Ancient Aliens

All posts tagged Ancient Aliens

A Scary and Stranger Slice of Life

Published April 27, 2015 by rmpixie

A good horror or sci-fi movie can scare or fascinate us on the big screen, and most of us can leave the fantasy in the theater.  But what if the overly-friendly neighbour or that strange light in the sky happens in our real lives?  Some of that real life horror has been committed to film, documenting the stories of ordinary people, or seemingly so, who have lived these very experiences.  For them, especially those who lost loved ones, it is worse than any Hollywood nightmare, and for those who stand by their convictions it is a lesson in tenacity.  Here are a few titles that resonated with me, and although they may not be your first choice for a Saturday night flick, they give a voice to folks that either lived through some real horrors, or had some allegedly real, and really weird, experiences.

 

myamhorror

My Amityville Horror (2012, 1 hr, 28 mins)

This documentary focuses on Daniel Lutz who lived in the famed Amityville House with his family when he was a child a year after the gruesome murders. I missed this doc when it screened at Toronto After Dark Film Festival a few years back, so I finally sat down to watch a very strange and eerie account of what he went through.  His reluctance to reveal his true feelings and the damage done to him is evident in his large blue eyes, and I cannot tell you what I believe other than his life was a tortured existence for many years during and after his Amityville experience.  It is a must see if you want some understanding of the media storm surrounding this famous haunting.

 

 

 

cropsey

Cropsey (2009, 1 hr, 24 mins)

I was completely drawn into this Staten Island, N.Y. story.  The filmmakers and natives to the area, Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio, explore the small town legend of Cropsey, a crazed killer of children said to roam the wooded area around the abandoned Willowbrook State School.  Their quest to find the truth behind the Cropsey boogeyman reveals stories of missing children, heartbreak, a terrible history of mismanaged and abusive hospital facilities, and the slow but sure persecution of real suspected killer Andre Rand.

 

 

 

jefdfiles

The Jeffrey Dahmer Files (2012, 1 hr, 16 mins)

Short but informative, this film, with the help of reenactments, forensic and personal accounts, shows us how a seemingly friendly but introverted man charmed his neighbour and the detective in charge of questioning him despite being one of the most notorious serial killers of our time.  Don’t expect a grand exposé here, rather it gives you a snapshot of what people thought of him, how they related to him, and how he got away with murdering his victims for many years due to the shortcomings of the police.  This documentary will definitely make you paranoid when a stranger is unusually nice to you.

 

 

 

hiddenhand

The Hidden Hand:  Alien Contact and the Government Cover-up (2013, 1hr, 20 mins)

Abductees and scholars speak on the presence of aliens on Earth in this 2013 documentary.  What may sound like loopy hoo-ha ends up coming from some more than credible witnesses like military officials and the sixth American astronaut Edgar Dean Mitchell, as well as celebrated authors like Whitley Strieber, Jim Spark and David Icke.  Several accounts of alien abduction likened to being “tagged like deer” and many cover-up conspiracies fueled by greed are discussed, and details on ties to The Vatican and Area 51 will peak your interest in this hotly debated subject.  If you follow the vein of thought, this slightly dry but interesting film will lead you to think that alien visitation is more common than you think, making the Fox Mulders of the world proud.

 

 

 

billymstory

The Billy Meier Story (2009, 1 hr, 34 mins)

“Billy” Eduard Albert Meier has been in contact with aliens for most of his life, and is known for his prophetic messages that he relays from the Plejaren alien race.  With an early life that James Bond would envy,  Billy Meier has seen other worlds and world leaders; he has opened his own organization that publishes the prophecies of his alien friends and their spiritual teachings among other things, and he has allegedly seen the future.  This documentary takes you from experts who try to debunk his U.F.O footage, to mental health officials that try to certify any kind of craziness, and testimonials from his faithful followers.  It will certainly make you stroke your literal or figurative beard and scratch your head in wonder as you listen to some compelling information.  Despite the somewhat cheesy looking spacecraft footage and drawings of his alien informants that look like the European Jesus and Beyoncé (which would explain a lot), this movie really strikes a nerve as the world goes to Hell in a hand basket, and sadly, we don’t need aliens to tell us this.

 

Face Off Season 7 Episode 3: Ancient Aliens!

Published August 7, 2014 by rmpixie

This time around, the artists met at the Walter Pyramid, an arena at the Long Beach Campus of California State University.  Here, McKenzie and judge Glenn Hetrick introduced them to one of my favourite subjects:  Ancient Aliens!  They mentioned that theorists though places like the Giza Pyramids in Egypt and Stonehenge in England could be clues left from alien civilizations.  The first solo Spotlight Challenge was to use a historical site or rumoured alien construct to inspire their own alien who might have built the site.

Damien chose the Giza Necropolis in Egypt.  He went for angular and sharper features for his alien to mimic the pyramids.  Not seeming to have much trouble with his design, he worked steadily until it came time to the paint.  Starting out with a gold base, he tried to create highlighting with a deeper blue that just gave a muddy finish.  The judges noticed, and Ve revealed to him that he should have started out with colour and then use the gold to highlight.  They thought the cheeks weren’t anatomically correct and felt his forms were rough.  He was in the bottom looks.

