class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-47389″ title=”mars attacks blu-ray” src=”” alt=”” width=”220″ height=”269″ />I was a fan of Tim Burton’s entry in the late nineties alien invasion craze, from the opening scene which features a stampeding herd of blazing cattle to Rod Steiger’s bombastic US Army General constantly calling for a nuclear answer to the threat from the bizarre alien invaders.

At a time when the po-faced Independence Day set the standards and while The X-Files still hadn’t discovered its humourous side,  it was refreshing to see Tim Burton inject a sense of the ridiculous into the field, and the Topps trading card series, considered subversive and provoking outcry on their original release in the early 1960s, were the perfect property for the director.

Fourteen years later the film, given a perfunctory polish for this Blu-ray disc, still holds up, but only just. Jack Nicholson’s double take as President and lowlife real estate developer is as outlandish as the notion of Sarah Jessica Parker’s head being transplanted onto the body of her tiny dog, and she, Nicholson and Pierce Brosnan play perfect parody with the sci-fi staples the film is lampooning.

Add Tom Jones and Danny DeVito in the mix and you’ve got a great cast to match the wonderful creations from ILM – the aliens themselves.

It is still funny, with moments of brilliance and achieves the tall order of sending the genre up while becoming an entry into that genre, and the production design is wonderful, as is the score by regular Burton collaborator Danny Elfman. It hasn’t worn as well as other films of the time, curious in an age so committed to its worship of nostalgia, but it looks pretty good and if you’ve not caught up with this one in a while I can recommend checking it out. Just be sure to get Burton’s other, more heartfelt, love letter to cinema Ed Wood first.

Curiously for a film not exactly crying out for a re-release there is not a hint of a special feature, not even a trailer. While I wasn’t expecting the unused script by Martin Amis to be included it is a little remiss to let this one slip out without a hook to ask fans to upgrade.

Mars Attacks! is out on Blu-ray right now.