OVERLORDS OF THE UFO (1977) – Category: Hilariously lame “documentary” about conspiracies, the paranormal and/or the supernatural This little honey comes from the muck and slime encrusted bottom of the cinematic barrel of movies that followed in the wake of the ridiculous Chariots Of The Gods.
None of these schlockumentaries are very convincing about their subject matter but this flick is so outrageously inept that not even the Ancient Aliens team would be suckered in by it … maybe.
Early on the fun kicks into high gear with mismatched stock footage of various airplanes taking off and landing while we hear what is supposed to be a conversation between two airplane pilots. The slant of the exchange is that pilots supposedly have various encounters with UFO’s as part of their average working-stiff day but never report what they see out of fear of getting blackballed.
My favorite part of this film is the narrator who is lame even by the incredibly low standards of UFO documentaries. He delivers his lines with all the aplomb of a replacement weatherman at a local tv station. Among his stiff remarks are several awkward references to “the overlords of the UFO” (drinking game anyone?) and he seems incapable of correctly pronouncing the word kept, saying it as “kepp”.
You may think I’m nit-picking but since “kepp” is second only to “overlords of the UFO” in sheer repetition it’s hard not to notice.
Anyway, the bulk of the film is made up of photos of alleged UFO’s that are so lame they never even would have passed muster at the Art Bell website. They are clearly double-exposures or awkward doctorings but the narrator keeps talking about what “shocking proof of extraterrestrial visitations” we’re being shown. One UFO looks like someone’s prescription pill and another one looks like a cereal bowl.
The cereal bowl (Wouldn’t it be cool if the cereal bowl was full of Quisp?) shot is accompanied by narration claiming that dozens of such UFO’s were flying over a major city for days. Naturally this narration fails to explain why no film crews happened to record the phenomenon, leaving just one lame photo as “proof”.
The faint double exposures are hilariously explained away as photos that captured UFO’s materializing from or dematerializing to another dimension, hence their paleness.
When the movie treats us to actual film footage instead of photographs it’s equally unconvincing, the best example being a UFO that is clearly a child’s toy being swung around by what looks like a fishing rod. This footage is blurry (isn’t all UFO footage conveniently blurry) but not blurry enough to hide what seems to be going on. And when this flick doesn’t have questionable photos and film footage to show the viewer it resorts to illustrations of alleged UFO abductions based on the supposed abductees’ descriptions of the events. As you would expect from a film that has already displayed ample instances of ineptitude these illustrations look like something someone’s grade-school age child would have drawn so Mommy and Daddy could tape it to the refrigerator door for awhile.
There’s so much to laugh at in this movie that it’s tough to recall every priceless moment but here’s a quick list of some of them: a) an “energy being” that is obviously just someone shaking a flashlight at the camera at an odd angle
b) brief appearances by Uri Geller (don’t ask) and Stanton Friedman, who is as omnipresent in UFO schlockumentaries as John Carradine is in low-budget horror and sci fi films.
and c) an alleged response by NASA to our documentarians’ hard-hitting investigation. This response is “It’s not in our charter to investigate the UFO’s” and it injects a comically surreal note because the statement sounds incredibly garbled, as if all communications from NASA sound as fuzzy and static-ridden as in the original moon landings.
The piece de resistance in this movie comes when, at last making good on his promise at the opening of the movie, the narrator “reveals the truth about the UFO’s” that have been seen around the globe for decades.
This truth comes in the form of a delirious tour de force called Journey From Ummo, sort of a film within the film that reveals the planet of origin of the UFO’s (and their “Overlords” of course) as Ummo. Ummo lore was as well-known in Europe in the 60’s and 70’s as X-Files lore was in the U.S. and elsewhere in the 90’s.
These filmmakers just piggy-backed their documentary on to it, apparently, using all the weird elements of Ummo lore, like comically doctored photographs supposedly taken of other planets in our solar system by the visitors from Ummo plus their supposed discovery of the ruins of an ancient civilization on Saturn’s moon of Titan.
This Ummo nonsense is a lot of fun and was as much the common conversational currency of European UFO nuts back then as talk of “greys” and “nordics” is to the on-line UFO nut “community” these days. It was so well-known over there that the movie I have listed above under its U.S. release title Assignment: Terror was originally released in Spain under the title The Man From Ummo.
As long as you know what you’re in for, Overlords Of The UFO provides a lot of laughs for you. ++
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