Keaghlan also picked the Giza Necropolis.  She created an alien princess with feline features and a Nefertiti headdress.  This alien was responsible for bringing cats to Earth (which would explain my cats and their weirdness!).  She was nervous about working on her own, but after Mr. Westmore talked to her about doing a really beautiful paint job and watching her time, she went for it.  She had a lot of painting to do for her large head-piece.  I thought it was beautiful.  The judges loved the bold graphic look and strong silhouette and Ve liked the use of gold and thought it looked prettier up close.  She was in top looks.

Stella got Peruvudaiyar Kovil found in India.  Her inspiration came from Lord Shiva, creating his mate who erected this monument as a warning to stop his cheating ways.  She used a collar seen on a bull statue at the monument, and after talking to Mr. Westmore, figured out a way to have her model move her neck with the extra-large collar piece.  Her bejeweled alien was spectacular!  A vibrant red vision with a great India influence had the judges raving about the design.  They thought the forms were adventurous, and Lois thought the collar and henna on the hand were great.  Glenn felt it was a complex and advance makeup, with skilled execution and heeded multicultural references.  She was in the top.

Sasha also picked Peruvudaiyar Kovil.  Her alien collected animals.  She wanted to blend Indian culture into her makeup and use the model’s features in her concept.  She felt her cowl was smaller than the rest and that made her really nervous, but she kept going with her concept.  She kept her eye on the more experienced artists to learn how to make a mold, and while she had an issue with her mold opening, things turned out quite well for her.  I loved how she used her model’s big beautiful eyes to their fullest potential.  She was worried about her less is more approach, but the judges loved the Indian influence, the femininity and all the jewellery.  They also thought the makeup had great proportions.  She was in top looks!  So glad she went with her gut despite being nervous about her choices.

Gwen went with Stonehenge.  She wanted to create a Predator inspired warrior but struggled with her design.  She lost confidence and was concerned.  Her chest piece didn’t come out well, and she spent a lot of time patching it, leaving her no time for a decent paint job to salvage the makeup.  In her words, the end result was a “gnarled mess”.  Unfortunately it showed because the judges did not like the alien.  They felt there was no dimension, and her edges were bad.  There was also no focal point as the face and torso differed with the amount of paint, and it looked more pagan than alien.  They felt that a better use of colour could have saved the makeup and that it didn’t satisfy the challenge.  She was in the bottom.

Rachael picked Stonehenge as well, and went with an aquatic alien that got the locals to build the monument for her.  Her result was an icy blue alien with a really cool look.  She felt it needed a prop, but she was safe.

Doc went for the Moai statues of Easter Island.  His idea was an amphibious aquatic alien but he ran into some problems.  During the walk-through, Mr. Westmore pointed out that the design didn’t feel like Easter Island, and the makeup didn’t look like the statues.  He made a lot of changes to Doc’s design, emphasizing the nose and brow which left Doc reeling a bit.  He struggled with the face, wanting to follow Mr. Westmore’s advice but still keep some of his concept.  The judges though the makeup look rough and the paint job was monotone and “wretched”.  They thought the mouth looked sad and the sculpt was strange in general.  He was in the bottom looks.

Drew got The Pyramid of the Sun found in Mexico.  He went for a snake-like alien with feathers.  His colour scheme was yellow and green and used a stencil for some of the paint job, but in last looks, his airbrush clogged, leaving him to complete it by hand.  The judges thought the paint job was flat and incomplete.  The didn’t like the stencil aspect although they did think the mouth was great.  Lucky for him, he was safe.

Dina also took on the Pyramid of the Sun.   Her idea was an alien that used mind control and had a fiery cranium.  Mr. Westmore advised her about the texture of the alien, and she created a nice reptilian alien with a great paint job.  She was safe.

Jason and George both had Machu Picchu found in Peru.  Jason wanted to incorporate L.E.D. lights in the head-piece, but on the reveal stage, I didn’t notice them.  he wasn’t happy with the paint, but it did look very alien.  George wanted his alien to have no human references.  His telepathic alien had squid-like hands and a dominant bright red colour.  He liked his creation but felt the vibrant wardrobe might have been too much.  They were both safe.

Vince’s Easter Island alien was good too.  Instead of running around like the other artists, he simply took a walk and worked on his mental game plan.  It was a great sculpt that kept him safe in the end.

Cig went for Angkor Wat in Cambodia.  His inspiration was Lord Vishnu and wanted extra arms for this makeup.  He used monofilament to coordinate the model’s real arms with the constructed ones.  He used vibrant blue and the sculpt matched the monument.  The arms worked well.  He wanted to maintain the judges’ faith in him from his last win, and he ended up being safe.

The winner was Stella!  The judges thought there were so many things that shouldn’t have worked but did.  And unfortunately, Gwen went home.  Her alien looked like a tribal demon to the judges, and she suffered technical setbacks that she couldn’t adapt to.  She was disappointed but like the others who left the show, determined to carry on in the makeup field.

