Alien Abduction: Incident In Lake County

Happy Thanksgiving! We dug deep into the bowels of the internet to find a little-known found footage movie with a fascinating pedigree. It all started 10 years earlier in 1989 with The McPherson Tape (aka U.F.O Abduction), which was lost to the world until it suddenly resurfaced within the UFO-tracking community as purportedly genuine evidence of a family’s alien encounter (it’s not).

Once TV news organizations got ahold of it 5 years later, director Dean Alioto was tasked with remaking it for Dick Clark Productions. It’s this 1998 version – just a year ahead of The Blair Witch Project – which showed on TV and fooled a generation of young viewers with some of their first exposure ever to found footage horror.

We ended up discussing both over Thanksgiving turkey this year. Dig into yours and enjoy this week’s find along with us!

alien abduction poster
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Alien Abduction: Incident In Lake County (1998)

Episode 369, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw

Todd: Hello and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd.

Craig: And I’m Craig.

Todd: Well, happy Thanksgiving, Craig.  

Craig: Happy Thanksgiving! Wow. Uh, it’s so exciting to, like, the holidays coming up and… You know, I don’t know. I have no idea what things are like where you are, but, uh, for the past several weeks, the leaves have been beautiful.

Like, the weather has just been so nice. It’s, it’s amazing. And, you

know, I’m on Thanksgiving break now. And then it’s only three weeks and like three weeks and two days or something until Christmas break. Yeah. It’s a glorious time. 

Todd: It is a nice The last three months of the year are quite nice, aren’t they?

Yeah, they are. We get Halloween, we do our Halloween thing, I always look forward to that. And then Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, although when I’m not in the U. S., Thanksgiving is Well, you know what? Even in China, there are a lot of restaurants in town that do, like, a super expensive, like, Thanksgiving meal or something.

That’s weird. Are there that 

Craig: many Americans in China for that to be like a 

Todd: I guess. In Beijing, not in China. In Beijing, a big city like that, there are enough to justify that. Sure, sure. Or just, you know, enough Americans to bring their Chinese friends along or Just curious other people sure, you know that kind of thing, but right now I’m actually in Vietnam on a little bit of a break We’re never in Saigon and it is about 80 degrees.

It’s in the 80s right now Wow close to 90s So it’s a very different what I left when I left Beijing A couple days ago it was actually, uh, getting pretty chilly. So, uh, yeah, I’m kind of bouncing back and forth as far as the weather goes. But there ain’t no Thanksgiving here, as far as I can tell. I can’t imagine why there would be!

Right. 

Craig: We talked about, I think at some point you said… Are we, should we do a Thanksgiving movie? That’s true. I feel like at this point, you know, we kind of question it, because we’ve done it for so long. Like all of the obvious ones we’ve done. 

Todd: Plus we’ve already done Blood Rage, and what’s the point of doing any Thanksgiving movie after that?

Oh my god, 

Craig: with, I was just gonna say, plus we can’t do Blood Rage every 

Todd: year. I would love to. I really think we could make this a holiday tradition. I mean. We’re eight years in, it’s not too late to start a Thanksgiving tradition of Blood Rave. There’s so much to be said about that movie. 

Craig: Maybe, someday, we’ll see, I don’t know.

Anyway, so, I would, but I like these traditions for the same reason that I like these holidays. Like, I just, I like tradition and, uh, I like it. So, I was like, yes, I want to do one. 

Todd: It also forces us to, like, really dig deep and seek out movies we would probably never think of doing. Just out of, you know, pure desperation, and I think that’s kind of how we found this one, right?

That’s why I picked this one. 

Craig: Both of us found the same list, I think. Like, I think we both just googled Thanksgiving horror movies, and we both found the same list, and we originally said we were gonna do Escape Room, right? Mm hmm, 

Todd: because it During Thanksgiving, kind of like we did Christy last year, right?

That also took place during Thanksgiving, but otherwise had nothing to do with the holiday. 

Craig: Right, right. And I’ve seen escape room. I’ve actually seen it multiple times because it plays on the free streaming services that I just leave on in the background. But I couldn’t for the like, I’ve seen it several times and I couldn’t for the life of me.

Think of what connection it has to Thanksgiving, and I still don’t know. Like, it may be, maybe somebody at one point mentions, Ooh, tomorrow’s Thanksgiving. I don’t 

Todd: know. Probably. 

