Star-studded 'Mars Attacks!' invades big screen
December 13, 1996
Web posted at: 4:30 p.m. EST
From Correspondent Bill Tush
(CNN) -- Life on Mars? Water on the moon? A moon that may
actually be a planet?
In light of these recent findings, it appears "Mars Attacks!"
director Tim Burton already knew something we didn't.
"Yeah, it was a cheap Warner Brothers publicity stunt. Those
weren't scientists, they were second-rate actors," Burton
said. "Couldn't you see through them? Their performance was
"Mars Attacks!" depicts a three-part invasion of America by
bug-eyed, big-brained Martians. The U.S.' bumbling president
and his aides, as well as a mix of ordinary folks from the
plains of Kansas to Las Vegas, are left to fight off the
dastardly invaders. (1.2MB/32 sec. QuickTime movie)
The sci-fi flick features more stars than a "Love Boat"
Jack Nicholson plays the president, Glenn Close the first
lady. Rod Steiger is the general. Martin Short plays the spin
doctor. And Tom Jones plays, well, Tom Jones.
"Because it was an ensemble ... no one has the pressure of
carrying a movie," Short said. "So you just looked at the
call sheet and saw who was in that day."
The list goes on and on.
"It was like a 'Circus of the Stars,'" Burton said. "I don't
know how it happened; all I know is that I feel lucky to have
had it happen."
But if, as the movie suggests, we are not alone in the
universe, should we make contact if given the chance?
"I have enough trouble talking to humans, so I don't know
what I would end up saying," Burton said. "I may have a
better or worse time talking."
Burton believes in the possibility of life beyond the stars
because of personal experience.
"I think that everybody has seen something where you just
don't know what it is. I know that it could be anything, but
I have a couple of things that have blown my mind," Burton
If something is out there, let's hope it won't be the little
green men starring in "Mars Attacks!"
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