Princess of Mars
Directed byMark Atkins
Written byMark Atkins
Based onA Princess of Mars
by Edgar Rice Burroughs (uncredited)
Produced byDavid Michael Latt
David Rimawi
Paul Bales
StarringAntonio Sabato, Jr.
Traci Lords
Distributed byThe Asylum

Release date

  • December 29, 2009

Running time

90 minutes
CountryUnited States

Princess of Mars (retitled and re-released in 2012 as John Carter of Mars[1]) is a 2009 direct-to-DVD science fiction film made by American independent studio The Asylum, loosely based on the 1917 novel A Princess of Mars by author Edgar Rice Burroughs. The films promotional art mentions how the original story inspired some elements of James Camerons 2009 film Avatar, but neither the credits nor promotional material mention Edgar Rice Burroughs. It is not to be confused with the higher-budget 2012 film John Carter, which is an adaptation of the novel. In the UK, the film was released with the title The Martian Colony Wars.


John Carter (Antonio Sabato, Jr.) is a modern-day U.S. Army sniper serving in Afghanistan, wounded in the line of duty and used in a teleportation experiment wherein he is transferred to Barsoom, a planet outside of Earths solar system, where he exhibits the ability to leap amazing distances. Initially enslaved by the Tharks, he earns a rank among them and later saves a rival groups princess, the human-looking Dejah Thoris (Traci Lords), from death.

The group of Tharks, led by Tars Tarkas, takes Carter to their leader Tal Hajus, guarded by Tars Tarkas daughter Sola. Learning that Tarkas gave Carter a military rank only Hajus can give, Tarkas and Carter are forced to duel. Upon winning, Carter faces Sarka, an Afghan mercenary who had betrayed him. When Sarka escapes, Carter helps Tarkas kill Hajus and become the new leader of the Tharks.

Captain Carter then learns that Dejah Thoris has fled to the planetary air-cleaning station that keeps Barsoom habitable, which Sarka damages, causing the atmosphere to deteriorate. John Carter and Sarka face each other in a duel, but Sarka is killed by an insect during the fight. After Carter and Dejah Thoris reactivate the station, Carter is returned to Earth, where he declines to tell his superiors about his adventures for fear they will colonize Barsoom, and returns to military duties while hoping one day to return to the planet.



This film makes extensive use of the Vasquez Rocks for its alien landscape, appearing throughout the film as different locations.[citation needed]

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