Craig: But I was looking at that list, and this title came up. The movie that we’re doing this week is called, uh, Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County, and I think that I initially scrolled.

Right past it. Like, I don’t even think that I read it because the picture that accompanied it was like grainy and it looked old and cheap. And I’m like, I don’t want to do that. But I was really questioning our decision. I’m like, that’s not a Thanksgiving movie. So I looked back at the list and I read about this one and I was Fascinated.

And so I texted you, I’m like, bro, I really think that this one is going to be more up our alley. Can we do this? And you very graciously agreed. And I’m glad because I liked it. 

Todd: You love found footage. Did you hate it? I enjoyed it for what it was. Can’t say that by the end of it, I was like super impressed.

It’s funny because I feel like between you and I, I have this reputation of not liking found footage movies as much as you. Yeah, and I knew that. And I think that still stands, however… If you go back and you review the episodes where you have foisted a found footage movie on me, more often than not, I’ve actually really enjoyed it.

So, this I would put a little lower on the, on that list. I liked it for what it was. I, uh, the, the backstory on this movie, and the movie that it is actually a remake of, is incredibly fascinating, and for that alone I really liked it, and as a product of its time, I’m also impressed by it. However, watching it now, it was a little cringy, I thought, at times, and a little hokey.

I did not feel like the acting was very good. It, it wasn’t terribly convincing. There were moments where I was taken out of it. And I think some of that, a lot of that had to do with 

Craig: So you already mentioned that this is a remake. Uh, uh, so the, the same guy, 

Todd: Dean Alioto. 

Craig: Yeah. Okay. He shot. A film and, and, and like, it was this, this, uh, found footage, this, you know, of course, before Blair Witch, before found footage blew up 

Todd: 1989, 1989, 

Craig: I know.

Right. 10 years before. And so he shot this found footage film about this family who experiences an alien abduction, basically, by the end, and I think it aired on TV maybe once or something, but then it kind of got passed around on videotape, and people thought this movie was, they thought it was 

Todd: real.

Yeah, we got a. We got we got to talk a little bit about this because there’s there’s a there’s some great information about the we have to talk A lot about it 

Craig: Yeah, like because the plot of the movie is super simple. Yeah, but you and I both like I When I picked the movie I started doing a little bit of research about it And I found out that it was a remake and I found out that the remake was only about an hour long.

And so I emailed or texted you and said, Oh, it’s a, it’s a remake. I’ll probably watch both of them. And so then you were like, well, let me know the deets and I’ll watch both of them too. And I’m so glad we did, because that’s, I think is going to be. What is the most fun to talk about? It 

Todd: really is. Dean Alioto was an aspiring director, coming up to 25 years old, and he was really pissed off because he’s turning 25, and all the directors that he admired had already made their mark in cinema and directed their first movie.

By that age, and so he really wanted to make a movie, but of course he had very little, you know, means with which to do it. And a couple things inspired him. I guess he was on an airplane trip, and he was looking out the window, and he was kind of thinking, What if this is the last I see of the outside world?

Or what if I land and everyone’s gone? And he had also been reading Communion. Which was a book that came out in the 80s by Whitley Stryber, that claimed to be a Did you ever read that book? No. Do you know what I’m talking about? No. Oh my god. God, I’m so kind of surprised actually, as as You probably saw it though, like in the supermarkets and everywhere.

It was huge and like, uh, I don’t know, late 80s I think, 88, 89. It came out and it had the picture of the alien with the big black eyes and the bald head on the cover. I don’t know. I was just gonna 

Craig: say, like, now I’m thinking, oh, I vaguely remember that, but it may just be the power of suggestion. I don’t know.

It could be. I mean, that was so ubiquitous. That was such, like, a 1980s… And even into the early nineties thing, like the tabloids, the tabloids, God, things have changed so much since we were young. Like I know that you’re not even in the country anymore, but the, the grocery store aisles are like checkout lines used to be plastered with these tabloids and they were insane.

Right. And that doesn’t exist anymore because the 

Todd: weekly world news. With, like, just completely false articles about aliens and UFOs, it was just for entertainment. Right, but the 

Craig: big headed, like, big, black eyed aliens, like, that’s the classic image that you would see all 

Todd: the time. This guy pretty much invented that, like, This guy did?

