Saturday, April 25, 2015

UFO: Target Earth (1974)

Quite possibly the worst example of the speculative-fiction boom that paralleled mid-’70s fascination with all things otherworldly, UFO: Target Earth is a lifeless and nonsensical melodrama about a technician who investigates weird transmissions and eventually connects with some sort of alien presence that’s been hidden on Earth for hundreds of years. Since absolutely nothing of interest happens for the first hour of the movie, the only things about UFO: Target Earth worth mentioning occur during the “climax,” so read no further if you want this singularly underwhelming cinematic experience to remain unspoiled. In the wacky final sequences of UFO: Target Earth, our bland hero, Alan Grimes (played, zombie-like, by Nick Plakias), has a long psychic conversation with an alien that manifests as some sort of low-tech video waveform. The alien explains, in exhaustingly literal detail, that Alan is one of only four human beings ever to sufficiently “transcend” humanity that they can understand alien concepts. As a reward for his achievement of—well, whatever the hell it is that he’s achieved—Alan is asked to sacrifice himself and thereby give the alien (or aliens) the energy that he (or it or they) need in order to return to his (or its or their) home planet (or galaxy or whatever). It’s quite an accomplishment on the part of writer/producer/director Michael A. DeGaetano to fill the final stretch of UFO: Target Earth with explanatory dialogue and still leave the plot almost completely undecipherable. And it’s not as if the storyline is the only problem, because the acting, cinematography, dialogue, sets, and special effects are all substandard, as well. Incredibly, DeGaetano managed to raise money for two more features after this one, which should have been a career-killer.

UFO: Target Earth: SQUARE

No comments: