Aliens, contacting scientist Adam Penner, inform him that they have been on the moon for twenty thousand years, undetected due to their invisibility, and have now decided to annihilate ... See full summary »
A large city is ordered to be completely evacuated as an army of robots, believed to be from the planet Venus, attack it. Left behind are Nora King and Frank Brooks, strangers until their chance meeting in the deserted streets. They meet a celebrating couple at a café, Vicki Harris and Jim Wilson. The quartet escape the robot patrol and take refuge in a large hotel. There, they encounter a new danger in Davis, a psychopathic killer. Venus robots or not, Davis practices his profession. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Since it was co-written by the man behind ROBOT MONSTER (1953), I really wasn't expecting anything from this one (whose SE DVD I bought dirt-cheap from VCI outright). However, the film proved worthy of some attention though failing to keep up the initial momentum, despite a brief 75-minute duration.
The plot starts off with a typical 'Last Man On Earth' scenario (albeit restricted in this case to just one big American city, and the reason it's deserted is due to evacuation rather than decimation). Eventually, a handful of people (including a constantly squabbling couple) band together in a hotel; we gradually learn their individual reasons for being left behind which would actually be replicated in the much later THE QUIET EARTH (1985) and, amidst fighting one another (especially the bossiness of an armed criminal on the run), they heroically withstand the alien invasion (consisting of a single solitary robot!) which is threatening the planet. Ultimately, the military springs into action scientist Whit Bissell having finally hit upon a particular sound wave which can 'kill' the clunky automaton(s), also able to shoot a deadly ray a' la Klaatu from THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951) and rescues those still standing (obviously the hero and heroine).
The male lead is once again played by Richard Denning, whom I had just watched in THE BLACK SCORPION (1957): amusingly, as in that film, for all his ruggedness he's made up to be something of a dope as well, since Denning cluelessly purports to defend himself with a mere firearm (at the end, when he's told the alien was actually a robot, his character displays genuine amazement duh!). In the end, though no classic, the film is extremely typical of its time and reasonably entertaining while it's on (with, as I said, the best moments coming at the very beginning via the eerie depiction of deserted city streets).
The extras are perhaps over-generous for such minor genre fare: that said, I haven't listened to its late producer Herman Cohen's Audio Commentary while I was already familiar with the tribute featurette to him from its inclusion on VCI's own edition of HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM (1959).
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