I say invented, he claims it happened to him. Yes, no, Whitley Streiber. Whitley Streiber. Oh, okay. He wrote this book called Communion, it was all over, I was super taken when I was, when I was this age. Um, you know, late elementary, early middle school. With, um, aliens, and Loch Ness monsters, and, and, and Atlantis, and the possibilities of myth actually being true, and this was all I would devour at the library.

And when this book came out, and I saw it everywhere, I, I read it. Now, Whitley Streiber, even by the time he wrote that book, was a noted, uh, and successful horror author. He wrote two horror books, The Wolven and The Hunger, which both got made into movies. So, he, he’s not like some random guy who’s just trying to get attention.

And then he claimed that he was, uh, over a series of years, all of these crazy experiences with being abducted, and like an alien, one of these aliens lived in his house for a while. I mean, it’s, it’s really nuts. But, you know, there’s nothing to say about it except that this is what he claims and nobody can really debunk it because it’s just what he says happened.

And, uh, I read that book and it was crazy. But, the cover of that book and his description of the aliens, of being these… You know, sort of like, uh, with these elongated heads, with the round head, and the big black eyes that are like oval shaped and whatnot. That we kind of see as the classic aliens came from him, and that book, and the cover of that book, which he had a guy draw based on his supposed recollections.

And that’s what the aliens in this movie were patterned after. And so, he read this book, and he just kind of was like, I should do an alien abduction story. But I don’t have any money, he ended up getting $6,500 from some company called Indie Syndicate Productions Uh, to, to do something, and he decided he would just shoot it on video and make it look like video.

It wasn’t like he was trying to, you know, found footage wasn’t really a thing, as far as genre goes. There had been found footage movies before this, but that wasn’t really in his or anybody else’s consciousness. He just was like, I’m, I guess, out of necessity, I’m gonna use this brand new technology, which was 8mm video camera, which he was very excited about using, and, uh, shoot this as though it were happening, as though, and he put himself behind the camera.

It’s really wild to hear about the process of doing it, because again, he, he was, he had 6500 bucks to do this. He had a guy spend, um, a guy he met in Sacramento, named Bill Bowes, gave him 750 bucks and said can you please make a spaceship design for me, and he put this thing together as kind of foam thing with the like some platforms, he said it looked like garbage.

When I was out in the woods in the middle of the day and he was like, 

Craig: it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. That’s what the the original like when last night, so I watched the movie that we’re supposedly talking about today. And then last night. Late at night, Alan was gone, he was in a play, and he went out afterwards.

I was watching this late at night, the, the, the original, and I was like, oh no, this is a mistake. I, I shouldn’t be watching this because I think I like the original. Our long version better in large part because the video quality is so bad that it’s 100 percent believable. It’s more convincing. This looks like something that my dad would have shot with a huge ass.

on his shoulder, and it’s even funny to me, like, the original, uh, version is about an hour, like, an hour and five minutes, I don’t know, something like that, um, and it plays out basically… Almost entirely in real time. And it’s just this one guy with, you know, this new camcorder that he just got, apparently he’s using it for the first time and he has it the whole time.

And usually one of your big issues with found footage is like, why wouldn’t he put. The camera down, like put the camera down and I didn’t have that issue with this movie at all because I remember being 5, years old and my dad had that huge ass camcorder on his shoulder. Couldn’t put it down. Never. Oh my god, there are hours and hours and hours of footage of us.

That nobody will ever watch. Yeah. 

Todd: Oh yeah, for sure. I mean, I’m gonna come right out and say, I thought that the original was way more convincing than the remake. Way more convincing. 

Craig: Way more. In fact, in fact, out of context, I could totally understand how some people think it was real. Cause it feels real.

The newer one, it like, it’s, it does a pretty good job, but there are, there are so many cuts and stuff. Like it feels 

Todd: very edited and there’s so much cheese ball stuff in there 

Craig: and the, the original one is mostly uncut and it, it doesn’t feel scripted at all because people are just. Talking over each other all the time, like it just feels very organic, like it, it doesn’t feel scripted at all, it feels entirely organic, it feels not like a movie because people are just talking over one another, people are having inane conversations in the background that you can fully hear, 

Todd: yeah.

