Target Earth (1954)

Friday sci-fi triple-feature. First up: Target Earth. Listed as a source of inspiration for George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, this movie is about unstoppable robots from Venus who come to Earth (specifically here, Chicago) to take us over.

I mean, is that robot costume amazing or what? Hello, Halloween.

It’s easy to see how this movie helped inspire Romero; just like Night, the interesting bits of this movie have nothing to do with the robots, rather it’s the tension between the people that makes the story. There are plenty of beep-boop-bop science lab scenes, where the scientists attempt to find out how to destroy the robots, and to be fair, these are some of the most amazing robots I’ve ever seen, but still – these scenes are loaded with stock-footage and are kind of a drag.

Maybe what I found most interesting isn’t actually the tension between the people, but as with any old-school sci-fi flick, it is the depiction of women. You can’t have a sci-fi drama/love story without a helpless woman, right? Always screaming, always biting her fist and clutching Frank, our hero, close to her, Nora is typical 1950’s sci-fi eye candy. If she looks like a prototype of every red-blooded man’s favorite Lynch character Audrey Horne from Twin Peaks, she probably wouldn’t have survived as long as she did!


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