Target Earth - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Target Earth Reviews

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½ April 15, 2015
A rather original, but at the same time cliched alien invasion film. Target Earth is exciting, especially during the climax. For a low budget film it's well acted and filmed. Although there is a lac of appearance of the robot aliens from Venus in my opinion. And, the special effects that there is is cheesy but still cool robots. Recommended.
½ January 22, 2014
The Robots are Coming--A nifty 50's low-budget sci-fi alien invasion flick!!
November 25, 2011
Entertaining, cheap sci-fi about a small group of people left behind following an evacuation following an invasion by an army of Venusian robots. Actually the 'army' only ever amounts to one robot - a man in a dodgy costume, who looks ridiculous stumbling up a flight of stairs! Richard Denning stars and Whit Bissell is the military scientist who discovers a way to disable the robot army.
June 20, 2011
It's an old movie but a great one!
½ November 9, 2010
"Tank Battalion" director Sherman A. Rose' black & white, science fiction horror thriller "Target Earth" concerns an alien invasion of Earth with huge, hulking robots constructed of surgical steel combing Los Angeles after the authorities have evacuated the city. Producer Herman Cohen points out in his audio commentary track that the desolate shots of L.A. were lensed on Sunday mornings when the streets were bare of humanity. The monster robot--only one is seen whenever it is shown--looks like it was modeled after the alien robot in director Robert Wise's landmark sci-fi thriller "The Day The Earth Stood Still." Rose and his writers introduce audiences during the opening half-hour to a handful of survivors in Los Angeles who were overlooked during the evacuation. Frank Brooks (sci-fi leading man Richard Denning of "Hangman's Knot") stumbles across Nora King (Kathleen Crowley of "Sabre Jet") in the street when she encounters a dead woman and turns around to find Frank looking at her. Initially, Nora is afraid, but she calms down long enough for Frank to convince her that he doesn't represent a threat. "Target Earth" unfolds with Nora awakens after the city has been evacuated. Later, we learn that she tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills after her male friend died in a car crash. As Frank and Nora are scouring the city, they run into Vicki Harris (Virginia Grey of "The Women") and Jim Wilson (Richard Reeves of "Riot in Juvenile Prison") in a restaurant boozing it up. The two couples get together run into Charles Otis (Mort Marshall of "Skullduggery") and Otis tries to get away from the robots by fleeing through the city streets during the daylight hours. Predictably, the robot zaps Otis dead with a death ray. The two couples take up residence in an abandoned motel and stay at the top floor.

