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Target Earth (1954) (B&W) [VHS]
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Customer Reviews:

  • Minimal and Great
    This has always been a favorite of mine. The low budget keeps things simple but very atmospheric. This is a very good DVD! The commentary is from the Roan laserdisc from a few years ago (which I still have). The picture is fine and this IS a widescreen disc! Around 1.85 to 1. The viewers who claim that it isn't are watching another disc! This is the real McCoy....more info
  • OK 50'S SCI-FI RELIC...
    VCI did a good job restoring this vintage sci-fi invasion tale. After a failed suicide attempt, Nora King (Kathleen Crowley) wakes up to find the city deserted except for a body or two with horrified expressions on their faces. She encounters Richard Denning and they try to figure out what happened (he had been mugged unconcious) while they "slept". They meet a colorful couple drinking it up who survived also and the four band together. An invasion of robots from Venus have attacked the Earth and everyone has evacuated. (Well, actually it's only one robot clanking around but this IS a low-budget quickie). They end up in a hotel, contend with a gangster and fight the robot. Not everyone survives, but there's a rescue by the armed forces who have discovered how to demobilize the robots. With high-frequency sound! Engagingly goofy, loopy sci-fi that's competently acted but very low-budget. The robot is so cheesy looking I expected pieces of him to fall off any moment. But that was part of the fun. If this is your cup of tea, enjoy---!...more info
  • "Denning...Crowley...Grey...Reeves ~ Target Earth (1954)...Herman Cohen"
    VCI Home Video and Allied Artists presents "TARGET EARTH: (1954) (75 mins B&W) . . . under Sherman A. Rose (Director / Editor), Herman Cohen (Producer), Kay Rose (Producer), Paul Fairman (Book Author - based upon the story "Deadly City"), Bill Raynor (Screenwriter), James Nicholson and Wyott Ordung (original screenplay), Guy Roe (Cinematographer), Paul Dunlap (Composer (Music Score), David Koehler (Special Effects), Stanley Orr (makeup), Morris Hoffman (set decorator), James Sullivan (art director) --- cast includes Richard Denning (Frank), Kathleen Crowley (Nora), Virginia Grey (Vicki), Richard Reeves (Jim), Robert Roark (Wilson), Mort Marshall (Charles Otis), Arthur Space (General), Whit Bissell (Scientist), House Peters, Jr. (Technician), Jim Drake (Lieutenant), Gaylord "Steve" Pendleton (Colonel) . . . . . . our story thus follows raw panic, an astounding science fiction drama of a deserted metropolis and the frenzied few who were left behind...our cast of survivors living day and night in incredible terror, mixed with uncivilized violence in the savage battle for survival against the horror of the fantastic unknown... this very early film in the genre of science fiction uncovers our silent thoughts, is it possible for aliens from another world to invade our planet...much to ponder as this wonderful script with top notch performances by Richard Denning, Kathleen Crowley, Virginia Grey and Richard Reeves pull us into the story and give us a thriller to remember for days...remember this is a '50s sci-fi when we were still young and innocent, films of this nature was thought provoking and entertaining.

    SCENE SELECTIONS:
    1. Awake
    2. Ghost Town
    3. Unexplained Death
    4. Abandoned
    5. Finding Friends
    6. The Shadow
    7. Seeking Shelton
    8. A Suite
    9. Military Defense
    10.Captured Enemy
    11.The Robot
    12.Domestic Dispute
    13.Tests
    14.Dangerous Stranger
    15.Villainous Plan
    16.Out of Time
    17.Trapped
    18.Rescued

