The Alpha Incident (Gift from a Red Planet) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Alpha Incident (Gift from a Red Planet) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 15, 2014
Five people are quarantined in a remote railway station after being exposed to an interplanetary virus that will kill them if they fall asleep. They talk. Good luck staying awake through this.
½ March 2, 2014
The cast make this movie work. Fine acting and camera work make this so realistic.
April 4, 2013
"The Alpha Incident" feels like an episode of "The Twilight Zone" padded out to full movie length. While it overstays its welcome it does have an interesting premise and uses itslow budget effectively. It's a shame that the performances aren't betterbecause those could have really amped up the tension and made this into a tightthriller. A better film would have you on the edge of your seat as the characters are trapped in quarantine after being exposed by a virus from Mars. As is it isn't terrible but it isn't spectacular either so it's worthchecking out if the premise interests you and you're able to forgive some ofthe film's shortcomings. (Dvd, September 16, 2012)
December 9, 2012
Slow pacing, choppy scenes, but it can be a bit thrilling. Most the film takes place in a single room, and the ending is a bit similar to 'Night of the Living Dead'. The characters aren't great, and the suspense gets weak, but overall it can be decent.
October 29, 2012
Mill Creek's 50 Movie Pack: Chilling Classics Reviews

Bill Rebane's THE ALPHA INCIDENT [1977]: from infamous Wisconsin cult movie producer & director Bill Rebane the same man behind other "gems" like MONSTER A GO-GO [1961/1965]& THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION [1975] comes another one of his low budget wonders on my viewing list. THE ALPHA INCIDENT sees unknown bacteria from outer space being transported on a freight train in rural Wisconsin under the watch of a government Scientist. However when the train stop at a remote station a rail employee opens the case which leads to everyone at the station becoming the subject of quarantine. Much to the luck of everyone it's too bad that the bacteria strain has a bad habit of killing people.

Thoughts: Sadly for Rebane's cult legacy, THE ALPHA INCIDENT despite its potential to be a real intense claustrophobic thriller has several drawbacks. One is the fact that its climax is a blatant rip off of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD [1968]. However for the most part the film is a good late 1970's post-Watergate, government conspiracy, American Sic-Fi thriller set in the narrow confides of a remote Railway office. Despite its drawbacks this Rebane feature is worthy of a solid 60%.
½ October 27, 2012
A curious rail worker releases a potentially deadly virus that is being hauled predictably under very minimal security. Those exposed are quarantined at a small rail depot and those not killed by the virus end up being shot just to be safe.
November 5, 2011
It could have been good, although when the filmmakers decide to have the characters stuck in one place for the majority of the film, it rarely turns out well. I don't like calling movies boring,but this movie was too long and even painful to watch. Please save yourself some trouble and do not see this. Ever.
½ June 13, 2011
Microrganism from Mars (guarded by one man who falls asleep) is unleashed by careless train worker with deadly effects. Majority of film is spent watching five people in quarantine trying to stay awake but does boast one great scene of horror.
½ February 16, 2011
The Alpha Incident (aka "Gift from the Red Planet")
Starring: Stafford Morgan, John Goff, Carol Irene Newell, George Flower, Paul Betzen, John Alderman, and Ralph Meeker
Director: Bill Rebane

After a dimwitted, clumsy railroad worker (Flower) breaks open the badly secured samples of a Martian virus being moved from one government lab to another, the agent escorting it (Morgan) must keep himself and a small group of local yokels at an isolated trainyard until a cure can be found.

I should have stopped the DVD when the words "A Film by Bill Rebane" appeared on the screen. I should have known that a film from the void of talent that brought the world "They" wouldn't be giving me anything worth my time. I didn't stop the DVD, and I witnessed a movie even worse, even more pointless than the other Bill Rebane film I've subjected myself to.

