Thursday, March 18, 2010

'The Alpha Incident' is a non-event

The Alpha Incident (aka "Gift from the Red Planet") (1970)
Starring: Stafford Morgan, John Goff, Carol Irene Newell, George Flower, Paul Betzen, John Alderman, and Ralph Meeker
Director: Bill Rebane
Rating: One of One Star

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 train yard until a cure can be found.

We have a typical Bill Rebane effort here. The acting is third rate, 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, nor 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.

1 comment:

  1. George Flower played the bum Red in "Back to the Future" parts 1 and 2. In part 1, he mumbles "crazy drunk drivers" and in part 2 he says to Marty, "watch where you're going, crazy drunk pedestrian". I was hoping he would be in part 3, as a bum in the old west.

    Just looked him up on IMDB and was amazed to learn that he had so many film roles. He played the role of the bum so well in BTTF that I thought he really was a bum in real life.