They seem to be mugging for the camera at times or like even having, making some of these comments because they know they’re being recorded, and, and this was entirely improvised. What he did is he wrote out beats. He was like, um, here’s what’s gonna happen here, you know, Uh, in, in this point and then this point and then this point and then they went through just sort of some rehearsal But he was like they don’t want to get too detailed, you know Just kind of run around and pretend you’re being chased by aliens kind of thing He said he thought I can just direct this from behind the camera and just basically by going Oh, God, look over there, or, you know, oh, shit, what’s that?

Craig: Oh, was that him behind the camera? He’s behind the camera. Oh, God, I didn’t even think about that. The director was playing the young, the 16 year old brother, because this is supposed to be shot by a 16 year old boy. He’s like the youngest brother in this family of three boys. We’re 

Todd: talking about the original, 

Craig: right?

Well, I think it’s the same in both, right? Like, there are three boys, and the youngest one is the 16 year old who still lives at home. The older two are both either married or coupled up. So, so that was, that was, uh, Dean Alioto behind the camera? Like, he was playing He was. 

Todd: He was. God, I don’t even know You know how he says, like, holy shit, like, 21 times?

Yeah. That’s him. So yeah, he was like, I could just direct this from behind the camera. I could like, I could kind of yell, Oh shit, what’s that? And then everybody kind of knew, oh, we’re moving on to the, you know, the next scene. Oh my gosh. Or he would turn his head to the side and be like, cue the aliens, like, you know, cue the lights or whatever.

And he had some guys out and around the house, you know, on radios who could, uh, turn things on and off and whatnot. And three kids, girls, little girls, who were about… Um, I think eight years old played the aliens who were, but yeah, everything was improvised. And so he just got improv actors. I’m just 

Craig: picturing this in my mind now, like I’m, I’m just picturing the scenario and I just think that is so cool, so cool that he made this movie, you know, with a big handheld camera on his shoulder.

And he was. Acting in it, but also directing from behind it, like, uh, right, I, I, I’m, I’m, I’m not going to give you too much credit cause I’ve never worked with you, but I know that you have shot films before and like, that just seems like such a 

Todd: cool approach. It’s pretty awesome. 

Craig: And it totally, it, it totally works.

And, and you said he hired improv actors. Now my biggest. Comparison, complaint, I don’t know what you want to call it, between the two movies, the mother in the remake, which is the one that we’re supposed to be talking about, sucks, and the mother in the original is amazing. She’s fantastic. She 

Todd: is. It’s so crazy because the actors in the original, pretty much none of them have any other credits on IMDb.

They never did any other films. I don’t know what they’re doing in the acting world, you know, since then. Right. But as far as film goes, they’ve got no other credits. And in the remake, these actors are experienced. They were at the time, and they are now. And the mother may be the most of them, which is so embarrassing.

She’s so terrible at it, but she’s Gillian Barber. And Gillian Barber has been all over television. In fact, she’s been in movies we’ve reviewed. She was in Needful Things. Jumanji. She’s poorly 

Craig: cast. She’s poorly cast. Yeah, she does not look like these people’s mother. She looks like she could be their sister.

Um, it just doesn’t work. And it’s interesting to me because in the remake. Uh, Incident in Lake County, they look like actors, and they feel like actors, whereas in the original, I totally 100 percent buy that this is footage of real people in 1989. 

Todd: Because in 98, he was specifically told by the studio, it was originally developed as Showtime, and then went to UPN, and he was specifically told by them.

Because this is a TV movie and it’s a bigger budget production, you have to have more better looking people, is what he said. Plus he had 1. 5 million to work with. Yeah. So, uh, you know, that was their direction. It would’ve been cooler, honestly, if he could’ve just shot it with a bunch of improv actors again.

It probably would’ve turned out better, I think. But anyway, yeah, so he did this, and uh, by the way, that Bill Bowes I was just mentioning, that was kind of his first thing on a movie, but then he went on to be one of Tim Burton’s guys. He worked on The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Sleepy Hollow, Planet of the Apes.

He’s a production designer for the new Scooby Doo movies, and Fantastic Four, and all that stuff. That’s kind of interesting, for making that shitty, uh, not, shitty, I say shitty aircraft, but it doesn’t need to be good, because it’s grainy through a camera from a far away, and, and it looks great. So, uh, in the original it looks great, and in the remake it looks great, too.

Craig: Yeah, and I was, The camera work, what I love, it really applies to both, but even more so to the original. This all happens at night. In a single location in a home. And I do think we should talk about the plot. I’m just not super worried about it because it’s so simple. We can fly through it. But, um, especially in the original, this guy is looking at everything through a camera, but it’s nighttime and he’s looking outside and you can’t see.