While the acting is a little better here, the story goes nowhere, the characters never even rise to the level of figures they're so badly developed, neither the writer nor the director seem to have much of an ear for dialogue, or a sense of how to tell a good story. Whenever the film seems to start making a point--it repeatedly flirts with what stress and danger does to transform a person--it either backs off from it, or does it so ineptly the viewer (and just one viewer.., the person so wired on coffee and chocolate they've not been bored into a stupour, so they are still paying attention) must wonder if anyone involved with the production side has ever had any relationships with real people.

The acting here is generally better than what might be witnessed in the other Rebane opus I've seen, but the story is worse and even more pointless. Its slow, and, like the train featured in it, seems to start a trip but ultimately ends nowhere.

Take my word for it and skip this one. The only reason for watching it would be to confirm that Bill Rebane is, indeed, in the running for Worst Filmmaker Ever.
½ February 16, 2011
3.5/10. This low budget sci-fi movie lacks any believabilty and it certainly lacks good acting. Unconvincing plot, but it isn't a bad concept, just poorly filmed.
February 16, 2011
Well, having not learned my lesson from "Cathy's Curse"; I decide to push forward with another film.

"The Alpha Incident", produced and directed by Bill Rebane.

Bill Rebane ... that rings a bell. But how. Let's check the ol' IMDB for directors.

"Monster A Go-Go (1965)"


Aw, hell.:(

Well, there's a mysterious microbe that came in on a space probe from Mars. Some guys are obviously concerned about it being infectious and dangerous. So they decided to ship it to a safe place:

...near Denver, Colorado ... train.

Gee, what could [i]possibly[/i] go wrong?:rolleyes:
Then again, this is from the guy that made "Monster a Go-go".

On the train, we get a guy who apparently is 'guarding' the booty. However, he falls asleep and then this guy (hobo? railworker?) steals the guys keys 'cuz he just HAS to know what he's guarding. He goes to the lockbox and opens the case containing the virus. The car jolts, the vial breaks and [i]viola[/i] - we have a movie.

Inevitably, the guard dude finds out the vial was broken when the train stops at Moosepoint (a podunk railway station). He calls his superiors and the area is quarantined. So, hobo, guard (now biochemist), and 3 other people who happened to be at the station are now stuck together. Unfortunately, Hank (da hobo) escapes into the woods. Not a good start.

Meanwhile, the scientists who are testing the virus have their own mystery. How the virus works and kills. Unfortunately, they have to come up with a cure for it. Trouble since they don't really know how it works yet (eg: a mouse's head blew up after being otherwise normal).

The movie ALMOST gets interesting at this point, but then the biochemist then says that they can't fall asleep because they'll die. Huh? Where did this come from? I had to rewind to make sure I didn't miss something.

Other than that, the movie becomes a long Twilight Zone episode. ("Submitted for your approval...") These people who don't particularly like each other to begin with are stuck together. Can they stay awake? Can they make it through?

There's only one gory scene in the whole film (towards the end) so this isn't for gorehounds (sorry). The final 10 minutes or so of the movie actually moves rapidly - even though the ending is lifted from a classic; its still actually good.

The movie has some really bad patches (the acting and sets are particularly bad in the beginning). The sound is atrocious at times as well. The acting is acceptable if not great; though John F Goff as the wisetalking Jack has some of the best lines in the film and makes the most of his role in this lean movie.
Carol Irene Newell, who plays Jenny has some decent moments (not to mention that fact she's actually well-endowed - as well learn for a few brief seconds).

Despite being a born cynic, I have to give them credit for actually coming up with a unique story (at least to me). Under a different director and perhaps budget; this actually would be quite effective.

[b][i][u]Fun rating:[/u][/i][/b] 6 - watchable and reminds me of my "Project Terror" days. Would have been a drive-in staple back in the day. What saves this film is Goff's performance and the original storyline. Its a movie that is watchable despite obvious flaws.

