I've been watching a little known film called GOD TOLD ME TO. The first time I saw it, I was in high school. I was an amatuer ghost and ufo hunter at the time. My best friend and I had plans to write and produce epic films about alien invasions, and finding cult films at the local video rental place was just like going to film school.
This gem of a movie starts off auspiciously enough with murder. New York pedestrians are assassinated by a sniper who when confronted, says GOD TOLD HIM TO. From therein the tale unfolds from what seems like just some whack job on a routine mission to make the news, into an abduction tale with thrilling results.
The GOD in question is the son of a woman, who some 20 years before reported an abduction. An abduction of the extraterrestrial sort.
Left and right a New York City detective, played with calming effect by Tony Lo Bianco, is confronted with grizzly crimes in which the killers confess that GOD told them to do it.
As Detective Nicholas delves deeper into the mystery, he encounters a cult dead set on seeing this *GODs* plan through, whatever it may be. He is confronted by the boundaries of his faith, and the faith of those taken in by the deception.
This movie is rife with Christian motifs. Virgin births and the promise of a messiah. It's sinister undertone makes you wonder if people could be so easily decieved? What if a force did have the power to persuade the people that *it* was GOD? Or worse still, what if this same force invented GOD?
I've been watching this movie on and off for the passed week, courtesy of NETFLIX and it has plagued me with some serious questions. Considering that it's a horror/scifi film by Larry Cohen, the same man who gave us ITS ALIVE...this is startling, to say the least.
The question I asked myself after watching this film for the first time, some days ago is: Where'd Cohen get the material?
This film was made in 1976, the same year as the ALLAGASH ABDUCTIONS.
But did the ALLAGASH ABDUCTIONS come before or after the film? It's very hard to pinpoint just when GTMT came out in the theatre's, but if anyone saw it in the theatre originally, I would appreciate the info.
Another 1976 Abduction case of interest is the STANFORD KENTUCKY ABDUCTIONS. This case, as well as the ALLAGASH case, bares no resemblance to the plot of the GTMT film. For all I know, the film may not be based on anything, and if it isn't, that makes it all the more curious to me.
GTMT isn't the only ABDUCTION film making it's debut at a time when certain components of the modern abduction scenario weren't completely known or thoroughly investigated. There is also the 1980 film WATCHER IN THE WOODS. This film starts off giving the viewer the feeling that a) there's something in the woods akin to a monster or a depraved lunatic, and b) some crazy kids went into the woods oneday to try black magic.
However, after sitting through the entire film (which I did, solely because of BETTE DAVIS), one discovers that the missing young woman was abducted by a force, not substantially explained, but still, it makes you think nonetheless---what was going on back in 1980 to possess people to tell such a tale?
The movie is actually based on a book by Florence Engel Randall.
The original idea for the film included an insectoid alien, alien landscapes and a spaceship. But the ending was re-written by various writers, and it strayed from it's extraterrestrial storyline to one of a more paranormal element. It wasn't until it was released on DVD that the original ET-esque ending was added.
At this point in time, seeing as it was 1980, UNSOLVED MYSTERIES had already permeated the airwaves and the masses were already aware of this phenomenon known as the ALIEN ABDUCTION.
It's not like Alien Abductions were invented by hollywood, in the late 70's. That isn't what I am getting at. What I am trying to articulate is the probability that such films were based on the paranoia of the time, and even more so, may have been influenced by what was going on as far as abduction scenarios go.
If we look back at the science fiction films of the fifties, they were replete with bulbous-headed, bug-eyes aliens who favored blondes and not too long after that, people started seeing bulbous-headed, bug-eyes aliens...minus the blonde fetish. So who is imitating whom?
I'm not one to venture into thinking that Alien Abductions are a product of the imagination. On the contrary, I truly believe there is something going on. But when an old flick from 1976 is eerily accurate to the point that it seems as if the story came out of a UFO casebook, it's enough to make me wonder, are all the scifi scenarios we see on celluloid the products of the imaginations of gifted screenwriters or are they telling tales of the truth of a moment in time when everyone is looking the other way, and thus, no one knows where the story ends and the truth begins?