Lethal Target
directed by Lloyd A. Simandl
(Lions Gate, 1999)

In the 23rd century, female convicts will be imprisoned in mining colonies. They will be forced to wear short, tattered dresses and thongs and, while they are prohibited from wearing bras or using combs, they will be allowed makeup and manicures.

One prisoner, former undercover operative Nikki Savage, cunningly barters eight years off her life sentence (??) in exchange for accepting a special mission -- pose as a sexually permissive security guard and check out the situation on a science vessel where matter transfer experiments have seemingly gone awry. Nikki (Tia Carrere-wannabe C.C. Costigan) quickly infiltrates the ship, where she finds head researcher Dr. Dane (Kim Dawson) having sex with the staff, secreting an alien virus under her fingernails and keeping secrets about the dead or missing crew.

There are a lot of movies providing variations on the Alien theme, and Lethal Target is one of the worst I've seen. Special effects are mostly nonexistent, props are strictly bargain-counter and the aliens are so closely related to those from the Alien series I'm amazed there wasn't litigation involved. The movie uses endlessly repetitive loops -- exterior shots of the ship, scrolling data or schematics on 20th-century laptops, the dragging tail or stalking foot of an alien or flashback sex -- to save film. The plot makes no sense, the dialogue is corny and the delivery worse, and the transformation of nerdy lapdog Pike (Josh Barker) into a gun-toting hero is laughably silly (he removes his glasses and pulls off his shirt to affect the change).

On the other hand, Costigan, Dawson and several nameless extras spend a lot of time naked or in lingerie. In fact, it would only take a small push to bounce Lethal Target into the soft-porn bin.

So there you have it. If you want Alien, rent or buy Alien. But if you thought Alien suffered too much plot and an overabundance of wardrobe, this movie's for you.

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 12 July 2003

Buy it from Amazon.com.