Sci Fi Trash-O-Rama
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Buckle-up for a trashy thrill-ride as this collection of Sci-Fi's "Tarnished Gold" escapes before your startled eyes! CREATURE OF DESTRUCTION (1967) is certainly one of Larry Buchanan's most distinguished efforts. A great cast includes monster movie veteran Les Tremayne and BEACH PARTY regular Aron Kincaid. FLYING SAUCER MYSTERY (1950) gives you a peek at the early UFO scare catching fire in country at the time. Scientists with incredibly straight faces give out the unwashed truth about flying saucers and visitors from outer space. UFO - TARGET EARTH (1974) is one funky little movie in which a noted researched delves too deep into the mystery of alien visitations in a backwoods rural community and begins to fall victim to his own investigation.
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Top Customer Reviews
The premise of the film isn't bad: Scientist (or something, it's never really explained) who has some relationship to a university (also not explained) is visited by aliens as a child (one must assume) and later is drawn (somehow) to a woman who, it seems, has psychic powers and explores a lake where there are rumors a UFO crashed many years before, it appears. Is that description confusing? It only hints at the confusion contained in "UFO:Target Earth".
Characters enter with no explanation of their purpose, never to be seen again. The relationships between the main characters are not explained. Each of the multiple phone calls in the film are one-sided, thus leading to much screen time being taken up with "Hello....Yes...I see...Well, If you wish..." The main character has a conversation with a General, who spends the entire scene twiddling a butter knife. Blown lines are left in, actors begin lines and just...stop. And this film contains a long, intense cameo by with a boom mic that you will not believe. It manages the best performance in the film. You won't be able to take your eyes off it!
If you are a fan of bad cinema, a connoisseur of crap this film is a must see. If you are a film student, this film is a PERFECT textbook showing everything NOT to do when making a movie.
WARNING: I'd advise you time your drugs to peak during the final 20 minutes. And remember this, the aliens have to be seen to be believed.
When I started watching "Creature of Destruction" I didn't pay particular attention to the credits. After about two minutes of viewing, I thought that it had to be the work of Larry Buchanan, as it has a distinctly Zontaresque feel to it. Sure enough, I went back and watched the credits, and I knew I was in for a rough ride as soon as it revealed "Azalea Pictures Presents"..."Produced and Directed by Larry Buchanan".
This is the follow up to "Zontar: The Thing From Venus" and features an even more ridiculous looking monster, if you can believe that. Despite the typical Buchanan touches, the film has a decidedly "Horror of Party Beach" predisposition (especially in the soundtrack department; note the song about "Batman" particularly); it's like combining two great sci-fi institutions into one great camp classic.
The plot follows Dr. Basso in the role of the evil mind-control villain (i.e. the "Zontar" role), who predicts menacing things in the future. His lovely assistant is under his spell but desperately wants to break free; during the course of the film she regresses to previous lives and undergoes, among other indignities, a ludicrous psychic cross-examination in which she has to answer an endless string of trivia questions about seventeenth century English society. Ultimately it is revealed that the monster is involved with Basso, but I won't spoil the actual relationship, as it is priceless.
The film has typical Buchanan blunders such as lifting the soundtrack from "Zontar" and reusing it at inappropriate times, frequently drowning out the dialogue; numerous day versus night issues within a scene giving it a rather timeless quality (shades of "Plan 9"); and a montage at the end that seems to have also been lifted directly from "Zontar" with slightly different casting. Don't miss the amusingly contrived Monster-Hypnotist Murder-Suicide (really), or the horrendous beach dancing either. Fans of Buchanan will undoubtedly note the appearance of Neil Fletcher as the cranky businessman Sam Crane; he was, of course, General Matt Young in "Zontar".
If you like hokey but fun sci-fi movies from the 1960's, this one is hard to beat: it has everything: a ridiculous monster, a damsel in distress, an evil villain, terrible special effects, music, dancing, and more! For fans of the genre, I highly recommend "Creature of Destruction", another masterwork from the mind of Larry Buchanan!
"UFO-Target Earth" is a wretched film made in Georgia in 1974. It has all the signs of being a student film, and while presenting itself initially as a pseudo-documentary, it quickly falls into the abyss of bad electronic music and never looks back. I cannot tell you how oppressive or inappropriate the music in this film is; unfortunately it's also one of the better features of the movie.
The film follows an electronics expert, Alan, from a local college as he seeks to find an alien spacecraft at the bottom of a lake near a power plant. He is assisted by a totally wacky woman who feels "energy" from the UFO, who also hyperventilates a lot, and who has the power to psychically cause a record player to malfunction. The plot is slow and heavy-handed. The acting is absolutely terrible, but the dialogue is unintentionally hilarious. Sample: "Sometimes I feel like I'm teetering on the edge of an enormous chasm of time and space: it's a swaying sensation, like I'm about to fall in." A couple of hours of that and you will be praying for more electronic music. Fortunately, that's right around the corner. The end of the movie is nothing more than seemingly endless psychedelic color blotches accompanied by electronic music (hey, at least the cast isn't talking) representing the concept that Alan's dreams can free the energy aliens from their aquatic bondage. We know this because the energy aliens speak through a TV set, prompting Alan to proclaim "We are beyond the jaws of darkness". In other words, this is a total mess: it makes absolutely zero sense, it is plodding to an inhumane degree, and is self-righteous and pretentious with no reason for being that way (like much of the 1970's, come to think of it).
For conventional entertainment value, this should get less than one star, but since there are several unintentionally hilarious scenes lending it some serious camp horsepower, I would give this a two star rating by itself: this film brought the combined score for the entire DVD down to four stars. This would have made an unbelievably excellent episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
For a fun look at sci-fi from decades gone by, this is a great set overall.
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