Nero plays Ted Angelo, a journalist sojourning in Colombia, where he's pressured by his publisher, who happens to be his ex-wife, into fulfilling his writing contract. The hard-drinking Ted has women trouble all over the place; when he tells his Colombian girlfriend he's feeling tired, she pulls a knife on him. He explains quickly that he didn't mean he was tired of her. Getting back to work, he investigates an amazing find by a local hunter: a trove of Central American trinkets and a ship's log. The log may rewrite history because it indicates that one of the early transatlantic expeditions of "500 years ago" made a hitherto unknown stop in Colombia. For more info about the treasures, Ted tries to interview Heinrich Holzmann (George Kennedy, dubbed by someone else), a prominent collector and Nazi war criminal. After Holzmann rebuffs him, things start falling apart. Ted's apartment is ransacked and one of his friends is killed. He barely escapes from stalkers, only to find himself chased barefoot through a cactus patch by a car driven by a cackling Holzmann. He escapes Holzmann by burying him under a ton of salt, but a Nazi George Kennedy is only a warm-up.
The problem is, Ted's made the discovery of the century. Guided by the hunter, he's found the old Spanish ship -- and a spaceship. As he frantically urges his publishers to pick up the story, shadowy forces close in on him and his new girlfriend (Deborah Barrymore, who is related not to Drew but to Roger Moore). After more hairbreadth escapes, including one where he rides in the bed of a produce truck driven by a drunk and defeats his pursuers by throwing eggs at their windshield, things get still worse in a small town when a bulky, vaguely teutonic looking fellow opens fire on a crowd with a machine gun. This new adversary seems superhuman, tossing people aside two at a time. He can take a fireworks rocket to the eye with only cosmetic damage that reveals him as a termina--oh, let's call him a robot or cyborg or something else. With no heavy machinery that might crush the artificial life out of this mechanical menace, Ted must save himself the natural way. That's right; our hero must trap the relentless automaton in a corral with a bull. And that's all she wrote. It isn't even close. Had Skynet miscalculated and sent the original Terminator back to the Old West, one begins to suspect, the poor thing wouldn't have stood a chance.
Following the recent ban on human bullfighting in Barcelona, Catalonian tourist authorities are testing a futuristic, bull-friendly alternative.
Finally, rescue seems at hand when Ted's ex arrives with a boat. But no; she's part of the conspiracy, too -- a 12,000 year old conspiracy to cover up aliens' mining of a special element essential for space travel. For most of that time, the ex explains, mankind wasn't a threat because we were just too stupid. But "your evolution was a threat, so we took measures." Those measures included disguising as humans and becoming the leaders of all levels of society, including the publishing business, as this so-called woman demonstrates by stripping, vomiting on herself, sweating very heavily and enduring a round of face-pumping until she shows her true, hideously alien form. As his new girl faints, Ted gapes in disbelief. What have you done with my ex-wife, he asks? "Here I am, honey," the alien answers, as the film takes a final, queasy turn. She's now equipped with a projectile tongue that wraps around Ted's neck and yanks him toward her yawning fanged mouth. "You still taste good to me," the beast coos, "I am partial to your flavor." That's just dirty....
This is an extreme makeover.
Top Line is nonstop zaniness held together by Franco Nero in hysterical action mode. It passes for science fiction without relying too much on special effects, which is a good thing given that the effects, for the robot-man especially, are "special" in the unflattering sense of the word. From the limited evidence of the typically ravaged Mill Creek copy, the Colombia locations keep things consistently picturesque while giving things that edge-of-civilization feel of so many Italian genre films from the Eighties. The film moves fast and gets crazier as it goes along, and for a bad movie that's a good thing. Depending on your mood, Top Line can make for an amusing 90 minutes; for everyone, I hope it was amusing to read about.