Country: UK / Ireland
Movie Review: Created with the expected limitations of a low-budget film, “Last Days on Mars” relies more on the suspense of its story than anything else. Ruairi Robinson’s debut on direction was too modest and conventional to impress. The film, based on a short story and mainly shot at Jordan’s desert, follows a crew of astronauts who become exposed to a dangerous bacterial threat in the last days of their six-month mission to Mars, leading to tragic consequences. Victimizing one by one, these mysterious bacteria show strong resilience when tested with other substances. In the first half-hour I had to make an extra-effort to remain focused on what was happening, since the plot looked pretty familiar with its mediocre execution, tense score, and visuals that weren’t so creative. A big obstruction factor to a more acceptable result was that the ones infected became a sort of raging spatial zombies. When I compare “Last Days on Mars” with “Europa Report”, another low-budget sci-fi film released this year and reviewed in this blog, I came to the conclusion that the latter’s approach gains in terms of mystery and technical execution. I guess dead men turned into zombies in space just asphyxiated all the curiosity that could come out from a somber story of this type. The uncertain finale still tried to tease us somehow, but even that aspect wasn’t particularly new. It felt short with the lack of positive ideas.