This season is lacking a certain energy.  I know there are a lot of contestants, but I feel that the show is edited really fast, not showing some of the artists’ creative processes properly.   Because of this, the vibe seems flat.  Not sure what is going on, but I would rather they spent time on the production instead of rushing to squeeze in another season.  Just my humble opinion…

Dark Skies and Crumbling Dreams

Published June 23, 2013 by rmpixie

darkskies

 

Fellow Horror fans, my apologies for not posting something sooner.  I suffered a lack of inspiration and couldn’t find my kitsch appreciation groove.  It was a flat-line for a while, and I looked for days for something to watch; sometimes stopping midway during a film that I couldn’t bear to finish, which is rare since I’ll watch anything!  Never fear though, as I have a renewed interest and there seems to be some great films out there, so this pixie is happy again!

One film I was interested in was Dark Skies.  I saw this come out a few months ago, and missed it in the theatres, so I was anxiously awaiting the dvd release. I am glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised with this moody, alien abduction story.

Lacy and Daniel Barrett (Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton) seem to lead an idyllic, boring suburban life.  Two sons, Jesse (Dakota Goyo) and Sam (Kadan Rockett), a nice house and barbeques on the weekends.  It’s great, except for the fact that Daniel, who was laid off, can’t find a job and Lacy, a real estate agent, can’t sell any houses.  They are also plagued by bizarre, nightly happenings. Each night, the events get stranger, and every day, the family becomes more stressed. Food scattered and half eaten on the kitchen floor, various household items impossibly stacked to the ceiling and a disturbing bird incident seem like mild annoyances after weird seizures start to affect the entire family.  When there is evidence of abuse with their sons, Lacy and Daniel are pushed to believe that these events aren’t coming from the boys, a prankster, stress or even this planet.  Enlisting the help of Edwin Pollard (J. K. Simmons), an abduction and alien expert, Lacy and Daniel prepare to accept the unbelievable, and hopefully get their life back.

I liked the mundane, suburban backdrop for this alien abduction story.  The American dream of raising a family and having a ‘normal’ life becomes a nightmare.  The aliens and the disruptions they create are a great metaphor for the lack of control over our lives in general.  I think this film got panned generally because some reviewers thought it was either too clichéd or was a thinly veiled dissertation on right-wing fears of being invaded by foreigners.  I see it as a tad tongue in cheek.  Most plod along only hoping for the house, the car, the job and 2.5 kids.  When things don’t happen as we expect, who you gonna blame, “India and China”? That’s who Daniel’s ‘everyman’ neighbour blames.  But no, it’s not “them” (gasp!).  What better explanation for kids acting up, stress on a marriage, and medical oddities than aliens?  I am a fan of the show Ancient Aliens (and have a secret crush on Giorgio Tsoukalos-the crazy hair guy) where scholars give compelling evidence of aliens being here all along.  Heck, some believe we carry alien DNA.  Who am I to argue?  Better to blame the aliens than ourselves.  I actually like to blame “The Man” myself, who just may have a slightly gray pallor to his skin and lots of probes…but I digress.

Director Scott Stewart (who also directed Priest and Legion), did a decent job with the mood of Dark Skies.  Although I though the pacing was a tad slow, you could feel the foreboding tension building as we move through the story, and I loved the simplicity of the film.  Special effects were minimal but effective to make this story believable, and I found the stark quality to each scene brought the characters and their emotions to the forefront.  And speaking of characters, I though the cast did a good job in portraying the regular suburban family, but the stand out for me was J. K. Simmons.  I have been a fan of his since OZ where he played Vern Schillinger, the leader of the Aryan Brotherhood and someone you just loved to hate.  Usually he nails various gruff, abrasive roles, but this time around, he is very quiet and subdued.  His character Pollard is quite different from the clichéd alien conspiracy theorist.  He believes because he knows.  He has given in to the reality of aliens among us and also lives with a bunch of cats which is great in my books.  Pollard has only a few moments in the film, but he brings in a touch of comedy and is a great transition to the tense finale.

Dark Skies is a great addition to the abduction genre.  Stewart creates an interesting film that takes everyday family stresses in the all American clueless home and gives them a more sinister origin.  Definitely makes you think about that weird mosquito bite, or why that bird keeps looking at you funny…

Favourite Scene:  When Lacy learns that dogs will go berserk when aliens are near, she races to the local pound.  Stopping in front of a particularly nutso German Shepherd named Clive who is described as “Aggressive!!!”, she makes a clipped statement rather than a question, “What about this one?…yeah” to son Jesse.  Yeah, Clive will do.

Most Memorable Line:  When talking to Pollard about why they have been chosen by the aliens, Lacy asks, “What makes us so special?”, to which he flatly replies, “Nothing.”  It’s true.  The aliens are just messing with us because we are boring lab rats.  Not like we’ve solved any problems here on Earth, or stopped any wars for world peace, or treat each other any better.  Earth is probably the worst truck stop in the universe…

 

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