Anything. And that is, that’s totally true to life. You couldn’t see anything. Even if you had a light on your camera, if you’re shooting into the dead of night, dark, no, you wouldn’t see anything. The only thing that you would be able to see, which is the only thing that this camera picks up too, is like, if there are other sources of light, the camera will pick that up like a light post or something.

Um, but I just loved, you know, you see. In modern movies, whether they’re, you know, shooting through a camera or, or, or not. Um, but you look into dark scenes and you can see a lot of what’s going on. And with these 1980s cameras, no, absolutely not. And I loved that. And it made it even more suspenseful to me.

There were times. Um, especially in the original when he was trying to look out of the window and I just kept like he kept like pulling the blinds apart and like looking out and couldn’t see anything. It’s pitch black out there. I kept thinking one of the aliens was going to be like down at the bottom of the 

Todd: window because 

Craig: they’re only like four feet tall.

Oh man. I mean, 

Todd: I’ll have to say like, And I think I’ve said this before, just because it’s realistic doesn’t necessarily make it fun to watch. And this was my complaint about the original. was that, even though I was convinced that these people were genuine, their banter, like you said, was perfectly realistic.

You know, like you said, the camera work was utterly realistic. I mean, to the point where, you know, when he thinks they’re aliens or whatever, like, the camera’s not gonna, is not really pointing at aliens at all, it’s pointing at the ground because he’s running away from. Uh huh. I mean, he’s, he’s working really hard to make it realistic, and it shows.

The end result is like most of what we’re seeing is shaky cam of of people’s legs and feet When anything interesting is happening on the screen, you know, I’ve said this before, you know I did not like the brother which project when I first saw it and that was kind of my complaint there too was Camera shakes everywhere whenever there’s something interesting.

We can’t see it. And I know that was a lot of people’s Things that they thought was so brilliant about the movie. Oh my god It your imagination fills in the gaps and I was so freaked out. That just wasn’t my reaction at all to the Blair Witch Project That wasn’t 

Craig: my reaction either my reaction to that is what I imagined as I was watching this especially the first one, but People felt, some people felt about the second one, too, the same way.

Some people really thought that this was real. There are people out there who still think this is real. There are people, there are people out there who think that the government paid this director to make a remake to divert attention away from the fact that the original is real. It’s hilarious. Even though when it was originally aired.

It aired with credits that, you know, credited the actors with their character, you know, it made it very clear that these are actors playing characters. There are still people who think this is real, but when I was watching it, because I had read, Um, reviews. So I went to the IMDB page for Alien Abduction Incident Lake County and I read a lot of reviews and a lot of people were like, give it a shot.

It’s really good. Don’t believe the bad reviews, but there were several angry reviews that were like, this isn’t the movie that. I saw when I was a kid, and that movie scared me to death and scarred me for life. And then I, I went and read the, uh, reviews for the other one and they’re like, Oh yeah, this is the real one.

This is the original. It’s way scarier. When I was watching it, I tried to put myself In the frame of mind, like, I don’t know anything about this movie. And I’ve told you, we’ve done the Blair Witch Project here. But for anybody who hasn’t heard that episode, Alan and I went and saw that movie when it first came out.

And when it first came out, they were marketing it as though it were real. We were a couple of big dummies who believed it was real and watching. And of course, you know, days after we had seen it, everything came out. I was like, Nope, just kidding. It’s not. Um, but, uh, watching it and believing it made it so.

Scary and part of what made it so scary was how real it felt and part of that was when something really scary happened, the camera would drop and they would just be running because that feels real. If the camera had stayed. On their shoulder by their head. If it had kept shooting and then that’s bullshit.

Nobody would do that. If you’re really that scared, honestly, watching the movie that we watch for the podcast, alien abduction, instantly County watching it. I enjoyed it, but then watching the original, I was like, Oh no, the original is better, but I think that’s because the remake is. It’s cleaner, it’s sharper, the actors feel like actors, and it is unnecessarily padded with stupid shit.

Todd: Yeah. Although, it’s true. Although, to be fair, the original also has its moments where I was just like, Please, can something happen besides us just watch this family banter back and forth? And thankfully, that was only an hour long. But, I, but, you know, like you’re saying, it, context is everything, and the thing that made Blair Witch such a phenomenon was because they had really taken advantage of the internet, right?

