Film (1978; vt Gift from a Red Planet). Rebane Productions. Directed by Bill Rebane. Screenplay by Ingrid Neumayer. Cast includes George "Buck" Flower (or Buck Flower), John Goff, Ralph Meeker, Stafford Morgan, Ray Szamanda. 95 minutes. Colour.
A deadly Alien microorganism, brought to Earth from Mars by a returning space probe, is being secretly transported by train to a special research facility when an over-curious railway employee (Flower) opens the container, contaminating himself and other passengers. Government inspector Dr Sorensen (Morgan) is instructed to quarantine everyone at an isolated railway station while an attempt is made to find a cure. As the organism acts only when victims fall asleep, causing their brains to expand and fracturing skulls from the pressure, the film focuses on the passengers attempts to stay awake. Although an effective treatment is found, US government agents murder the survivors to ensure that news of the incident never reaches the outside world.
Bill Rebane was noted for low-budget sf and Horror films, usually set in his native Wisconsin. The Giant Spider Invasion (1975) is probably the most notorious, while his best sf offering may be the somewhat surreal Invasion from Inner Earth (1974). The Alpha Incident falls between this extremes of quality. [GSt/DRL]
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