It was on a rainy Saturday afternoon, and my mother and I were visiting one of our neighbors(who was bed-ridden with pneumonia). While my mother and I were speaking with the neighbor's wife, the husband was watching this unusual science fiction film on the local independent station. When I caught the film, I was pretty surprised and haunted at the same time.
Years later, after having viewed the film twice on the same station, I told the local pharmacist about it. When she saw it, she said the film blew her mind away.
To sum up UFO: Target Earth the best, it was a cerebral '70's science fiction film.
Like George Romero, Dan O'Bannon, and John Carpenter did for independent films concerning the science fictionhorror genre(i.e. the original Night Of The Living Dead, Dark Star, and Halloween), Michael DeGaetano does the same thing with the subject about UFOs.
The plot follows a university communications researcherelectronics expert, Alan Grimes on his quest to find a UFO that apparently crashed into a remote, back country lake near a power plant many years past. Residents of a small community remember strange and bright lights that appeared in the night sky. The population of the small town also begins to suffer from what appears to be communal flashbacks. Soon there are citizens who believe that the cause for this disturbing phenomenon might be from the same UFO that crash landed in the lake. When the electronics specialist accidentally intercepts a military call about UFO sightings and accidentally overhears two military types authorizing a scramble of jets to investigate, he decides to investigate the phenomenon near the lake. The young man stares out of the window for a long time then phones someone else to make an appointment.
Meeting with the local college's resident astronomer, Alan inquires about the logical possibility of flying saucers, an idea the professor quickly shoots down as anything but scientific. The professor lectures him at great length about the possibility of Life in the Universe. He goes to see 'Dr Mansfield and they have a conversation. A chance encounter with a mysterious psychic woman, Vivian fuels Alan's questioning, as she feels a strong electrical pull to a nearby reservoir. It turns out she has a mental connection to alien presences. After being denied access to the military's communication equipment, an undaunted Alan finds help from his fellow colleagues, who along with Vivian, set out for the body of water that some believe hides the long forgotten crashed Alien craft. While searching for evidence of aliens, he picks up signals that he believes are being emitted from the alien spacecraft--and they are coming from under the depths of the lake near the small town. Unknown to the town's residents, themselves. Could it be that the aliens within are still alive? If so, is this also a possible government cover-up? Hoping to discover the source of the mysterious signals and the secrets contained within the alien ship(SPOILER ALERT), Alan wanders about with the small group of scientists into a forest before they encounter some aliens that are able to get their ship airborne again, thanks to the power of Alan's imagination. As a result, Alan grows old as he is exposed to the alien presence as the UFO takes off into a brilliant starfield.
A real oddity this one - made for peanuts (reputedly $70,000), it's an ambitious attempt to translate the mid-70s passion for ufology to the big screen that writerdirector Michael DeGaetano had the resources, imagination, or ability to carry off his lofty ambitions. Three years later, Steven Spielberg would come along and show him how it should be done with Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Still, for an independent movie released in 1974(and re-released in 1978), that's made this cheaply, it certainly doesn't lack ambition. It's one that tries to tap in to the mystical qualities of certain aspects of UFOlogy. I can't really say the movie is successful; there's something about the eccentric use of music, the oddball pacing and characters, and the confused plotting that is more likely to get you scratching your head than anything else.
Review by Polaris01313-1 from the Internet Movie Database.