They had deliberately put up this website that, you know, with extra footage that they shot with people who were pretending to be… Experts and, and, you know, they were really trying to blur the lines actively as part of the marketing and promotional campaign for the movie. They even told the actors to lay low.

Yes. Although one of them was like, on frickin still, still on TV in commercials for, uh, what was it, Steak and Shake or whatever? I don’t know. Right. Still. Like, that was that. In this case, this was before the internet, and the reason this thing got a reputation for being real, and I’m, I’m talking about the original, in night, that was put out in 1989, is that it showed once, it had a movie premiere, and, um, the director, Dean Alioto, really did not have high hopes for it.

So his plan was to put it straight to home video. And the distribution house that had his original tapes, And even the artwork for the posters and the cover art and everything literally burned to the ground and took his whole movie with it. And so, he and everybody thought, well, that’s it then, and he’s like, I almost didn’t even care.

He’s like, I got my first movie out of the way, I got the experience. And then about five years later, after he had kind of forgotten about that, was moving on to other projects, he gets a call from some guy representing Hard Copy, Encounters, and Unsolved Mysteries. Uh huh. Three different places, and this guy’s name was Sean Morton, and he said, Hey, do you know anything about this found footage?

And he’s like, this was the first time he’d even heard the term found footage. Uh, he said that he found, this footage was found, and his, his name was on it, and all these shows wanted to get the rights to it. And, did he have anything to do with this alien video, and he’s like, yeah, I made this thing. And then Sean Morton was like, do you know what’s going on with it over the past five years?

And apparently, a couple of videos, so the distributor would send out pre release videos or whatever to mom and pop video stores around the country, um, just to kind of show them. Previews and VHS copies and some joker took one of the copies edited out the credits and this went around it for five years in the UFO community as a real thing and the director was like, God, I wish I had been smart enough to do that.

Craig: Yeah, he even comments on it in the, in the movie because in the, in the remake, there are like all these. intercuts, uh, with like professionals, like anthropologists and psychologists and whatever. And I think one of them is a filmmaker who is played by the director, and he ends his brief interview by saying, he’s like, it couldn’t be a hoax.

But if it was a hoax, I should have directed it. 

Todd: It’s hilarious, by the way, almost every one of those interviews was so unconvincing. They’re 

Craig: dumb. And that’s another thing that I didn’t like about the new movie, which I feel like we should run through the plot real quick. But what, one of the things that I didn’t like about it, it was, it was clearly cut for commercials and also clearly cut for these interstitial, like.

Interviews and I, I don’t know if that was supposed to add to the realism, but for me, it just made it feel more like a production and fake, uh, and 

Todd: fake. Right, right. People are not convincing. He’s the worst of them all. He’s a terrible actor. As far as that goes. I 

Craig: thought he was funny. I thought he was douchey.

Like he was a perfect douchey. So that’s true. Um, but okay. So plot wise. What happens is, in, in the movie that we watched for the show, uh, Alien Abduction Incident Lake County, they are celebrating Thanksgiving, and this movie is Thanksgiving through and through! Like, there is a Thanksgiving feast on the table!

You made a good choice. 

Todd: They come back to it, they cut turkey from it several times. Oh 

Craig: my gosh. Yeah, in the original, it’s just the little girl’s birthday. The big differences between the original and the new one are that in the original, it’s the little girl’s birthday, and this one at Thanksgiving, um, there are a couple of extra characters in the new one, um, but other than that, they follow the exact same plotline.

With the new one, just throwing in some silly 

Todd: things. There’s a couple additional things though, as far as how they encounter the alien, um. 

Craig: Not really, that’s exactly the same. So, they’re celebrating Thanksgiving, or a birthday, whichever one you’re watching. And, like, the power goes out. So, the three brothers go and check the fuse box, and like, the circuits are melted.

So, they go into the forest for why? 

Todd: In the original, there’s no good reason. There’s no reason they go into the forest, but God, they walk into the forest forever. And I thought it was kind of boring. 

Craig: In the remake, they think God cut that down, because I swear to God, they trek through the forest with nothing happening for like ten minutes.

Yeah, 

Todd: it’s true. And good thing it’s at the beginning of the movie, because you’d about turn it off by then. But I think in this one, if I’m not mistaken, wasn’t there some sparking or was that later? Some 

Craig: sparking I think it’s in both. Yeah, well, they also see like, even before the power goes out, they see a flash of red light.

