Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Phoenix Incident: What Happened Over Barry Goldwater Range?
brought out the Fox Mulder in Arizona Governor Fife Symington. Although he
initially dismissed the notion the mysterious lights seen moving in unison over
Barry Goldwater Range were extraterrestrial, he later admitted he wasn’t quite
sure about that. Of course, there are plenty of UFO conspiracy theorists who
are absolutely, positively convinced of the affirmative. The mysteries
surrounding the “Phoenix Lights” get the mock-doc-slash-found footage treatment
in Keith Arem’s Phoenix Incident (trailer here), which opens tomorrow in Los
all, how cool is it that the Air Force renamed Luke AFB’s bombing range the
Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range? It almost makes you willing to overlook
their X-Files-style cover-up. However,
Arem’s ostensive documentary suggests the Phoenix Lights played a role in the disappearance
of four, primarily ex-military buddies who disappeared during guys’ weekend in
the mountains (that they managed to film through glaring contrivances).
a wildly unstable and virulently antisocial hermit by the name of Walton S.
Grayson was initially a suspect in their presumed murders, for obvious good
reasons. However, the Air Force stepped in, taking Grayson into custody and pressuring
the coroner’s office into blaming it all on an animal attack. Though never charged,
Grayson remained incommunicado for years, but frankly that would be the least
tragic aspect of the tale. Understandably, the surviving family members want
answers, which Arem will partially supply with shadowy Deep Throat sources,
speaking in murky lighting, under conditions of anonymity.
earns a lot of credit for faking it so real. Despite his acknowledged use of
dramatic “recreations,” many viewers inclined to believe will probably take it
for complete Gospel. The archival footage of Symington and Sen. John McCain
(who wanted better answers but remained skeptical of extraterrestrial theories)
really set the hook, anchoring the outlandish conspiracy speculation to the real
world. However, when the aliens finally show themselves, they look suspiciously
derivative of the Predator and Alien creature designs.
Grayson, Michael Adamthwaite is suitably mangy and snarling, while Scot Ruggles
plays the informant with authoritative intensity. However, only Travis
Willingham’s Mitch Adams really registers among four men, by virtue of superior
energy level and full-throated volume. Of course, this is not conceived as an
actor’s showcase. In fact, Arem and company would probably prefer you did not
think of them as thesps at all.
If you are in the mood for some paranormal paranoia, Incident is a surprisingly polished
offering. On the other hand, if you are logical and incredulous by nature, it
is not likely to convince you of anything. Still, as a UFO flick, it is better
than Ejecta and Hanger 10 (but not as strong as Skinwalker Ranch). Recommended for the faithful fringe, Phoenix Incident opens tomorrow (4/8) at the Laemmle NoHo in Los
Labels: Found footage