3.5/10
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31 user 14 critic

The Alpha Incident (1978)

PG | | Sci-Fi | 24 May 1978 (USA)
A microorganism from Mars, brought to Earth by a space probe, terrorizes passengers in a railroad office.

Director:

Bill Rebane

Writer:

Ingrid Neumayer (original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ralph Meeker ... Charlie
Stafford Morgan ... Dr. Sorensen
John F. Goff John F. Goff ... Jack Tiller (as John Goff)
Carol Irene Newell Carol Irene Newell ... Jenny
George 'Buck' Flower ... Hank (as Buck Flower)
Paul Bentzen Paul Bentzen ... Dr. Farrell
John Alderman ... Dr. Rogers
Ray Szmanda Ray Szmanda ... The Official
Lawrence Ripp Lawrence Ripp ... The Guard (as Sir Lawrence Ripp)
Harry Youstos Harry Youstos ... Alvin (as Harry Youstes)
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Storyline

A microorganism from Mars, brought to Earth by a space probe, terrorizes passengers in a railroad office.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It was a gift from the red planet ... Uncle Sam had the ultimate solution ... See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 May 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gift from a Red Planet See more »

Filming Locations:

Gleason, Wisconsin, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The helicopter seen in this production is a rather rare Hughes 300 also known as the Hughes 269. For the US military these were named the TH-55 Osage. The maiden flight was in October 1956 and production ceased in 1983. See more »

Connections

Featured in Trailer Trauma (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

The Gift
Lyrics by Dale Kuippers (as Dale Kuipers), Bill Rebane
Music by Tom Barnet
Sung by Deanna Wynand and Don Lasee and The Ramblin Fever Band
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cheap and likable virus outbreak movie
23 October 2010 | by Red-BarracudaSee all my reviews

A virus from space is released accidentally while in transit on a train. It results in a group of people in a remote train depot being subject to quarantine and left isolated, while the scientists try to work on a cure.

The Alpha Incident is a paranoid sci-fi film in the same vein as The Andromeda Strain, with elements of George A Romero's Night of the Living Dead and The Crazies thrown in for good measure. It isn't a patch on either of those films although it's fairly decent, all things considered. It's admittedly quite badly paced, however, with a little too much talk to pad things out. Still, the set-up is good enough and the overall cynical 70's sci-fi vibe works for me. There's only one occasion when we see the effects of the virus on a human and it's actually surprisingly decent – they could really have done with using this a little more. The effect is basically the brain expanding and breaking out of the cranium of the unfortunate victim. This is the horrible death that the infected people are trying to avoid. For some reason this nasty scenario only kicks in when the victims fall asleep, so for most of the film the story seems to be about people trying to stay awake – a symptom that I'm sure some viewers of this movie will experience too funnily enough.

But, for me, this isn't a bad effort overall. It's definitely one of director Bill Rebane's best. He operated in the Z-Grade side of the cinematic spectrum for sure but his films have an honest earnestness that is easy to get behind. And this is a relatively thoughtful narrative for Bill's standards. However, its cheap limitations are never truly averted, and it doesn't develop the space virus thread of the story as well as you hope and the film ends up being essentially about people in a room popping amphetamines. But, you know what, I kind of like this one anyway.


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