A while back, I spent a whopping $5 on this 50-movie set, Sci-fi Invasion. That adds up to 10 cents per movie. Now we’re in 1988 for Top Line, in which Ernest Hemingway fights aliens.
Here’s what happens: Ted Angelo, a globetrotting author, investigates the death of a friend while visiting Colombia. The clues lead to a crashed alien spaceship in the jungle. He hopes to make a fortune off of the ship, but a shadowy conspiracy is out to keep him quiet. This includes the aliens, of course.
Speculative spectacle: This movie has practically nothing to do with the alien spaceship, and everything to do with the Hemingway-lite main character. Ted is a hard-fighting, hard-drinking, hard-screwing alpha male. He’s clearly based on all the stories we’ve heard about Hemingway going on safari and getting in barroom brawls. Ted’s hairy-chested machismo is front and center, so much so that the aliens, when they finally do show up, are practically incidental.
Sleaze factor: Man’s man that he is, Ted definitely has a “use ‘em and lose ‘em” attitude when it comes to women.
Quantum quotables This phone conversation:
Ted: “Bob, Ted Angelo here. Listen carefully and keep your wallet ready. I’ve got a story for you. UFOs really exist!” TV executive: “Hey, Ted. How’s the local firewater?”
What the felgercarb? We’re told that Ted is an American, but actor Franco Nero doesn’t even try to hide his Italian accent.
Microcosmic minutiae: This movie was originally released in the U.S. under the name Alien Terminator. Nothing shameless about that.
Worth 10 cents? There’s actually some decent action and nice location shooting here, but Ted’s constant “look at how rugged and manly I am” act is a lot to take. It’s worth about 5 cents.
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