    Specal footnote, producer Herman Cohen (August 27, 1925 - June 2, 2002) was a producer of B-movies during the 1950s, who helped to popularize the teen horror movie genre with films like the cult classic "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" (1957)...his motion picture career began at his local cinema, the Dexter Theater in Detroit, during his preteen years; he worked there as a "gofer" and later as an usher...his next stop was assistant manager of Detroit's Fox Theater. After a Marine Corps hitch, Cohen worked as sales manager for the Detroit branch of Columbia Pictures, then relocated to Hollywood and worked in the publicity department of Columbia there. He produced his first movies for Jack Broder's Realart Pictures in the early 1950s and made several subsequent pictures for Allied Artists and United Artists. Cohen made exploitation history in the mid-1950s when he began producing some of American International's earliest hits, among them the cult favorite "I Was a Teenage Werewolf." (1957) featuring unknown horror actor Michael Landon as a troubled teenager and Whit Bissell as the primary adult. It was written and produced by cult film producer Herman Cohen, it was made on a very low budget but grossed as much as US$2,000,000 per week in its early weeks of release,and was one of the most successful films released by AIP (American International Pictures)..Herman Cohen's filmography, The Bushwhackers (1952), Kid Monk Baroni (1952), Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1952), Battles of Chief Pontiac (1952), River Beat (1954), Target Earth (1954), Magnificent Roughnecks (1956), Dance with Me Henry (1956), The Brass Legend (1956), Crime of Passion (1957), I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957), I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957), Blood of Dracula (1957), How to Make a Monster (1958), Horrors of the Black Museum (1959), The Headless Ghost (1959), Konga (1961), Black Zoo (1963), A Study in Terror (1965), Berserk! (1968), Django il bastardo (1969), Crooks and Coronets (1969), Trog (1970), Craze (1973), Gatto dagli occhi di giada, Il (1977)...In the 1960s and 1970s, he began producing horror films in the United Kingdom, working with such stars as Joan Crawford in "Berserk"! and "Trog" and Jack Palance in Craze. In 1961, he returned to his roots in Detroit purchasing the Fox Theater he had worked for in his youth. By the late 1970s, Cohen was working more in writing and distribution than in film production. He founded Cobra Media, a domestic distribution company, in 1981. Cohen died of throat cancer June 2, 2002.

    SPECIAL FEATURES:
    1. Commentary by Producer Herman Cohen
    2. Video Tribute on Producer Herman Cohen
    3. Original Theatrical Trailers
    4. Previews

    BIOS:
    1. Richard Denning (aka: Louis Albert Heindrich Denninger Jr.)
    Date of birth: 27 March 1914 - Poughkeepsie, New York
    Date of death: 11 October 1998 - Escondido, California
    2. Kathleen Crowley (aka: Betty Jane Kathleen Crowley)
    Date of birth: 26 December 1931 - Green Bank, New Jersey
    Date of death: Still Living
    3. Virginia Grey
    Date of birth: 22 March 1917 - Los Angeles, California, USA
    Date of death: 31 July 2004 - Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California
    4. Richard Reeves
    Date of birth: 10 August 1912 - New York, New York
    Date of death: 17 March 1967 - Northridge, California
    5. Sherman A. Rose (Director)
    Date of birth: 27 May 1915
    Date of death: 22 September 1986
    6. Herman Cohen (Producer)
    Date of birth: 27 August 1925 - Detroit, Michigan
    Date of death: 2 June 2002 - Los Angeles, California

    Want to thank VCI Home Video for releasing "Target Earth" (1954) - Director Sherman A. Rose , the digital transfere with a clean, clear and crisp print...looking forward to more high quality releases from the vintage serial era of the '40s & '50s...order your copy now from Amazon or VCI Entertainment where there are plenty of copies available, stay tuned once again for top notch wonderful character actors of the cinema brought back so many wonderful memories of the times when film makers cared about you who purchased a ticket and came back for more...just the way we like 'em.

    Total Time: 75 mins on DVD ~ VCI Home Video 8305 ~ (2/25/2003) ...more info
  • An overlooked minor gem, but NOT in widescreen
    You know, I'm not one of those people who insists movies be presented in widescreen. Especially for older movies, it's just not that big of a deal. But TARGET EARTH screams out for a widescreen transfer from the first HORRIBLY CROPPED FRAME. You can't even read most of the opening credits because of the sloppy transfer job. It's inexcusable, especially when you refer back to the box and see "Widescreen" prominently printed on the cover.

    Having said that, this was my first exposure to this taut, cheap little invasion flick, and I was fairly impressed. The black & white photography adds much to the feeling of isolation and desperation experienced by the characters. And the robot is pretty decent, by 50's sci-fi standards. Heckuva climax, too. But you'll have to see that for yourself.

