Sunday, 19 April 2009

Project UFO: The Phillip J. Roth Files


In the future of 2072 the Earth is threatened by a bacterial outbreak. An underground research facility explores the boundaries of time in sending robotic probes back into the past. Human time travel is non sanctioned in order to eliminate the possibilities of creating a paradox. That glitch in the time line is breached when an A.P.E.X ( Advanced Prototype Exploration Unit ) is spotted by a family vacationing in the Mojave Desert, upon its designated retrieval mission back in 1973. The A.P.E.X humanoid form robots are programmed with in built defensive mechanisms in order to protect the time line, and its discovery by the travelling families young son triggers its prime directive attack mode.
Doctor Sinclair, as played by lead star Richard Keats, breaches protocol in an attempt to save the family placed in peril and so steps through the time conduit back into the previous century. His actions cause a temporal time rift that has far greater reaching consequences upon his retrieval back into the year 2072 !. The time that he left is no longer on the fringe of viral outbreak but near genocide decline and the threat of human extinction is validated by the uprising of the relentless A.P.E.X machines. These sleek designer suited alloy masses of robotic destruction have emerged as a threat to their creators due to the altruistic intervention of Dr. Sinclair the century before. It’s Terminator time on future Earth as man goes up against machine, with Sinclair thrown back into a parallel existence where familiar faces know him, but in his capacity as a foot soldier not as the renowned scientist !.

The Post Apocalyptic landscape is littered with scavenging people, and pockets of marines stand their ground as best they can against the randomly appearing A.P.E.X machines, as they travel down the recurrent time line homing in on their adversaries surgically implanted receptors.
There are some very neat touches applied by Director Phillip Roth in painting his apocalyptic visionary canvas with recognisable references, as battling marines gear up akin to those from ‘Aliens’, going into battle against the similarly referencing ‘Terminators’ of the future. In this nightmarish alternate time zone Sinclair must rediscover his research lab in order to unravel what happened one hundred years in the past, and to stop the original probe from being sent.

The bleak vision of human despair is a recognisable theme well realised by Roth, as is his pen-chance for the strong female character, here played by Lisa Ann Russell as Natashia Sinclair ( The wife / love interest for Dr. Nicholas Sinclair in each paradoxical realm ), in a situation where only the strong will survive !. With such an overwhelming atmosphere of doom it does not go unnoticed the strength of the human will, and unquenchable use of humour as a defensive mechanism in warding off danger. The indelible image of a last resort act from a suicide bomber, grabbing hold of an A.P.E.X unit, is as uplifting as the bitchily thrown line at Natashia, by an embittered marine of, ‘‘I’ll slap you so hard you’re first child will be born dizzy !’’.
With the A.P.E.X automatons on their heals a select corps of marines, with both Dr. Sinclair and Natashia among their ranks, seek out the exploratory facility under a diverse foray given by Sinclair. They overcome a scavenger attack, which includes a particularly salacious knife to the forehead neat rewind moment , and of course they have to lock and unload upon the ever encroaching robots.

Time stands still for no man however, and Dr. Sinclair is up against more than death dealing aggressors, as he has to unlock the paradox he created, and foreclose on the virus gregariously inflicting its insidious ravages upon mankind.

Phillip Roth and his creative team have created an intelligent Sci Fi movie that not only belies its budgetary restraints but has shrewdly captured a look and style that does not obviously give away the year of production from which the film has been made. Costume and setting, along with the aversion of any vacuous dialogue, give the overall production an output of clear attention to detail, with a timeless appeal that will hold up to repeated viewings for future generational audiences to come.
Review: Paul Cooke / Source: USA VHS (NTSC)
1994 Unified Film Organization
Director Phillip J. Roth
With Richard Keats, Mitchell Cox, Lisa Ann Russell,
Marcus Aurelius, Adam Lawson & David Jean Thomas
UFO Web Site:


  1. Either there's something wrong with my computer or I drink too much black coffee! I could have sworn you had another post here last night, Paul! I even made a comment. I think.

  2. No need to worry, I found it!! I could've sworn it was a post from yesterday and it turned out it was from the 10th. MUST be the coffee. :-(


  3. You need less coffee & to sign up here for all the free flowing Triple B goodness soonest :) .
    Great to see you in these Ballistic parts Jack, thanks for stopping by. Paul

  4. A.P.E.X sounds a very cool post-nuke style sci-fi out of the States. Thanks for giving a heads up about this one through a great review, Mr. Cooke! I'll need to seek it out now.
    Another U.S. post-apocalyptic offering came to mind as well while reading this. Have you seen the underrated Richard Stanley film, HARDWARE (1990)?

  5. Sorry, HARDWARE is out of the UK, I meant to say;)

  6. So, are the UFOs benevolent or malevolent? For those of you who believe in UFOs and have not yet thought about this, it is worth your while to do so now in the light of the following points. These points have been presented earlier and seem to point to the fact that the UFOs are not at all spacecrafts from other planets but that they are, as a matter of fact, evil spirits that can appear as humanoids and try to delude the mankind.