Remade by Tobe Hooper in 1986, the original sci-fi classic Invaders from Mars was released in 1953, and Ignite Films is celebrating the film’s 70th anniversary with a brand new release.
Directed by William Cameron Menzies, Invaders from Mars has received a “sensational 4K restoration,” and Ignite Films is bringing it to Blu-ray & 4K UHD on September 26, 2022.
Pre-orders for the new release have launched TODAY!
Special bonus features include a restored 4K version of the original 1953 trailer, an interview with the film’s star, Jimmy Huntan in-depth look at the restoration process led by Scott MacQueenRestoration Supervisor, plus a new documentary about the film featuring interviews with directors Joe Dante (Gremlins), John Landis (An American Werewolf in London), Visual Effects Academy-Award winner Robert Sboxand other luminaries.
The full list of Bonus Features includes:
- 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 Skota (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
- Twenty page extensive essay on the restoration process: “Invaders From Mars: A Nightmare of Restoration” by Scott MacQueen
From the official press release, here’s everything you need to know…
“I’m excited for audiences, old and new, to finally be able to watch this masterpiece of both film and restoration on Blu-ray and 4K UHD!,” said Ignite Films Director Jan Willem Bosman Jansen. “We have taken great care to cover as many aspects of the movie in our bonus materials and design to bring it back to life for as wide an audience as possible. The work we have done is also a homage to the overall genius of William Cameron Menzies, and I cannot speak for him of course, but I think he would be thrilled with how his movie looks today.”
Fearful memories of this timeless 1953 bone-chiller still haunt the dreams of fans who have never forgotten the story of David MacLean, a young boy (Jimmy Hunt) who witnesses an alien invasion. Invaders from Mars was filmed from a child’s point of view, using exaggerated sets and upward angles. It became a modern classic and was also one of two early 50s classic alien-invasion science fiction films (the other is Robert Wise’s The Day the Earth Stood Still) reflecting Cold War tensions, the Red Scare and paranoid anxiety typical of many films in the 50s.
Invaders from Mars stars Jimmy Hunt, Helena Carter, Arthur Franz, Morris Ankrum, Leif Ericksonand Hillary Brooke.
Cinecon will honor former child actor Jimmy Hunt with a special screening of the 4K restoration of Invaders From Mars at this year’s festival, which will run Labor Day weekend, from September 1-5, 2022 in Hollywood. Other special screenings of the 4K restoration have wowed audiences at the TCM Classic Film Festival, Hollywood, CA in April, Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, Italy, and the Fine Arts Film Festival, Venice, CA in June.
The restoration of Invaders from Mars has been much hoped for and a long time coming — but the process was not an easy one. Leading the effort was longtime enthusiast and preservationist of classic cinema Scott MacQueen, who previously was head of preservation at UCLA Film & Television Archive for more than a decade, before retiring in 2021.
The biggest challenge for MacQueen was that the color negative confirmed for printing in SUPERcineCOLOR lacked many shots and needed to be sourced from 70-year-old prints.
“Invaders from Mars was one of the most complex projects I have ever undertaken,” said Restoration Supervisor Scott MacQueen. “In the days of analog restoration, it would not have been possible, but 21st century digital tools have been game-changers. Released in an archaic process that is irretrievable today, Invaders from Mars was pieced together from five different sources. Additionally, eight minutes of European scenes and an alternate ending, and the original trailer, have been preserved. As star Jimmy Hunt says, ‘Invaders from Mars has never looked so good,’” added MacQueen.
The 4K restoration process of the sci-fi classic Invaders from Mars required a lengthy search for the final elements, which was conducted by Ignite’s Janet Schorer. Additionally, it was imperative to locate the elements necessary to fill in the gaps in the original camera negative, which was stored with great care at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. The George Eastman Museum and National Film and Sound Archive of Australia were instrumental in supplying additional key elements which were essential to completing the film.
In support of the release, Ignite Films has created The Maze, a home for critical and analytical writing pertaining to the exciting restoration and release of Invaders from Mars. Named after the landmark 3D horror noir by William Cameron Menzies, every corner and avenue of the history and subtext of Invaders from Mars will be explored in The Maze by some of film history’s greatest critical minds. Led by editor and critic Scout Tafoya. The Maze is available on the Ignite Films website.
Ignite Films will initially release the 4K restoration of Invaders From Mars in US/Region 1 on September 26, and will roll-out the release worldwide, excluding the UK, where Arrow Films will distribute. The Big Pieces Company is supporting the release in the US and overseeing international sales.