Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Unidentified Flying Objects: The True Story of Flying Saucers (1956)

Nineteen fifty-six? How many UFOs sightings had there even been by 1956? Like ten? Actually it turns out there were quite a few; apparently it was a pretty big fad back then, like almost, but not quite, managing to shoot the Chupacabras is today. I was trying to figure out how I missed it, but truth be told my life immediately after World War Part 2 was pretty chaotic. I mostly [CLASSIFIED] while [CLASSIFIED] Project Paperclip [CLASSIFIED] with those idiots from [CLASSIFIED] until eventually they realized that [CLASSIFIED]. When [CLASSIFIED] finally [CLASSIFIED] he thought he was so fucking smart but that didn't stop us from [CLASSIFIED] and naturally he ended up puking everywhere! He even threw up on one of the [CLASSIFIED]! Ha ha! So, needless to say, UFOs were the last thing on my mind.

So anyway, this flick is based on "true cases", but to give it some structure it mostly follows this reporter guy around for months or possibly years, during which he learns less about UFOs than you could glean from one day in front of the History Channel. It's all hopelessly factual and boring, and the acting is shitty beyond words. Hell, even the real-life UFO witnesses they interview at various points sound like bad actors.* And what is with the endless, mind-numbing scene where they show the main guy how they use radar to help planes land:

Wow, before he was all front-lit like that, his ears really didn't look that big.
Trust me, even if you always kind of wondered how radar works, this part will bore you dickless. "Heading 2-1-4 has you lined up with the center line. Range: two miles. Holding fifteen feet low on the flight path, bring it up slightly. Ten. Five. Now on flight path..." Seriously, it just goes on and on like that for a good five minutes, in full-on bad actor monotone. (If you ask me, the actor playing this radar dude should've delivered his lines like he was doing play-by-play for an especially exciting baseball game. That would've been hilarious.) They also show the main guy some "real" UFO footage, but it literally goes by so fast that it might as well be a subliminal message that says "Buy Coke!" or "UFOs aren't real, dumbass." Seriously, who breaks out their movie camera during an honest-to-fuck UFO fly-by then only films it for 0.7 seconds? (Yes, I timed it.) At the end of the movie they do give us a longer look at this footage, but even then it just looks like some white specks, specking around in the distance. It could be anything from a flock of seagulls, to a bunch of balloons a grade school class released with the kids' addresses on them,** to some leftover jizz on the camera lens. They spent the whole movie pimping this footage like crazy but dammit, there's nothing of substance there. And that, my friends, perfectly sums up the "true story of flying saucers". Case closed. Fuck off.
*This is sometimes caused by "lying".

**Remember when teachers would actually assign kids to do this? The idea was that the person who found the balloon might drop you a line and tell you where it ultimately ended up ("In Corky the dolphin's digestive system..."), but in practice it was more like giving every child molester in the state directions right to your house.

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