Beyond Belief (1976)

Article 3726 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-12-2011
Posting Date: 10-27-2011
Directed by Alan Baker
Featuring Richard Mathews
Country: USA
What it is: Documentary about psychic phenomena and UFOs

Footage is shown involving psychic experiments, poltergeists, key bending and UFOs.

Like any documentary of this kind, what you’ll get out of it is bound to be tied up with what you bring in with you in the first place. Believers will probably go along with it, skeptics won’t, though I suspect the former will enjoy the movie more than the latter. My own approach would be to decide if it was entertaining and/or well-made. As for the latter, the answer is no; the only new footage shot for the movie was that of the narrator; the rest was lifted from other documentaries and thrown into the mix, with the UFO section in particular feeling as if it was lifted from somewhere else at the last minute and tacked on to make the movie last longer. It’s not well-organized, nor does it build up to any real point. Entertainment-wise, I found it mostly dull, with little in the way of anything new or novel. I did find a couple of moments a bit interesting. One is during the second half of the poltergeist sequence, in which one man discovers he can calm down the poltergeist activity if he empties his mind and lets the forces take control of his hand to write messages. The other was in an interview with an astronaut during the UFO sequence, in which he is asked if UFOs exist. For once, someone addresses that UFO stands for “Unidentified Flying Object”, and so anytime you see something flying you can’t identify, you have technically seen a UFO; most of the time, when UFOs are envisioned, it’s almost always attached to the concept of spaceships from other planets. Nevertheless, despite these moments, I found this movie singularly dull.


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