Laboratory (1980)

Article 2675 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-24-2008
Posting Date: 12-9-2008
Directed by Bob Emenegger and Allan Sandler
Featuring Martin Kove, Ken Washington, Corinne Camacho
Country: USA

Space aliens kidnap humans and isolate them in a remote air force base for experiments.

You know, from a distance I respect this science fiction movie; despite the commonness of the idea of aliens experimenting on humans, I really haven’t seen it handled that much, and, despite the fact that it does show some influence from CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (in its use of music as a communication device), it is far from an imitation. Still, when I look up close, it has too many problems I can’t ignore. First of all, the script is rather weak, and the characters are poorly developed and/or stereotypes. Second of all, the score is one of those that largely just drones on and on at the same tone without any regard to the action on the screen; they try to keeep it low and below the surface, but I still noticed. Thirdly, the decision to have the aliens speak in distorted video-game voices backfires because it renders much of their dialogue unintelligible. But worst of all, the movie just utterly fails to build up much in the way of suspense; it takes low-key one step too far into soporific. In short, this could have been a much better movie. Still, I do have to take note of a movie which combines the talents of both Steven Spielberg’s and Cameron Mitchell’s respective sisters.


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