THE VISITOR (1979) – This Italian-made movie deserves a Plan 9-sized cult following so I’m surprised that it’s still com-paratively unknown. The film is directed by “Michael J Paradise” (Giulio Paradisi) and features appearances by such name stars as Franco Nero, Glenn Ford, Lance Henriksen, Shelley Winters, John Huston, Sam Peckinpah, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Mel Ferrer. Paradisi directs this film in such a way that the actual point of most scenes is lost because virtually every shot includes extraneous footage completely irrelevant to the storyline. The extra footage just distracts from what otherwise might have been a halfway passable sci-fi thriller.
Never before has anyone used the words “This movie could have used more Kareem Abdul- Jabbar” but they apply to this flick.
All that being said I want to point out that I disagree with the general consensus that The Visitor makes no sense. Sure, it has plotholes, inconsistent behavior from the characters, poorly chosen reaction shots and villains who over-complicate things for themselves, but the basic story DOES make sense. In fact I bet X-Files fans would like it and would immediately understand what’s going on.
Part of the confusion can be attributed to the edited version that omits so much footage that it’s difficult to understand what is going on. It’s not always easy to understand what’s going on in the complete 108 minute version, either, but at least it retains all the relevant footage. Since so many people seem lost when they first watch this movie I’ll provide a handy synopsis of the film. It’s not quite right to say there are spoilers ahead since most people apparently don’t understand what is going on when they watch the film anyway. Continue reading