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Target Earth, A large city is ordered to be completely evacuated as an army of robots, believed to be from the planet Venus, attack it. Left behind are Nora King and Frank Brooks, strangers until their chance meeting in the deserted streets. They meet a celebrating couple at a café, Vicki Harris and Jim Wilson. The quartet escape the robot patrol and take refuge in a large hotel. There, they encounter a new danger in Davis, a psychopathic killer. Venus robots or not, Davis practices his profession.
A nifty 50’s low-budget sci-fi alien invasion flick
Target Earth, A major American city gets evacuated because of an impending alien invasion. A motley assortment of six desperate people — shrewd, dashing Richard Denning, feisty, but lonely and depressed Kathleen Crowley, raucous drunk Richard Reeves, Reeves’ brassy dame main flame Virginia Grey, antsy, panicky paranoid Mort Marshall and dangerous, volatile wanted fugitive criminal Robert Rourk — are accidentally left behind and have to fend off the aliens by themselves. Sherman A. Rose’s tight, sturdy, no-frills direction, working from a clever and arresting script by Bill Raynor, James Nicholson and Wyott Ordung, starts the movie out on a strong note, with a beautifully eerie and enigmatic atmosphere and exquisitely desolate shots of unnervingly empty and abandoned city streets. Alas, the feature falls a bit flat when the aliens materialize, mainly because said aliens are clunky-looking box-like waddling robots which prove to be more laughable than menacing. However, the uniformly solid acting (longtime favorite 50’s sci-fi picture perennial Whit Bissell in particular acquits himself well in a sizable supporting role as a helpful scientist), Guy Roe’s gorgeously crisp black and white cinematography, the compelling characters, the commendably serious, no-kidding tone, Paul Dunlap’s booming, robust, spooky score, the intriguing premise and the pleasingly trim 75 minute running time all keep this film on a steady and satisfying course throughout. A really fun and neat little B item.