ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to parents and grandparents

Red Planet: Color of Fear (2000), (PG-13)
CAP Score: 56
CAP Influence Density: 0.79

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

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NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme or plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth. If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie

"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." [Emphasis is mine] And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I aplaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our five-year study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.


RED PLANET: COLOR OF FEAR (PG-13) is a quality production which does not rely heavily on high-tech gadgetry and wizardry but rather presents a thinking man's version of the sci-fi of the 50s. But this time the girl takes her clothes off. All of them [Num. 15:39, Rev. 3:18]. And there is "R-rated" language.

Carrie-Anne Moss as Commander Bowman is not the "extra" or the token attempt to put a pretty face on the screen. Moss portrays a straight-shootin' space pilot, knowledgeable of her ship and its capabilities and operation. But then, as the trend of exploiting women as sexual objects seems to be avoided in this movie Moss strips for the shower and for display to Val Kilmer as Gallagher.

For about twenty years scientists have been trying to seed Mars with algae to increase the oxygen in the Martian atmosphere. Why would we want to do that? If, by the year 2025 ... !!?? There's a song in that! Does anyone remember it? "In the year 2525, if man is still alive, if woman can survive, they may find..." Though just a kid when I first heard it I still remember parts of it and it is still a reminder, as is this movie, of our accountability to God giving us dominion over this planet and everything on it [Gen. 1:28]. As with any gift He gives us, we are to be good stewards of it, not abusers of it. Back to where I left off. If, by the year 2025 we too have so polluted our earth as to make it uninhabitable as they have in the movie, we would also want to move. The seeding experiments had been successful, at least for a while. The green pastures seen through telescopes had disappeared. In an effort to find out why, a ship was dispatched to find out what happened to the algae.

Everything is going well and orbit is established. As landing preparations are underway a gamma burst from the sun disables much of the ship's operating systems. Though I am an ex-radiation safety officer and an author in hospital/paramedical handling of radiation trauma, I will not go into the errors noted regarding the gamma burst. Though it is a movie, don't let it shape your impressions about ionizing radiation as movies do in so many ways about so many things, including behavioral choices and coping skills. In a sacrificial move, Commander Bowman sends the five scientists to the surface of Mars while she stays "with the sinking ship" to try to restore safe operations. But all does not go well with the landing party. Discovering malfunctions aboard the landing craft the crew implemented special features such as ejecting the landing gear from the pod. Seems like a good move since they have inflatable bags to surround the pod to improve the chances of surviving an uncontrolled landing. But AMEE is in the landing gear. AMEE is a special robot. Without her, the team is pretty much lost. Kinda like calculators in elementary and high school nowadays. Kids are lost without them.

The scientists, Santen (Benjamin Bratt), Chantilas (Terence Stamp), Burchenal (Tom Sizemore), Pettengil (Simon Baker), and Gallagher are now faced not with learning the reason why the algae disappeared but with survival. As the threat of eminent death looms, one of the "weaker" team members and a second get into a scuffle and one is killed by falling off a cliff -- or was he pushed? It may have been murder. I don't know. I was writing at that instant. The survivor of the scuffle certainly seemed to feel guilty about something. Another team member is so injured in the landing that he dies. In the meantime AMEE finds the team and, being corrupted by the fall from high altitude, attacks the team and intentionally breaks the rib of one of the team members. Remembering a supply post placed by earlier missions, the team trekked to it but find it destroyed. But why were all the supplies missing? I noted no explanation why it is destroyed.

Several additional perils are encountered as the team trek on. One of the perils being the dissonance created by a possible escape vehicle left by the Russians having the capacity to carry only two men -- there were three men left at that point. Further perils lead to the deaths of two more of the team, one very graphically and one by sacrificial suicide leaving Gallagher to fend for himself.

Though this movie could have been a sci-fi buff's delight, but it presents much concern for parents who value wholesome entertainment [Ps. 101:3]. In addition to the gratuitous full female nudity, there is much foul language including God's name in vain both with and without the four letter expletive AND the most foul of the foul words -- the one that used to make a movie R-rated [Col. 3:8, Deut. 5:11]. I hear often how school kids hear and use such language everyday. Is that supposed to make it right? Is that supposed to take away the sin of it? If every human who has drawn a breath used God's name in vain and other foul language in every sentence, it would still be a sin. While faith in God is mentioned in a positive way at least twice, a more bold and "finalizing" comment was "You see God. You let me know. Until then I'll trust my PhDs." [John 1:18] Other matters which may be of concern include revealing clothing, sexual innuendo and comments and a request for sexual performance, the ripping of human flesh by insect-like creatures, and a lesbian reference [Rom. 1:26].


  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Num. 15:39 You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes.
  • Gen. 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
  • Ps. 101:3 I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me.
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
  • Deut. 5:11 You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
  • John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
  • Rom. 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: Red Panet: Color of Fear (2000) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • many disaster perils
  • detailed discussion of coming death
  • near suffocations
  • death by great fall - plummeting body observed
  • attacks by a robot, some graphic, one resulting a killing the victim
  • scene of bloody human carcass
  • graphic ripping of human flesh by insect-like creatures burrowing out of a body
  • near death by explosion /fire

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • one use of the most foul of the foul words
  • 25 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • lie to cover up accountability for death
  • vulgar gesture

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • full female nudity
  • revealing clothing
  • lesbian reference
  • crude remarks
  • sexual comments, references, and innuendo
  • ghosting of female anatomy through thin clothing

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • two uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 7 without
  • "You see God. You let me know. Until then I'll trust my PhDs."

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • graphic sacrificial suicide

  • (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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