Target Earth! (1954)

Article #272 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 12-13-2001
Posting date: 4-28-2002

A city is invaded by robots from another planet.

This movie is a recipient of the DS Bait-and-Switch award, for movies that start out promising and then go down the tubes. In this case, the first few minutes of the movie, where a woman awakens from a failed suicide attempt into a world of dead silence, really sets up an air of tension; it is an exquisitely directed and memorable scene. This gets you through a slightly uneven first third, but after that the movie becomes a talky, interminable bore. The addition of a human villain in the final act comes across as desperation rather than clever plotting; ultimately, there’s very little here to hold the interest. I’ve also never been able to figure out why it is that people have trouble figuring out that the invaders are robots; they always seem so surprised to find out, when I take one look at them and think “robots.” I think this strange phenomenon has popped up in a few other movies, though THE MYSTERIANS is the only other one that comes to mind.

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