Rose and scenarists William Raynor, James Nicholson, and Wyott Ordung concentrate on the survivors for a half-hour and then they shift the focus to the top military brass coordinating the attack against the aliens while the scientists probe the remains of a robot to determine the best way to destroy it. They based their screenplay on the 1953 short story "Deadly City" by Paul W. Fairman that Cohen came across. Basically, for the remainder of the action, Rose cuts back and forth between our survivors and the military. Eventually, the survivors confront another survivor, a killer named Davis (Robert Roark of "Killers from Space"), and he muscles his way into their habitat. Eventually, Tom, Chief research scientist (Whit Bissell of "Side Street") and his researchers discover that they can use an oscillator to destroy the robots with sound waves. Up until this epic discovery, the military has hurled their most powerful weapons against the aliens with no success. Although it was a success when it came out in 1954, "Target Earth" seems bland today compared to mega-budgeted movies such as "Independence Day." There is a spooky quality to the bare city streets during the opening half-hour, but once the robot makes its appearance about 28 minutes later and zaps Otis, the film settles into the formulaic rut of a war movie with the military scrambling to figure out how to obliterate the robots. No, the aliens who control the robots are never seen and Earth never receives an ultimatum from the alien invaders. Rose winds things up on a cliffhanger type ending. "Target Earth" is mandatory viewing for sci-fi fans who want to study the films of the 1950s.
Super Reviewer
November 9, 2010
A familiar story line, but still a good movie for a low budget sci-fi fifties movie, I enjoyed it.
½ July 15, 2010
Muy aburrida y pobre. La gran invasion extraterrestre solo son unos cuantos planos de un robot hecho de carton, torpe, pero que nos pretenden hacer creer es extraordinariamente letal, y sin embargo sucumbe ante una sirena que emite ruiditos. Lo demas son las insufribles y gratuitas desventuras de los personajes en lo que se presume ser una lucha por la supervivencia.
November 7, 2008
There was a good movie to be made here. Unfortunately, this wasn't it. The killer robots were pretty special.
½ October 27, 2008
Blah blah aliens blah blah injectopod blah blah mind control blah communism blah blah oboe music blah blah blah Zontar. The End.
½ April 3, 2008
so bad it's good.
i love the way the robots walk - it's as if a middle schooler did the costumes.
March 29, 2008
Yep. Has the feel of a B&W on TV that I could have fallen asleep to when I was young - but maybe that's too harsh. It's a psychological thriller (but just doesn't come off totally thrilling, if you know what I mean). Characters are of that age (in entertainment) when someone getting killed before your very eyes deserved a quick - darn! even if you knew them. Not relevent 10 seconds later (and you notice). But if you love old sci-fi go ahead and put this on your list. The actors are skilled enough that it's not the least bit painful to watch, and there's a nifty hard to kill robot (representing a robot army) that shoots a death ray.
March 21, 2008
I did not really like this movie.
February 25, 2008
lol....no comments....yet, entertaining...really bad actor performance for most of them...
½ February 23, 2008
A servicable low rent sci fi. The first half hour is really quite good, up until the point the robots show up and all menace is undermined by their tin can appearence.
January 19, 2007
The lamest movie eva but it has Chris in it!.............
April 17, 2006
Despite its very low budget [u]Target Earth[/u] is an excellent film. It achieves a real sense of menace with minimal materials. It is fast paced but slows down when it needs to. The small cast may have been dictated by the limited budget but the film makes an asset of what could have been a liability ? accentuating the foursome's isolation and peril and also letting us get to know and like them. The acting is consistently good to excellent and the characters are believable and have depth that is usually missing in SF of the era. In the end there are still unanswered questions about each of the four lead characters and that adds to their realism in a fantastical tale.

Nora (Kathleen Crowley) wakes up from a failed suicide attempt to find that not only is she alone in her rooming house but that the city, as seen through her window, seems to be inexplicably deserted. As she walks through the empty streets in search of someone the viewer cannot help but feel her sense of isolation and growing panic. The use of overhead photography in these scenes of her search reminds me of Welles and is as effectively used by director Sherman rose as it ever was by Welles or Hitchcock. Though the setting is supposed to be Chicago, these scenes were shot in downtown Los Angeles on a Sunday morning ? a time when I can assure you the area truly does seem abandoned by mankind.

Nora's alarm is naturally intensified when she stumbles upon a dead body. The horrified expression on the corpse's face isn't exactly soothing to her nerves either. Soon after, in a classic "bus" shot, she meets Frank (Richard Deming), an out-of-town businessman who awoke to find the city deserted after he had been mugged and knocked out the previous evening.

Frank and Nora then meet Vicki (Virginia Grey), and Jim (Richard Reeves), a drunken, bickering couple who are drinking their way thru the city's abandoned nightclubs. They now learn why the city is deserted ? it has been evacuated in the face of an invasion from outer space. Frank and Nora convince Vicki and Jim to give up their bar hopping and together they go outside, determined to find a way out of town. This is when they have their first encounter with the alien invaders -- robots armed with a deadly heat ray. The robot is a pretty cheesy special effect and although the storyline tells us that there is an army of robots the film never shows more than one. Somehow, however, that robot burned itself into my memory when I first saw this movie and seems to have had the same effect on many others. While I personally have never had a nightmare of any sort, I've heard of a number of people who report having nightmares in which they were pursued by that robot thru empty streets for years after seeing this movie.



The foursome takes shelter in a hotel where they are soon joined by a menacing hoodlum (Robert Roark) who plans to use them as decoys in his escape from the robotic menace. He meets a predictable end and soon after one of the robots smashes its way into their sanctuary. Not everyone survives the battle with the robot but at the last minute the Army arrives armed with a new weapon capable of disabling the robots. The search for a weapon has been presented in a series of brief scenes of soldiers and scientist at work scattered thru the earlier scenes of the film.
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