Sound: C†††† Extras: C+†††† Film: C+
One of producer Herman Cohenís earliest exercises in genre
producing is Target Earth (1953), an alien invasion film where they have
sent robots to get the human race.† Of
course, the military is on the case, but that does not help some late arrivals
who do not know what is going on.† It
begins when one woman (Kathleen Crowley) wakes up to find her town
deserted.† Before she can become the
last woman on earth, a few others begin to surface, as do a few dead bodies.
She is eventually joined by Frank (Richard Denning, who
one year later would surface in Creature from the Black Lagoon), a
drunken couple (Virginia naked Kiss Grey and Richard Force of Evil
Reeves) who decide to raid all the fancy nightclubs since they are now free for
the taking, and some other unsavory characters who are not always human.
The film runs 78 minutes and is a true B-movie, but it is
often amusing and the cast is a cut above what you usually get in this kind of
fare.† Sherman H. Rose does a good
directing job, considering the low budget he had to work with and the
screenplay is not outright stupid as is often the case in such films.† It is no masterwork of cinema, but the film
has a few interesting moments just the same.
The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 monochrome image is
not bad either, though it looks like a sliver of information is missing from
the left and right based on the way the opening credits played back.† You can see much grain form the original
stocks, as well as the age of the materials, but the video black and gray scale
are better than usual for DVD despite depth and clarity limits.† The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is passable for
its age, sounding like someone did their best to clean it up.† Cohen has a commentary he recorded years ago
for a LaserDisc edition of the film, and it sounds good too.† That is one of the extras, though Cohen does
not talk as much as one wishes he would.†
He said more on VCIís Horrors of the Black Museum commentary from
a former LaserDisc edition of that film.†
We also get a repeat of the 20-minutes + featurette tribute to Cohen
form that DVD, a fold-out inside the DVD case, a few biographies, and a few
trailers for this and other Cohen films.
In Chapter 11, at 43:49, I had a freeze-up problem, but
was able to get by it eventually.†
Pressing complications made this DVD late, but it performs well
otherwise and should not pose a major tech problem.† Target Earth is for those interested in dumb fun, and
would go great with a few Mystery Science Theater boxed sets.
-†† Nicholas Sheffo