Princess of Mars”. He posted a few times. It was a puzzle as to what happened with his credit listing on “John Carter”. He swore that it is his voice and acting on the film, but David Schwimmer is listed in the credits. I’ve never heard whether anything was resolved about it.

  • Pascalahad – I believe Disney acquired (or maybe better, re-acquired?) the rights in January, 2007. Avatar was released almost 3 years later in late 2009. I remember people saying Avatar was going to bomb before it came out.

  • I admit I hadn’t made the Avatar connection (I was in sort of a limbo in 2009!). Was the link to Burroughs heavily publicized at the time by Cameron? Would Disney have acquired back the right to A Princess of Mars if Avatar hadn’t been made and hugely successful?

    I love Den Valdron’s article in ERBzine, even if he seemed to have enjoyed the movie way more than me (in particular Traci Lords’ acting, and a “love story” I had a hard time seeing at all in the movie). And I think his comment about Watchmen is spot-on!

    I can’t believe he made a novel out of it, I’m eager to read it full. By the way the link to part #78 seems broken!

  • I was looking forward to this movie. I should have skipped it. I was ready to throw nerf bricks at the screen. I like Antonio Sabato but he was the only thing good in it.
    My opinion, Taylor still wins. His John Carter was from the correct time frame. Antonio’s was a modern soldier transported to a planet in another galaxy. Traci Lords was an affront.
    But, yeah, for completeness, watch it and weep.

  • I have it on DVD, but it is truely horrible. Two armed Tharks, whose foam rubber tusks shake whenever they move their heads, Traci Lords way past her sell date, just awful. I know Ziggy Stardust had spiders from Mars but I don’t remember them in A Princess of Mars. Atmosphere plant, it sure looks like a Texas oil refinery to me. This movie had no joy, fun or romance to it.

    MCR, I want to give you a shout out. I went to your site again the other day to follow the At The Earth’s Core story and you really have a terrific site that covers many aspects of the things like this that I am interested in. Very good job and professionally evenhanded in dealing with everything. Anyone who hasn’t visited MCR’s site Jcomreader yet, do yourself a favor and check it out.

  • “I wonder what was their motivation, and if there was some passion for the novel involved at all.”

    Actually pretty simple. They were cashing in on Avatar since James Cameron had mentioned A Princess of Mars as an influence on his film. They had done a similiar thing a few months earlier making a film version of The Land That Time Forgot to cash in on the Will Ferrell Land of the Lost. They also mentioned ERB on the DVD cover art, which is more than Disney ever did so at least the Asylum marketing team must have thought he was a selling point.

    As for whether or not to see the film it has its moments-Sabato’s good and has a sense of humor that Whiny Kitsch didn’t; the arena sequence was OK and the resolution of Tars Tarkas and Tal Hajus at least stuck to the book-but it is a Sci-Fi Channel B movie so be prepared for some cheap effects and some awful acting. I guess for me the big irony is at least the Asylum people didn’t beat around the bush, they were just cashing in. That’s more than Disney or “fan” Andrew Stanton ever admitted.

  • I won’t pretend it’s a good movie, because it’s not. It follows the book more closely than Andrew Stanton’s version, which makes me say that with a decent budget, it can be done satisfyingly. I thought Antonio Sabato Jr was a decent John Carter, he’s charismatic enough to pull off the part in my opinion (and NOT vanilla, IT CAN WORK MORE AS WRITTEN!!). The airship was fine. The idea that John Carter had to fight Tars Tarkas in the arena scene was to me more dramatic that what’s in Stanton’s movie (and it’s in line with the book in which John had to fight Kantos Kan to survive). The atmospheric plant is used (but Stanton has hinted that he would use them in the sequels).

    That’s about it. The “acting” of Traci Lords is horrendous, there is no chemistry at all with her and Sabato Jr. The masks of the Tharks are laughable, as are the peplum suits. Carter is a modern-day soldier, and Barsoom is not really Mars, but that has no impact whatsoever on the storyline. The actress behind Sola’s makeup is 100% more Dejah Thoris-looking than Lords, and her acting ability can’t possibly be worse!

    All I have to say is that you have to see it, for the sake of completeness. But no, don’t expect it to be good. I’m curious about that movie, why did they make it at all? The writer/director evidently knew the subject (he brought the Sith from warlord in the movie, probably because they already had killer wasp models in the computer, but still), he didn’t have the budget, and released it months before the shooting of Disney’s John Carter even began. I wonder what was their motivation, and if there was some passion for the novel involved at all.

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