THE FORCE BEYOND (1978)
Article 5099 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by William Sachs
Featuring Orson Welles, Donn Davison, Rosko
What it is: UFO documentary
Evidence is presented for the existence of UFOs.
Here’s another documentary about UFOs, and for good measure, it has some segments on Bigfoot, the attempts to use psychics to find out about the lost continent of Atlantis, and the Bermuda Triangle; only the latter really connects in any real way to the main thrust of the movie. Movies like this were a dime a dozen in the seventies, and most of them were shot in the same dreary way. I’ve seen more of them than I care to mention, but I have to credit director William Sachs for his handling of this one; he actually seems to be going out of his way to make the presentation interesting. This includes such clever touches as incorporating newsreel footage into the movie (Orson Welles appears in this movie only in footage making a quote concerning the “War of the Worlds” scare), arty presentation tricks (such as showing a car driving to a UFO conference while overlapping talks from the conference play over the soundtrack), and keeping the interviews quick and to the point; once one is finished he quickly switches to the next sequence. Is it convincing? Not particularly; in fact, in some of the vaunted footage I can’t see any of the UFOs that are supposed to be in them. Nor does its tendency to jump back and forth between scenes help with the movie’s coherence. It is, however, one of the more creatively mounted UFO documentaries I’ve encountered, and to my mind, that makes it one of the better ones.