Ground Zero (1973)

GROUND ZERO (1973)
aka The Golden Gate is Ground Zero
Article 3010 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-4-2009
Posting Date: 11-10-2009
Directed by James T. Flocker
Featuring Ron Casteel, Melvin Belli, Augie Tribach
Country: USA

A criminal plans to force the release of two of his cronies who are in prison by hiding an a-bomb in the Golden Gate bridge and threatening to blow it up unless the prisoners are released.

The director’s name was familiar enough that it had me taking a quick trip to IMDB to look up his filmography. Sure enough, I’d encountered him before; he was responsible for THE ALIEN ENCOUNTERS, a movie that managed to charm me a little despite its obvious weaknesses. This one is really not much better; the dialogue is atrocious, the acting matches the dialogue and the action sequences are some of the slowest ever committed to celluloid. Also, despite the fact the story lends itself to an edge-of-the-seat ticking-clock suspense feel, I never felt much tension during the run of the movie. Still, there’s a few touches I like; the story and the characters are on the offbeat side, some of the camerawork is rather interesting, and the score is actually pretty damn good for a movie this cheap. In fact, the movie managed to hold my interest during a long driving sequence merely because of the catchy music. The atomic bomb provides the science fiction content here, which in and of itself is pretty marginal, but the ending nudges it a bit closer. I don’t know what it is about Flocker, but I find his bad movies to be rather watchable in an Edward D. Wood Jr. kind of way.

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