“UFO’s... The truth about them might just blow your mind for the last time!”
From deep within the 60’s fueled hangover called 1974 comes this cinematic snoozefest, UFO: Target Earth. An odd name to be honest as there is nothing close to what one might consider “targeting”, by UFO or otherwise. There is, supposedly, a UFO though we never see it outside of a circular pen plot late in the film, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The beginning of the film opens with what are apparently real UFO sighters and abductees being interviewed by a reporter. (From the looks of the people I’m willing to believe that, YES they did indeed see and/or were abducted by little gray men.) Then we get an opening sequence that is, well... It's the Seventies! The song is so ridiculously out of place that it has to be heard to believed. I’ve placed a sample of it below. Enjoy! The film continues the idea of alien abduction by highlighting a young man who wakes from a nightmare and tells his mother how he keeps seeing a bright light that hurts and “makes him all naked”. Now a statement like this in today’s world would immediately put into question little Allen’s sleep overs at “Uncle Dave’s”, but not in 1974! No, Mom just tells young Allen that that was just his “waking star” and that everyone has one! Go back to sleep kid, your part in this movie is mercifully over.
The whole plot revolves and electronic expert, Alan, who discovers some sort of signal coming from nearby his lab (I guess) and it appears to be coming from under the lake of a sleepy little town of ?????? (Dunno. If they said I missed it and I’m pretty sure the town is thankful for that as well). Alan is concerned that this signal may mean trouble and ask advice of a former teacher(?) a astrophysics professor, Dr. Whitham. This man spouts some this and that and pretty much tells him he doesn’t believe in UFO’s (Mostly comets he says) but DOES believe there are other life forms out there. By the way, this guy looks like the love child of Phil Donahue and Roger Ebert. Think Newt Gingrich with more hair and glasses. The most important bit of dialog between these two is: Alan - “What the hell do we know about electricity?” Dr. Whitham - “We know it’s a power source.” Alan - “So is imagination.” Huh?
Undeterred Alan enlists the help of Dr. Mansfield, another electronic expert, or phone company technician can’t be sure, who somehow knows of and introduces Alan to a weird psychic girl, Vivian. Vivian gets weird feelings when she is around Alan and the lake so she eagerly agrees to go along on his investigation.
They interview some more folks who saw “something” and in one scene, the worst case of the boom mike in frame EVER!! A full MINUTE! YES, The boom mike in the frame, moving, for ONE WHOLE FREAKING MINUTE
Dr. Mansfield, also a non-believer, eventually just in time to see Vivian go super weird and after doing so gives a fantastic speech about just what may be going on, all about a ship crashing and submerging into the lake, and the beings reaching out with their minds every now and again which triggered Vivian’s ESP talents. Alan responds, “You don’t believe any of that! Why are you saying it?” Without missing a beat, “No Alan I don’t believe it. I don’t believe because I haven’t seen it. But I SAY it because we must construct some possibility in order to begin our investigation.” Yeah, right. Good luck with that!
Dr. Mansfield ends up getting sick, Alan starts seeing faces on the TV screen in some weird *** disco light effect and then the voices start. From deep within the lake the aliens call to Alan and tell him that is was him that they have been searching for. It was him and his imagination that could finally set them free.
Alan walks to the waters edge and in a series of timey-whimey WTF moments he ages from a young 20-something to an old man and after he goes under the water a colleague pulls him out only to discover he is know nothing but a skeleton.
Well to say the least, this was a turn of the highest sort. It isn’t so much that is was a bad movie, but it was that someone was obviously trying, really, REALLY hard to come across as intelligent and as a “deep thinker”. Someone thought this crap made some sort of sense on some metaphysical level!
Mercifully the “stars” of this film, with only a couple of exceptions, went on from this film and did anything else. Even DeGaetano wrote and directed 2 more films plus directed one other one and then disappeared from films.
This thing is what you get if you take a guy smoking way too much weed and give him a typewriter. Which may be the best way to actually watch this film except you would most likely just doze of somewhere at the 45 minute mark and then if you are smart, you’ll use the disc to cut your next bag on.
FINAL RATING: 2 “What they hell do we know about film making” out of 10.
Please feel free to enjoy this stunning musical number.
_________________ "Too Soon from the Cave, Too Far from the Stars"
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