Reality Entertainment returns to the paranormal documentary genre with their latest release, Alien From Area-51: The Alien Autopsy Footage Revealed. It will be released on DVD June 12th for all too see. But why wait? Lets’s take a look, shall we?
Alien From Area-51 is essentially an interview with Ray Santilli and Gary Shoefield, producers of the infamous Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction? In the interview the two sit down to spill all the details of the classic found footage docudrama that aired on Fox back in 1995. Highlights of the interview include them explaining why “some” of the footage was too damaged to be aired, and was reenacted using actors. All these years the two continue to express that the footage they originally saw is 100% accurate, and that they did their best to bring the footage to the world. They also once again state that “some” of the footage originally shown on Fox (and all over the world) was the original undoctored footage, but never once said exactly what footage that is. After the interview they show the autopsy footage in it’s entirety completely uncut so everyone can once again decide for themselves if it’s Fact or Fiction.
I’m gonna try to look at the documentary from two different aspects. First off on an opinion basis, you’re only gonna enjoy the documentary as much as you are interested in the topic at hand. The interview segment was fine, some interesting information was shared about the original television broadcast. It did feel more like a bonus feature than it did a documentary though since director Philip Gardner didn’t include comments or information from anyone other than the two gentlemen in the interview segment. The autopsy footage was the best part of the disk for me, as I could only vaguely remember seeing it back in the day. I did enjoy watching this, even if it was only about 15 minutes long.
From a technical standpoint, Mr. Gardner and myself don’t exactly click. I’ve reviewed two of his features, The Stone and Dark Watchers, and neither one is on my wanna watch again list. I felt like too much of the 75 minute run time was filled with ridiculous computer graphics and music on the screen. I’m sure there are people who appreciate his style, but it’s not for me. I will say that he definitely has some talent, I’m just one for substance over style (at least when it comes to his style).
Alien From Area-51 is an interesting look back at the television phenomenon from my childhood. Unfortunately, the disk itself feels more like watching two bonus features rather than an actual documentary. For anyone interested in the topic at hand, there is some good stuff on here. But for a documentary, it’s a pass in my book.