Is it possible to take out a hit on a channel? Last night I skipped through a few television channels and was briefly intrigued to see A Princess of Mars on SyFy! I had to watch a few minutes to discover that it was a heretical abomination which must be burned and its television creators hunted down and punished. I saw enough to notice that:
- The green Martians were made up with some cheesy lumpy appliance over their heads; their tusks wobbled like rubber every time they talked.
- The green Martians had only two arms. Two! They were also runts, far short of 12 feet tall. I tuned out before I could see how amputated the banths or calots were.
- Dejah Thoris was not naked. Nor red. And she was played by Traci Lords, who looked exhausted beyond her years.
- The dialogue was hokey beyond belief…aw, OK. They get a pass on that. That was true to the book.
The horror. My father was a major fan of Burroughs’ works, and I grew up on Tarzan and John Carter. I cannot believe the botch SyFy made of the story, ripping all the romance and exotic weirdness out of it.
It’s also sad because there are rumors of a big budget version in the works; let’s hope this quickie lump of SyFy emesis does not chill the market for it.
Just to add to the sadness, while looking for a few of the classic images of Burroughs’ Barsoom, I learned that Frank Frazetta died just last month. Noooo!