Friday, February 2, 2018

Overlords of the U.F.O.

Overlords of the U.F.O.
G. Brook Stanford

In the 1970s UFOmania encountered a big resurgence. That meant there were people looking to make some money off off the public’s interest in the paranormal. Sure you could take the time and effort to put together a script, build sets, make some UFO models and hire actors, but that can cost a lot of money. It was much cheaper to slap together a “scientific documentary” made from stock footage and interviews with people who may or may not have a clue what they were talking about and string it all together with some barely coherent narration.  There were a number of these films released dealing with all manner of phenomena, Bigfoot, ESP, and of course aliens. Overlords of the U.F.O. holds the dubious honor of being probably the worst of the lot.

"I left my dignity somewhere around here."
Overlords of the U.F.O. starts out simply, it rambles through various UFO sightings without much rhyme or reason. It raises the question of why there has been no government confirmation of such widespread phenomena. It even goes so far as to blame NASA and Skylab for covering up the truth. This is all pretty standard stuff for UFO documentaries, a little dash of mysterious aliens mixed in with government conspiracies to hide it all.

The low energy first half of the movie in no way prepares the viewer for the mind-boggling oddity of the second half as all (admittedly low-effort) attempts at rationality make way for the revelation that UFOs are in fact vehicles from another dimension by the way of some aliens from a planet called Ummo. Somehow this all has to do with an alien invasion of Spain and then sham artist/psychic Uri Gellar gets involved for reasons that are still unclear.  This whole mess is happening because Earth is causing ‘spacequakes’ with our nuclear weapons and the aliens don’t like this one bit.

Dolphins also play into this. I'm still not sure why.

All of this nonsense is tossed at you by a constant droning narration The few interviews during the film are stiff and dull. There are also voice-over dramatizations of things that probably were never said during moments of pointless stock footage. This is a movie that could be much improved by turning off the sound and playing your favorite Hearts of Space episode. Perhaps the best things about the whole film are the abstract images and spacescapes that occasionally flood the screen. It gives all the incoherent rambling a slight psychedelic vibe.

"That wasn't a clay pigeon you were shooting at, pal."
There’s a good chance you could walk away from Overlords of the U.F.O. much dumber than you were before viewing it. It is a sloppy and poorly made faux “science documentary” that is much more interested in throwing out wild claims than actually trying to document anything. If you give in and just let the absurdity of it all wash over you there is some entertainment to be found here. Just remember that Uri Gellar restarting watches with his mind has nothing to do with flying saucers from another dimension.

I'm pretty sure that's Gamera.

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