“Invaders from Mars” star Jimmy Hunt (left) with Jim Quan at the Saturn Awards

One of the nicest surprises on this current #TCA24 winter press tour has been catching up with one of the good guys, Jim Quan. Back when he was at CTV’s publicity department in Toronto, Jim guided me and a few other reporters around the world and back as journalists embedded on far-flung legs of The Amazing Race Canada. China, Vietnam, Argentina, Chile and Indonesia were some of the incredible places we visited.

Having seen much of Earth, Jim has moved on to Mars — or rather, “Invaders from Mars,” the classic sci-fi B-movie from 1953. Now an executive vice president with the merchandising and licensing agency The Big Pieces Company in Los Angeles, Jim was on stage at last Sunday’s 51st Annual Saturn Awards. That’s where the 4K restoration of “Invaders from Mars” won in the Best Classic Film Home Media Release category.

The film was directed by William Cameron Menzies, a pioneering film production designer who contributed to “Gone With the Wind” and also directed the 1936 sci-fi classic “Things to Come.” “Invaders from Mars” features eye-popping photography that was enhanced by the bright hues of the Cinecolor process.

The haunting story is told from the point of view of a young lad (played by Jimmy Hunt) who witnesses what looks like a flying saucer crash land in a large sand pit behind his home. Was this some sort of invading vanguard from Mars? And why were his parents suddenly acting so weird? Leif Erickson, Milburn Stone and, in a small role, Leave it to Beaver mom Barbara Billingsley also appear in the film.

Quan accompanied Hunt, now 83, on stage to accept the award. Quan says Hunt was congratulated by the likes of James Cameron, Keanu Reeves and others at the Saturn Awards who were fans of, and inspired by, the quickly-made, Atomic age classic.

This brand new 4K restoration of “Invaders from Mars,” transferred from the original camera negative, is available now from Ignite Films. And, yes, they ship to Canada! To order, follow this link.


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