14 December 2014

INCIDENT IN LAKE COUNTY/1998

 Alien Abductions: Incident in Lake County is a docudrama style movie made for the UPN network and produced by Dave Clark. It is directed by  Dean Alioto and has an actual cast listing at the end of the film, even giving credits for the actors who played the aliens. The film had a budget and special effects crew.  Why do I mention all this? Well there is more to this little film than may first meet the eye and one thing is that some people actually believe it is real footage of an actual abduction. Others at least believe it is a re-filming by Alioto of an actual video taken of the abduction of the entire McPherson family somewhere in the backwoods of Montana one night (and is also said to be based on an abduction incident in Hopkinsville Kentucy). I have not  read about Alioto himself claiming that he saw some original video tape of the "real" abduction but once you enter the realm of alien abductions and the people who believe in them you have entered into the world of the die hard true believer and what a truly scary world that is. The show has some of the feel of those “could it have really happened” docudramas like The Blair Witch Project and predates Blair by about a year. On that note and the fact that the project was a pretty successful show for UPN and generated a “controversy” that still lingers to this day I will give some credit. That being said I hate these kinds of films usually and I had to fast forward through this one to get to the end. The live tape footage –sometimes “found footage” for these types of films, meaning a video tape of an “actual event” is found later by some one else later- is sprinkled with commentaries by various experts and one, a film maker, makes the comment about how the people in the tape (and I paraphrase) could not be actors and that there is really no plot line to speak of. This is supposed to make the film sound even more authentic. Of course the people are actors. You can see their names listed on IMDB and Wikipedia with the characters they played, but they are just incredibly bad actors and the lack of plot  is simply the  result of the lack of writing skills on the part of the filmmakers themselves (the script being attributed  to Alioto, story,  and Paul Chitilik, teleplay).

I just could not stand this film. It is much the same as a couple other found footage films I watched recently Paranormal Activities and The Last Exorcism (both have been reviewed and will be posted up here soon), in that the films are shot from the perspective of someone holding a video camera and either intentionally or unintentionally taping events that will later come to challenge the sensibilities of the viewer and shake even the opinions of the most hardened skeptic. Well, that seems to be what they are trying to do and I doubt the filmmakers are taking too much of what they are doing seriously. There is a no budget quality to the projects and the simple reality is you can tell that these are simply bad actors in these things reciting lines from a bad script. Yet there seems to be quite a few people who totally believe in the whole alien abduction myth and are convinced if someone disagrees with them then that person is part of a vast and intricate conspiracy to cover up the mountains of evidence out there…somewhere. If they are not duped into that fallacious mode of thinking from listening to too much Art Bell then they at least fall for a goofy ass movie and consider it scary as hell. You doubt me? Here is a quote –unedited because not even I can make this many mistakes- from a reviewer at IMDB:

Well, I'm actually sitting here, now in 2006, actually scared more than half to death , I'm on my own, the film finished about 10 minutes ago its 1.10am, and Wow...am I scared! Apart from still shaking ( I don't like horror films at the best of times ), it was a really really good film, the screenplay and acting of all the characters was too perfection ( apart from the Black guy, his performance let things down I think ) The imagination and initiative of the scrip to make it seem like it was not plotted was one to be reckoned with, a truly amazing, spine-shivering film. I still have tingles going round my body..I doubt I will sleep tonight!


First of all I thought the “black guy” did okay myself. But what the hell was this guy smoking or snorting! I could barely stay awake and I think I honestly spent 10 minutes of actual viewing time as I fast forwarded through this mess to just get it over with. “Spine shivering”! Never heard of that before, just like “tingles going round my body”, so we can conclude  from his inability to remember simple cliches that this guy is a doof-ball and we can also safely assume that he believes in actual alien abductions. Just like the people who found The Last Exorcism scary probably believe in demonic possession or powerful satanic communities, or people who couldn’t sleep after Paranormal Activities probably actually believe in, er, eh, whatever it is people like that believe in. Some people are trying to defend this film against debunkers, believing it is somehow true or based on something true, like the whole alien autopsy hoax. I don’t think this film was ever meant to be a hoax. I think the filmmakers were just making a docudrama of an urban legend and it turned into some sort of Orson Welles War of the Worlds situation where gullible ass people will simply believe anything. Okay, so what is my opinion on alien abductions then? They don’t happen! Aliens aren’t taking people aboard space craft. Lost time is experienced by brain dead people. Aliens aren’t dissecting cattle and implanting little triangles into people’s shoulders. None of this is happening. Aliens aren’t even flying around the swamps of Alabama at night probing hillbilly’s anuses. Crop circles? Hoaxes. How many? 100%. There is not one crop circle that is not the product of a human being somewhere. No one has ESP or can remote view. Okay, that being said I still like a good scary flick and I am able to suspend my disbelief and enjoy a film like Close Encounters or The Exorcist. With a movie like this I can’t suspend my disbelief that anyone could possibly believe it could be true or even be unable to sleep after seeing it. What is wrong with humanity? Here is a short quote from Amazon.com:

“Everything in the film is quite believable:”

What movie was this yoyo watching? Not the same amateurish dribble I had to fast forward through. And he says “everything”. I will counter that with a reasoned and calculated reply and say that NOTHING in this mess is believable, including the fact that someone put up the 1.2 million dollars for the film’s budget (to quote Alioto in an article I read). It has the feel of the X-Files and supposedly some of the X-Files special effects guys helped Alioto out. Hey look, some people loved it. Why listen to a cantankerous old cynic like me. Check it out for yourself (keep your thumb on the fast forward) if you can find it. Seems a bit hard to locate but I seem to have a knack (or curse) for finding this obscure stuff. It is a boring terrible film but others differ in their views it seems. Maybe you will agree with this other reviewer from Amazon.com:

It's brilliantly produced in all of its ultrarealistic facets. Had this film garnered a theatrical release and been played up and marketed in an underground Blair Witch fashion, I believe it would have made a killing at the box office. I dare you to watch this film alone late at night.

I dare you watch it alone at night and try to stay awake.

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