Christ, what an awful movie. In this Z-grade drivel, an alien comes to Earth, decapitates people with its bare hands or explodes them with lasers emitted from its eyes and is pursued by a thoroughly inept police force until primate William Devane sets it on fire, which makes it explode. The end.
It's almost pointless to critique any particular aspect of this film because everything about it is awful. Reading from a ludicrous script, the irritating cast goes out of its way to make fools of themselves; as an incompetent slob of a detective and an obnoxious, TV-addicted psychic, Biff Elliot and Jacquelyn Hyde are especially annoying. Armed with his gigantic clamping teeth, Devane plays some sort of former wife-murdering convict turned successful trash novelist. Whatever else he is, he seems to be stoned out of his skull through most of the movie. Only Casey Kasem is (unintentionally) entertaining as a pathologist, tossing off one ridiculous line after another in his unmistakable voice.
Film Ventures International really was the worst of all the B-schlock production companies that flourished in the '70s and '80s because most of its features were as unengaging as they were incoherent. This one is no exception. Although the murderous monster was originally intended to be a zombie, its status as a space alien was endowed following poor test screenings. It doesn't look at all undead or extraterrestrial, instead resembling some sort of ape-man, like Devane. To emphasize the creature's off-world origins, the movie was bookended with inane narration and the ocular laser beams were added in post-production. The cheap and hurried execution of this last-minute tweaking is painfully obvious.
Tobe Hooper was supposed to helm this mess, but he dropped out of the production after shooting a few scenes. I wish that I'd followed suit fifteen minutes into it. Avoid this at all costs.
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About the reviewer
Robert Buchanan (rbuchanan)
I'm a bibliophile, ailurophile, inveterate aggregator, dedicated middlebrow and anastrophizing syntax addict. My personality type is that of superlative INTJ.
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