    Recommended for any fan of classic science fiction....more info

  • Classic 50s Sci Fi - A must for fans of the genre.
    I found the audio commentary by producer Herman Cohen to be very informative as well as entertaining. It's a shame he passed away last year, it would have been great to hear him speak about his other projects. ONE COMPLAINT although listed as widescreen it is in fact full frame and even the credits are half missing from the opening titles!...more info
  • Please No More WideScreen.
    I own a 32 inch WideScreen TV. But WideScreen DVD Movies have to be Adjusted to fit the Screen. I have turned Down many Movies now because they will harm the TV screen. Sometimes when you stretch you Distort the Image.
    This is a Brand New Visio TV....more info
  • Great 50's Science Fiction!
    This movie has all the great 1950's cheesy, science fiction shlock. The corny robot monster is worth the price of the DVD! If you love B movies, you must get this one!...more info
  • Independent psychological film just happens to resemble sci-fi
    Story opens on a scene from the air zeroing in on L.A. and slowing down to silently show an unconscious woman (Kathleen Crowley); beside her is a half empty bottle of sleeping pills.

    The story is of a hand full of people who wake up to find the city is empty of humankind that is live human kind, they must piece together the missing parts to the puzzle they must learn to cooperate with each other and huddle together.

    Soon they will realize that they are at ground zero on "Target Earth."

    The film has all the feel and dialog of an old twilight zone episode, However the actors of frontline majors. Virginia Grey was in over 140 movies and programs including "Bachelor in Paradise" (1961). Richard Denning was in "Creature from the Black Lagoon" (1954).

    The whole movie was made on a shoestring budget so they only had one robot (Steve Calvert the head bartender at Cerro's nightclub) that they tinkered together in a garage. The car (Oldsmobile convertible) with the dead uh...err... battery belonged to the producer (Herman Cohen.) And they used a buddy in the police forces to stop the traffic for the empty street shots. All shot in seven days, mostly in the deserted L.A. streets on a Sunday morning.

    One of the most horrifying parts of this movie was that they were forced to drink warm beer.

    Kronos
    ...more info
  • They Just Don't Make Them Like This Anymore
    Target Earth is a low budget (very low budget!) thriller made in 1954. This is a familiar Sci-Fi story of invaders from space, but with very little focus on the actual "invasion." Instead, this story is told from the vantage point of a handful of people that accidentally (at least some of them accidentally) stayed behind after their city was completely evacuated due to the impending alien attack. They have no idea what is going on outside and what is coming and that makes for some good suspense. People react as people will in that sutuation. The special effects are certainly comical and the story-line is absurd, but hey, this is entertainment, right? What I really liked was that the DVD arrived packaged like a current version DVD and the quality of the playback is top notch, like it was just filmed last week (in Black and White of course). This movie was always a favorite of mine when I was a kid and now I have a quality copy to watch when I want. Worth the price. ...more info
  • Better Than Expected
    This film is well acted and directed. The only weak spot would be the robotic enemy invading the earth. And they're not really too bad. The story demands a lot emotionally of the acting and in general the actors do a very good job of it. Not the typical Sci-Fi type film. More reality based. See for yourself....more info
  • A guilty pleasure, but great B movie entertainment
    Forget all of the national conflicts our planet has--the Venusians have now invaded with giant robots armed with death rays. That is the premise of this classic B movie science fiction matinee flick. All of the baby boomers remember those low budget sci-fi flicks that all us guys went to see. Well, this is one of the better ones, and actually features decent if not great acting, terrible special effects, but an actual storyline that I found surprisingly engaging after not seeing this flick for around 40 years.

    A few people awake in a city to find it evacuated. Each missed the evacuation for his or her special reason; one woman had tried unsuccessfully to commit suicide with sleeping pills. They soon find that the city is menaced by huge electronic robots armed with death rays. Earth's (propeller-driven) bombers and artillery are powerless against the Venusian invaders, who are plainly the advance guard of a full-blown invasion.

    Human technology carries the day (after all, we are all still here). No spoilers here.

