Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Alpha Incident (1978)

Low-budget sci-fi schlock, The Alpha Incident contains a storyline that might have passed muster as, say, an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man. Stretched to feature length, bereft of a colorful hero, and inexplicably burdened with a bummer ending, The Alpha Incident galumphs from start to finish, so the most memorable thing about the picture is the laughable special-effects sequence depicting a man’s head exploding. If only the movie could provoke that dynamic a response from viewers. The movie proper begins on a train, where federal agent Dr. Sorensen (Stafford Morgan) is tasked with protecting mysterious cargo. After pestering Dr. Sorensen with questions, nosy train worker Hank (George “Buck” Flower), tampers with the cargo, which just happens to be dangerous material from outer space. Dr. Sorensen subsequently halts the train at a small station, ordering the station quarantined until authorities decide how to resolve the incident. Cue close-quarters melodrama involving Dr. Sorensen and the workers at the train station. That’s pretty much all that happens until the very end of the film, when folks start dying in horrific ways. (Despite his star billing, screen veteran Ralph Meeker delivers a lifeless performance in an inconsequential role yet another station worker.) Throughout most of The Alpha Incident, folks simply hang out, explaining how nervous they are without showing their feelings in dramatically interesting ways. Even the head-exploding bit is anticlimactic, and when you can’t make a combustible cranium exciting, you know you’re doing something wrong.

The Alpha Incident: LAME

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