aka ALIEN TERMINATOR
Directed by Nello Rossati. Written by Roberto Gianviti, Nello Rossati. Cast: Franco Nero, Deborah Barrymore (Deborah Moore), Mary Stavin, William Berger, Larry Dolgin, Rodrigo Obregon, Steven Luotto, Shirley Hernandez, Robert Redcross, e con la partecipazione straordinaria di George Kennedy. (Unrated, 88 mins)
It can't be easy to take a story that blends INDIANA JONES adventure, Nazi war criminals, secret gold treasures, UFOs, Spanish conquistadors, government conspiracies, Cold War espionage, badly-staged bullfighting, angry cyborgs, and barfing aliens and make it this incredibly boring, but Nello Rossati's TOP LINE is an almost total snooze. Rossati, who had just done 1987's DJANGO STRIKES AGAIN, the first official sequel to Sergio Corbucci's 1966 spaghetti western classic, reunites with that film's star, the iconic Franco Nero, who can normally make anything interesting, but TOP LINE (also known as ALIEN TERMINATOR) finds everyone on an off day.
|"Yes, uh, Mr. Kennedy is here to see his agent."|
Ted thinks that the UFO abducted a ship of Spanish conquistadors and their gold, but there's more to it, as the US government sends assassins to off Ted, and even the KGB is involved through their secret dealings with Holzmann. Ted ends up on the run with June (Deborah Moore--Roger Moore's daughter--but she's billed as "Deborah Barrymore"), who's sent to check on him by his ex-wife Maureen (Mary Stavin), who happens to be his publisher. The draggy film, little more than a Colombian travelogue with a maddeningly senseless, made-up-as-it-goes-along plot, finally lets the crazy break out with the late-in-the-game arrival of a pissed-off cyborg (Andy Sidaris regular Rodrigo Obregon) that immediately fries its face after accidentally igniting a fireworks display and ends up getting gored by a bull in a hilarious chain of events that has to be seen to be believed. But it gets better! After thinking they've fled to safety on Maureen's boat, Ted and June find an even greater evil when Maureen transforms into a gooey, slime-drenched, EXORCIST-green-puking alien that whips its long tongue around Ted's neck and says "You still taste good." Ted is understandably appalled that his ex-wife has been a reptilian extraterrestrial this whole time, but according to "Maureen," so has nearly everyone. "We've been here for 12,000 years," she/it explains. "We are in every position of power on this planet!"
|And he thought she was a bitch before?|
Not surprisingly, the abysmal TOP LINE, made in the waning days of the Italian trash cinema heyday, never made it into US theaters, nor was it even given a VHS release. Its only US DVD release has been on a couple of those Mill Creek "50 Sci-Fi Classics" sets that you find at Best Buy or Wal-Mart for $10 or less, filled with public domain titles in mostly subpar, VHS-quality transfers. You can actually find some occasional diamonds in the rough on those things, but the ironically-titled TOP LINE is most definitely not.