    As I noted above, this film, unlike some of these old science fiction matinee films, actually has a decent storyline and acceptable acting. Kathleen Crowley, in my opinion, turns in a particularly nice performance. Overall, this film is great fun and nostalgia, if one's expectations are not too high. I enjoyed it....more info
  • Zurian
    Good Grief...I know this is supposed to be a classic and all but is this the best the producers could do? Maybe I'm missing the point but I've seen better "C" category movies...what's up with the one robot mass invasion? How did they get here? What shot down the military planes? I could even see the eyes of the person inside the tin foil outfit...the characters seem to stay neatly cleaned and pressed throughout, or maybe that's part of the fun...well ha ha.......more info
  • Target - Budget
    This was one of those films I always watched and enjoyed as a kid. Its starts off with a great begining. It does slow up in the middle but the end, considering the limited budget and special effects - is still efective. The quality of this DVD is very good. The people who made this movie loved these type of films and it shows. "Target Earth" is worth adding to any classic Science Fiction collection....more info
  • What If There Was An Invasion, And Nobody showed up?
    TARGET EARTH is basically a zero-budget War Of The Worlds. There are no alien ships. There are no spectacular special effects. No deep messages or insights into the human condition. Nope, this is sci-fi stripped down to it's basic elements. A small band of people, led by Frank (Richard Denning), have awakened to find the city of Los Angeles deserted except for themselves and a small army of killer robots from Venus. Due to financial constraints, there is only one robot. It is basically an old furnace with flexible dryer-duct legs. Sadly, the robot is only seen about 4-5 times, as it was fairly entertaining to watch while it lumbered along. The rest of the film has our not-so-merry bunch trying to stay out of the robot's way. A couple of them are hit by it's death-ray, and it does come crashing through a plate-glass window at one point. Otherwise, it's just vacant street scenes and discussions among the survivors about an invasion and devastation we never actually get to see. Of course, there's plenty of grainy old military stock footage as well. TARGET EARTH is not a bad movie, it's just not a classic. I still recommend it for diehard sci-fi maniacs......more info
  • Dryer hose Legs and Arms!!!
    I had memories of this Film since I was 5 yeats old. Dreams of giant robots terrorizing people left behind in a city deserted. I found the DVD on Amazon and after viewing it for the second time in 48 years I enjoyed it as much the second time around....more info
  • Raw Panic The Screen Never Dared Reveal!
    I recently saw this movie, and I have to admit it was pretty fun. Yeah, it was fairly cheap and cheesy, but a good, solid sci-fi b-movie. The story revolves around a group of individuals who find themselves trapped in recently evacuated city. Not knowing why the city is empty, they start looking for answers and find that the city has been taken over by an army of killer robots from space. (Well, for budgetary reasons, there is only one robot, but they use it again and again to create the illusion of many.) And the space robot looks pretty hokey, but whatever....did anyone else notice the sort of misogynic treatment of the women in this movie? Maybe this was par back in 1954, I don't know, but it seemed almost comical they way the men ordered the women around, telling them to keep quiet or to shut up and such. I also thought it was funny how Mort Marshalls' character, Charles Otis, was introduced, provided some exposition, and then was efficiently eliminated. Don't get me wrong, as his character was highly annoying, and a quick departure was welcome, but it all seemed a little to convienent. The story moves along, and there is a side story with the army trying to find a weakness in the alien invaders, devise a method to overcome them before they have to use atomic weapons on the city.

    The picture and sound are pretty good, and there are a few extras, including a sort of video homage and biography to the producer, Herman Cohen, who also made movies like I Was A Teenage Werewolf, I Was A Teenage Frankenstein, and Horrors Of The Black Museum. There is also a commentary track by either the producer or the director, I can't remember which....more info

  • Pretty Good Tale of the Apocalypse. Not one of the best of it's kind but entertaining.
    Based off the excellent short story, "The Deadly City" by Paul Fairman, arrives this interesting 50s Sci-Fier. The story is about how a group of disparate people awaken in a metropolis to discover it abandoned and that there all alone....save for some hostile enemy robots! Well directed and with decent acting, the film uses it's Black and White cinematography quite efficently to build isolation and tension. The Robots are both cheesy and imposing, if that makes any sense. This film could have been somewhat better had characterization taken a more front seat and the film didn't slip into melodramatics. The short story was highly superior in it's terror, and even if this is a low-budget, much could have been made of this. Still, not completely unworthy of re-reviewing, especially for Sci-Fi buffs....more info