Target Earth


Year 1954

Richard Denning as   Frank Brooks
Kathleen Crowley   as Nora King
Virginia Grey   as Vicki Harris
Richard Reeves as   Jim Wilson
Whit Bissell as Tom
 
Director - Sherman A. Rose
Screenwriters - Bill Raynor  
  - James Nicholson  
  - Wyott Ordung  

From the same pen that birthed Robot Monster comes Target Earth. Say it with reverb as in Target-arget-arget-get Earth-rth-rth-th. It makes the movie sound as cheesy as it is, but a little cooler, too.

Four people are hanging out together in abandoned Chicago. Why is Chicago abandoned? Well, an army invaded and the government evacuated the city. These four chumps either slept through it or decided to drink for free at the bars. Little did they know that the invaders are robots from outer space-pace-pace-ace.

I can't help it with the reverb thing. The movie doesn't use it. In fact, the movie takes itself seriously. Which is sad. I mean the writers try and the actors are not amateurs, but the scenes never come together. Let me amend the previous statement. At least one of the writers tries, maybe two of them do, but that inept one keeps submarining things. People go from happy to sad, from scared to homicidal, and fearful to in-love lickety-split.

This could have been a character study, but it's not. It could have been a survival theme, but it's not. It could have been the military against the invaders, but it's not. I use the term robots and invaders, but you never see more than one robot on the screen at any time.

The robots are boxy things with a screen in the front of their heads. It's their Achilles...uh...face. With an army of these slow metal men you can...step on turtles if the turtles don't budge. Of course, the robots don't have to run fast since they don't trample things. No. They zap things with a death ray. Thanks to either a meager budget or limited imagination, the death ray isn't a disintegrator ray. It kills folks dead and the bodies remain. In truth, I liked the fact that the dead folk didn't glisten up and disappear as in most invaders from space movies.

The best part of the movie is its tie-in with Mars Attacks! If you haven't seen Mars Attacks!, it's a sometimes funny movie that makes sends up B-movie invasions. In Mars Attacks!, the invaders are defeated using sound. A hillbilly yodeler or something. In Target Earth, the robot are defeated using sounds as well. In both, a jeep with speakers travels along playing the sound that destroys the invaders. So, there's that.

It's not the worst movie ever made. It just fails...unless you're a ten year old boy.

No nudity, blasphemy, and profanity. It doesn't have more "Oh, please!" moments than, "Boy, that was dull," scenes. And there's the Mars Attacks! tie in.


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