Friday, October 19, 2012

This Film Left Me...Alienated?: "UFOs Do Not Exist!" (2011)

There is a man named Bill Knell, who has two hours, a slide projector, and the wherewithal to expose the mysteries behind all those UFO sightings since World War II. Be careful, he also has the wherewithal to put you to sleep with this unwatchable video.

Shunning such bothersome frou-frou as opening credits, "UFOs Do Not Exist!" is a two hour presentation by researcher Knell. In the video, he gives a brief life story, justifying his expertise in the field of paranormal research, and then launches into a very long lecture about UFO sighting history. His presentation is all over the place, as the viewer must follow Bill as he jumps ahead in history, doubles back, and then forward again. Onscreen, blurry pictures of UFOs are shown without any context as to when they were taken or by whom, much less if what we are seeing has any connection to what is being talked about.

Knell covers all the old material- from Roswell to Area 51 to the Philadelphia Experiment, but also releases the crazy- telling hearsay stories about Jackie Gleason and Walter Cronkite's experiences with unidentified flying objects. I assume the title of the video refers to the fact that objects in the sky really are alien spacecraft, not unknown or swamp gas, and the government has been covering this up for years.

As a film, this is lousy. Knell assumes everything he says is fact, and spends no time proving his ridiculous theories. The constant parade of smudgy photographs, misspelled words, and bad audio grated on my last nerve, and it took me three days to get through the two hour video, which my poor DVD player gave up on with ten minutes left...a government-led conspiracy?? I feel I can still review the film because of the preceding 110 minutes of lies, half-truths, fantasies, and hokum. Knell consistently trips himself up. He will slam the 1980s film "The Philadelphia Experiment," and then use stills of the movie to illustrate a point. Other researchers who disagree with him are just plain stupid and wrong. During the video, he pushes other DVDs of his, including a seven hour presentation on the Philadelphia Experiment. Read that again- SEVEN hours. I refuse to review that, sorry.

"UFOs Do Not Exist!" is one of those weird little videos that one might find in second-hand stores, next to paperback copies of "Chariots of the Gods?". I don't care if you are a Obama birther, 9/11 truther, or a former alien abductee, Bill Knell has only hindered any microscopic credibility your whack-job theories have generated. The UFOs don't exist, and neither does my patience for this thing. (*) out of five stars.