Invaders From Mars by William Cameron Menzies gets 4K restoration

Invaders From Mars by William Cameron Menzies

Invaders from Mars returns with a new 4K restoration this September!

Halloween is early this year. William Cameron Menzies’ 1953 sci-fi classic Invaders from Mars after 70 years is getting the full 4k restoration. This is how sci-fi should be made. Sure it is campy, but I love these movies from the 50s. I am getting this copy, I already own a DVD version of Invaders from Mars. The release date is September 26, 2022.

Movie fans have longed for the restoration of William Cameron Menzies’ sci-fi classic Invaders from Mars. Now, finally, the wait is almost over! Ignite Films is set to release a sensational new 4K restoration in all its terrifying color, just in time for its 70th anniversary. Fearful memories of this timeless 1953 bone-chiller still haunt the dreams of fans who have never forgotten the story of a young boy who witnesses an alien invasion.

Invaders from Mars became a modern cult classic, partly because it was filmed from a child’s point of view, using exaggerated sets and upward angles. It was also one of two early 50s classic alien-invasion science fiction films (the other is Jack Arnold’s “It Came From Outer Space”) reflecting Cold War tensions, the Red Scare and paranoid anxiety – typical of many 50s decade films.

“This stunning 4K restoration will make even those who’ve seen the film umpteenth times feel like they’re seeing it for the very first time but through magical new eyes.” – Multiple Visual Effects Academy-Award Winner, Robert Skotak (Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgement Day) 

Invaders From Mars by William Cameron Menzies

Invaders from Mars (1953) is a starkly stylish Sci-fi tale told from a pre-adolescent boy’s point of view, as he alone witnesses the invasion of aliens who capture and brainwash residents of an average small town. Young David MacLean (Jimmy Hunt) is convinced that his normal suburban neighborhood has been invaded by strange creatures, especially when his parents come home acting like zombies. Nobody believes him. Things get stranger until somebody finally believes: Dr. Pat Blake (Helena Carter) and astronomer Stuart Kelston (Arthur Franz). Stuart takes David seriously and informs them that prominent scientists have theorized that Martians, who live either underground on Mars or in giant spaceships, have manufactured synthetic humans called Mutax. Stuart speculates that Martians have come to Earth because local scientists including David’s father, have constructed a rocket that will eventually pave the way for a devastating weapon that could control the solar system. Stuart postulates that the Martians will attempt to destroy the rocket and alerts Col. Fielding at a nearby military installation. Fielding notifies the Pentagon and soon massive numbers of men and tanks begin to mobilize toward David’s small town.

Director and Art Production Designer William Cameron Menzies worked for all 3 major independent producers: Samuel Goldwyn, David O. Selznick and Walter Wanger. His flamboyant and exotic fairy-tale sets for “The Thief of Bagdad” (1924) are regarded to this day as a work of pure genius. In the 1940’s he often worked with director Sam Wood, whose films he improved dramatically through his designs. He won 2 Oscars for Art Direction: “The Tempest”(1928) and “The Dove”(1927). The latter was the first-ever award for Art Direction. “Production designer” (which is sometimes used interchangeably with “art director”) was coined specifically for Menzies, to refer to his being the final word on the overall look of the production.

Invaders From Mars by William Cameron Menzies

In 1940 he received an Honorary Academy Award “for outstanding achievement in the use of color for the enhancement of dramatic mood in the production of “Gone with the Wind” (plaque). The sets in “Invaders from Mars” are a clear stamp of these production values. Menzies was inducted into the Art Directors Guild Hall of Fame in 2005.

Invaders From Mars by William Cameron Menzies

Bonus Features

  • Restored 4K original 1953 trailer AND a newly commissioned trailer 2022
  • Interviews with star Jimmy Hunt, William Cameron Menzies’ biographer James Curtis and recollections of Menzies’ eldest granddaughter Pamela Lauesen
  • Featurette with acclaimed film directors John Landis, Joe Dante, editor Mark Goldblatt, special visual effects artist and two-time Oscar Winner Robert Skotak (foremost expert on Invaders from Mars), and enthusiast and film preservationist Scott MacQueen
  • John Sayles’ introduction at Turner Classic Movie Festival in Hollywood, April 2022
  • Before/after clips of restoration – original negative and archival film elements – with film restoration supervisor Scott MacQueen
  • Restored segments in 2K of the Alternate International Version — alternative ending and extended Planetarium scene
  • Gallery with original Press Book pages, behind-the-scenes photos from the restoration process
  • 20-page extensive essay on the restoration process: “Invaders From Mars: A Nightmare of Restoration” by Scott MacQueen