A contender for worst sci-fi film of all time
23 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
One of the sorriest excuses I've ever seen for a movie, UFO: TARGET EARTH is the pits. Playing like a '70s-era X-FILES without any of the suspense, interest, or action, this is an endless series of conversations between boring non-actors: people chat on the telephone, people camp out and talk in a tent, people talk in vehicles, people talk over tables. It's all talk, and meaningless talk at that. Seriously, I wonder whether there was a script involved or whether the whole film was ad-libbed, because the film's full of pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo that's completely laughable. Some of it's quite funny, actually, in a completely nonsensical way, but that's no recommendation to watch the film.

When I read film reviews I often see people stating "this is an hour and a half of your life that you'll never get back". I usually don't agree, and find at least some merit in every film. No so here. There isn't even any of the sub-exotic cheesiness in duds like THE THIRSTY DEAD. Just a guy filming people out in Hicksville, USA, people who can't act for toffee. In fact, there was only one guy in the whole film – a college professor – who fit his role, and that's probably because he WAS a professor in real life. The main guy, Nick Plakias, reminded me of Dean Stockwell in THE DUNWICH HORROR, but there the similarity ends. I like Dean Stockwell, but this guy is just a boring nerd.

So, what of the aliens or the UFO of the title? Well, it lurks beneath a lake for the entire picture, until the last fifteen minutes. Then the alien shows up, its head part of a pretty pattern on someone's TV set. Said pretty patterns play out until the end of the film, sometimes on screen for minutes on end without any type of dialogue. Even the UFO itself, when it rises from the lake, is produced via the same pattern. The patterns are pretty, but nothing you won't see on an everyday Windows screen saver. I suppose they must have been remarkable back in the day, but modern technology has robbed them of their impact. They're just generated patterns on a screen. I did find the hero's fate funny, though; he dons a succession of joke-shop wigs and descends into the lake, leaving just a polished skull behind. So funny, but not worth sitting the film out for. This one's a stinker, with no redemption anywhere. The bad news was that director Michael A. DeGaetano didn't call it a day – instead he felt the need to churn out another three flicks before realising he wasn't going anywhere.
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