Short Takes: U

The UFO Incident (1975)

Producer: Joe L Cramer
Director: Richard A Colla
Screenwriters: Hesper Anderson and Jake Justiz (book: John G Fuller)

A middle-aged couple discovered they were abducted by space aliens through hypnotism with lots of racial politics in the mix — sort of like the film is about something serious.

This made-for-television film is shockingly good. And though it is a drama with sciene fiction elements, it’s also scary.

Starring James Earl Jones (The Great White Hope) and Estelle Parsons (Roseanne). Featuring Barnard Hughes and Dick O’Neill.

The UFO Incident seems to be under copyright but is generally not available for sale anywhere. You can probably find it online.

Under the Skin (2013)

Producers: James Wilson and Nick Wechsler
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Screenwriters: Walter Campbell and Jonathan Glazer (book: Michel Faber)
Our review: Under the Skin

A space-alien woman drives around Glasgow, seducing young men who she lures into a trap. But one day, she seduces an unusual man who she frees. Thus begins her doomed adventure to connect with humanity in a less menacing way.

This is a deeply disturbing and compelling science fiction drama in the tradition of The Man Who Fell to Earth. Also: Scarlett Johansson naked.

Starring Scarlett Johansson (The Island). Featuring Adam Pearson (Chained for Life — 2019), Jeremy McWilliams, and Michael Moreland.

Under the Skin is copyrighted. It is available on DVD and Blu-ray with a bunch of short behind-the-scenes videos.

Unlisted Owner (2017)

Director: Jed Brian
Screenwriters: Jed Brian & Tyler Landers

A family moves into a new house and all of them are murdered. A group of young people camping nearby break into the house to investigate with predictable results.

This is a well-made found footage film. For my taste, it features far too much “boys being boys” content and lots of pointless arguing. But the acting is surprisingly good and it has some excellent moments.

Starring Jed Brian, Gavin Groves, Tyler Landers, Andrea Potts, Griffin Groves, Haidee Corona, and Tanner Hoke.

Unlisted Owner is under copyright. It is available on Blu-ray with an interview commentary featuring Brian and Landers along with almost 20 minutes of cut scenes.

31 January 2021

An Unquiet Grave (2020)

Producer: Christine Nyland & Terence Krey
Director: Terence Krey
Screenwriter: Christine Nyland & Terence Krey

A year before the film starts, a woman died and her husband and twin sister are still affected by it. The husband has learned of a way to bring the wife back but he needs her sister’s help. Unknown to the sister, he is going to bring his wife back into the sister’s body. It works but the wife is none too pleased with what’s been done.

I loved this film. It creates a great atmosphere and maintains suspense throughout. Everything works here and it deals with issues of life that mean a lot to me. Others find it boring. I don’t see why. I was riveted from the start.

Starring Jacob A Ware and Christine Nyland who are both superb.

An Unquiet Grave is under copyright. It seems only to be streaming on Shudder at this time.

30 July 2021

The Unseen (1980)

Producer: Anthony B Unger
Director: Danny Steinmann as
Screenwriter: Danny Steinmann as Peter Foleg (story: Steinmann and Stan Winston & Tom Burman)

Three young women comes to a festival in Solvang but their hotel reservations have been lost and they have nowhere to stay. They accept the offer of a local museum owner to stay with his wife and him. Two of the women are killed by someone unseen. Will the third escape?

This is a good old-fashioned slasher film where there is no clever twist. And what makes this film really shine is the relationship between the older couple. It features an unexpected and heartbreaking ending.

Starring Barbara Bach (The Spy Who Loved Me), Sydney Lassick (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest), and Lelia Goldoni (Shadows). Featuring Stephen Furst (Animal House).

The Unseen is under copyright. It is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

17 June 2020

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