[b][i][u]Interest rating:[/u][/i][/b] 6 - If you're looking to re-create "Drive-In" night - this belongs on the tail end of your triple feature. B-movie fans will enjoy this. Gorehounds need to watch. Worth a view if you see it on the tube or in a multi-pack. Strangely enough, I concede this might have some repeat viewing potential.
[b][i][u]TOTAL RATING:[/u][/i][/b] 6
Super Reviewer
½ February 16, 2011
i think I'm being generous with this score. Very easy to pick out the "homages" to other films and the acting for the most part was pretty bad. But for the shoestring budget that was used, there was a little bit of an effort made to make this film. Was this enjoyable? No. It is quite a waste of time, but I've seen much worse garbage than this.
Super Reviewer
½ February 16, 2011
Finally a movie that Bill Rebane made that is somewhat believable and makes sense. This movie is another one of the Movies from Mill Creek's 50 Movie pack of Chiller Classics. And is about shipping a virus that came from mars and is being shipped to Alaska, along the way one of the trainmen gets into the cargo and is infected. So at the next stop Moose Point in Alaska the station and all of 5 people are put in quartile. Its supposed to be Alaska but the walls of the Station have maps of Eastern half of United States and a map of Wisconsin where movie was filmed. A surprise scene where Carol Newell goes from Miss innocent to I'm going to die so I'll be a slut on my way out. They movie is still enjoyable and worth 3 1/2 stars
½ March 24, 2010
The Alpha Incident is an...interesting movie. Basically an alien viorus from Mars makes peoples heads explode if they fall asleep. The government quarantines some people who have been affected and gives them speed to keep them awake while they try to find a cure...then abruptly they decide 'to hell with it' and try to kill them.

I'm not going to bother rattling on about the plot, instead I'm going to say that the little official man all alone in the 'control room' is awesome. He's the only one allowed to answer the red phone and he seems to spend his days pushing toy boats and tanks around on his light up world map table. So awesome. I want his job when I grow up.

Also, if you've seen lots of Carpenter movies you're going to recognize Hank the bum. Pay particular attention to a lovely cut done early in the movie with Hank begins babbling about good lookin' country, good lookin' men and gettin' some good lookin' women, then gazes off to the side and the camera fades out.

Strange...but compelling. A must see movie if you're a fan of the B-movie genre.
½ April 27, 2009
Interesting low-budget movie that succeeded in making a good concept, but failed at delivering it. A few points I feel obligated to make...
1) If you're not shooting for a punchline, when you say "The National Guard is coming!", don't follow it up with a shot of two guys in a jeep driving around the woods. It makes our military look rather pathetic.
2) When somebody gets shot, don't just have a bunch of sparks fly off of their chest and call it good. Unless they're a robot. Then you can make it spark all you want! But if it's a human... don't. But what's even worse is freezing the frame for an extended period of time so we can all clearly see how low your makeup budget was.
3) *possible spoilers* If you start the movie by introducing two scientists, you should probably end the movie with them. Or at least allude to them somehow. The last time we saw them they said something on the lines of "Let's try re-creating the martian environment and see what they do!" "Okay sounds good!" And then they're gone. Forever. Did they decide to actually travel to Mars to test out this experiment or what?! Why did they drop off the face of the film without the slightest hint of conclusion!?!?

Alright, I'll stop now. Again, I am expecting far too much from a very under-budgeted horror film.
½ February 18, 2009
A curious rail worker releases a potentially deadly virus that is being hauled predictably under very minimal security. Those exposed are quarantined at a small rail depot and those not killed by the virus end up being shot just to be safe.
November 2, 2008
The synopsis is way off and not even the right movie. This is a movie about a bunch of people exposed to a virus from space that are quarentined at a railroad station. Nothing great but an ok drive in movie flick.
September 13, 2008
I'm rating the 1978 Z-movie. Yes, the production values, acting, and directing are pretty much abysmal, but I had fun watching it. Will I consider watching it again? Never.
August 27, 2008
The Alpha Incident- A poor a homeless mans version of Andromeda Strain that is cheap and badly shot. its directed by Bill Rebane so you cant expect much but the downbeat ending saves it somewhat i suppose. nah not really.
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