And then the power goes out, and then when they’re out in the… There’s, I think maybe another flash of red light or a transformer explodes or something. I don’t know, but they, they go, the brothers all go walking through the woods and they find a spaceship. Yes. 

Todd: So funny. And the spaceship design is almost ripped off entirely from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

It’s a big. Like, globular, like, round spaceship with a hatch that comes down and everything, it’s just sitting there. And in both of them, it looks pretty good. I mean, I was Yeah! I was actually impressed at this low ass budget movie. Well, it looks 

Craig: pretty good in large part because the the film is so low quality, like Mmm, 

Todd: and out of focus at times.

Craig: Yeah! Be well, because they’re shooting, he zooms way in. Um, because they’re at a distance, and it’s at night, and it’s dark, and so it doesn’t have to be amazing. I’m sure that pro I mean, props to the people who built that. It looks great, but up close, I’m sure it looked… Not amazing, but it looks great on the film, and then they also see these aliens walking around, which are clearly I can’t.

Honestly, people believe this was real. I know. First of all, why are we as a species? Like, we’re so conceited as to believe that if there is other life in the universe that it will be humanoid. 

Todd: Yeah, they’re gonna look almost exactly like us, with just longer fingers and a different shaped head. It’s ridiculous.

Also, wearing all black, otherwise. 

Craig: Yeah, like, like black sweatsuits and just these rubber heads. In the new one, they’re like… Conducting an experiment on a cow with like lasers lasers with lasers, but then the aliens see them and, uh, they run back to the house and they immediately panic and like they’re, ah, there’s aliens and they’re after us.

And like all the women in the little girl are like. What’s happening? What are you crazy? But I love that. Cause it’s totally like real life. Like if somebody came like, you know, I’m at Thanksgiving and some of my family goes, you know, for a smoke in the woods or whatever, and then they go back and they’re like, ah, I don’t think I would immediately buy in either.

But I, I like that. Um, the funny thing about. The original one, to me, was like the guys all freak out, but then nothing really happens for a little while. Forever. So they just go back to normal. 

Todd: Yes! They do this every time in the original. Like, it’s like after about 90 seconds, they all forget they saw aliens.

They just go back to bantering or… Playing cards, or pouring more wine, or whatever. 

Craig: Oh, and yeah, like that’s, like it’s mentioned in the original one that the mom is drinking more since the father died. Um, and then they kind of let it drop. Like, I feel like maybe there’s some things that you hear in the background.

But in the new one… The mother has a glass of wine in her hands at all times. It makes no difference Yeah, it makes no difference what’s happening. She always has that glass of wine 

Todd: in her hands. Oh, they make it They make such a plot point out of it that it’s obviously plotted. And that’s one of the things that took me out of the movie, is there are these little things, there’s these little bits of drama that Are too structured to be convincing and the mom, you know, it’s like early on the brothers have this conversation about, you know, I’m worried about mom, she’s been drinking more and then at convenient moments throughout the movie, they get to comment on her drinking and they get to have a little argument about her drinking, you know, it’s kind of that in this way, the original was way better.

And that’s the same thing with two of the other characters. I can’t remember. There’s some little fight that kind of doesn’t need to happen. You know, it’s like sometimes in movies where there’s some big event happening that everybody should be completely focused on and instead there’s gotta be some little character drama between two people on the side that suddenly becomes the focus of everything.

And that can at times come off as realistic, like Night of the Living Dead. Yeah. It’s kind of incorporated into the panic. Whereas here, it’s just like, oh, we’re in a quiet moment. Now, let’s show, you know, the tension between these two characters, uh, in this, what came across as kind of an artificial way to me.

Me too. 

Craig: But I felt like it was better in the original, like in, in the, in the newer one, it does, it just, it feels artificial, like, like the old, yeah, it does feel more scripted. And I believe that it was probably a similar process where he gave them beats and said, play them. But these are acts. And, and it almost, I don’t know if they, I have no idea how many shots they did of everything, but like, as soon as stuff starts going, the oldest brother in particular felt very much like a character.

Like as soon as stuff started going down, he was like, I’m in charge of this family now. Everybody listen to me, shut up. Shut up! He just kept telling everybody 

Todd: to shut up. