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Target Earth

3.9 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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(Feb 25, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

A large city has been completely evacuated. An alien force of robots has invaded the city and is destroying all mankind! Frank (Richard Denning) and a handful of strangers wake up to the empty city and band together. Not only must they escape the robot patrols, but also they must contend with a psychotic killer amongst them. All the while scientists are racing against the clock to save earth from annihilation. Based on the short novel, The Deadly City by Paul W. Fairman. Bonus Features: Commentary by Herman Cohen| Video Tribute to Producer Herman Cohen| Original theatrical trailer| Digitally Re-mastered| Anamorphic Widescreen - Enhanced for 16x9 monitors| Actor Bios| 3-D Motion Menus| Scene Selection| Booklet Insert| Trailers. Specs: DVD9; Dolby Digital Mono; 75 minutes; B&W; 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio; MPAA - NR; Year - 1954; SRP - $9.99.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Denning, Kathleen Crowley, Virginia Grey, Richard Reeves, Robert Roark
  • Directors: Sherman A. Rose
  • Writers: James H. Nicholson, Paul W. Fairman, William Raynor, Wyott Ordung
  • Producers: Herman Cohen
  • Format: Black & White, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Vci Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 25, 2003
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008G96N
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,146 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Target Earth" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
On the surface this 1954 movie appears to pretty bare-bones in comparison to other 1950s sci-fi epics. Richard Denning (Frank) and Kathleen Crowley (Nora), along with two others, are holed-up in a deserted hotel in a large American city (probably Chicago). The city's inhabitants have been evacuated, but these four have been overlooked. The menacing Venusian robot force (actually one robot), while a bit clunky and one dimensional, presents a threatening, underlying presence throughout the movie. When will it strike with its death-ray? Can anyone survive its monomaniac pursuit?

The movie's director, Sherman Rose, deftly explores the theme of loneliness and isolation among the crew's cast. Nora's failed suicide attempt and Frank's stoic acceptance of his being "rolled outside a bar after flashing a big roll" the night before seem to create a credible chemistry that bonds the characters' fates together. If misery loves company, Frank and Nora want no part of the company that waits outside the flimsy boundaries of their hotel room.

Black and white movies occasionally intensify austerity in a way that color films do not. The seeming hopelessness of Frank and Nora's situation, the desertion of the city, and unblinking, unnerving robot presence raise the emotional level of "Target Earth" up a couple of notches.

Viewers will like movie's ending too. The "science" portion of "Target Earth" gets the viewer to a strong visual climax as military scientists race against time to develop an ultrasonic sound wave generator that will defeat the invading menace. Will they get to Frank and Nora in time? Or will the lurking robot(s) find them first?
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Format: DVD
VCI did a good job restoring this vintage sci-fi invasion tale. After a failed suicide attempt, Nora King (Kathleen Crowley) wakes up to find the city deserted except for a body or two with horrified expressions on their faces. She encounters Richard Denning and they try to figure out what happened (he had been mugged unconcious) while they "slept". They meet a colorful couple drinking it up who survived also and the four band together. An invasion of robots from Venus have attacked the Earth and everyone has evacuated. (Well, actually it's only one robot clanking around but this IS a low-budget quickie). They end up in a hotel, contend with a gangster and fight the robot. Not everyone survives, but there's a rescue by the armed forces who have discovered how to demobilize the robots. With high-frequency sound! Engagingly goofy, loopy sci-fi that's competently acted but very low-budget. The robot is so cheesy looking I expected pieces of him to fall off any moment. But that was part of the fun. If this is your cup of tea, enjoy---!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
You know, I'm not one of those people who insists movies be presented in widescreen. Especially for older movies, it's just not that big of a deal. But TARGET EARTH screams out for a widescreen transfer from the first HORRIBLY CROPPED FRAME. You can't even read most of the opening credits because of the sloppy transfer job. It's inexcusable, especially when you refer back to the box and see "Widescreen" prominently printed on the cover.
Having said that, this was my first exposure to this taut, cheap little invasion flick, and I was fairly impressed. The black & white photography adds much to the feeling of isolation and desperation experienced by the characters. And the robot is pretty decent, by 50's sci-fi standards. Heckuva climax, too. But you'll have to see that for yourself.
Recommended for any fan of classic science fiction.
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Format: DVD
This film terrified me when I first saw it at the age of 9, but I doubt it will terrify anyone who has been raised in the era of sophisticated special effects. Nonetheless, it is a short (75 minutes), entertaining, and fun movie that captures the mood generated by the 1950s flying saucer scares.

The story centers on Nora and Frank, two strangers who've been left behind while the city was evacuated in response to an unknown (to them) threat. The eerie opening music creates the mood as Nora wakes from the stupor of an attempted suicide via sleeping pills. Alarmed to discover that both her rooming house and the entire city (as seen through her window) seem to be deserted, she gets dressed and goes off in search of someone.

With overhead photography worthy of Hitchcock, we follow Nora through the streets as she stumbles upon a dead body and eventually meets Frank, an out-of-town businessman who was also left behind after being mugged and knocked out the previous evening. They join forces, and eventually meet up with a drunken, bickering couple in an abandoned nightclub.

Together the four go outside, determined to find a way out of town. It is then that they have their first encounter with the invaders, robots from space armed with a deadly heat ray. Here is where you have to suspend judgment about the primitive special effects, but the rest of the movie is fast-paced and suspenseful, right up to the end.
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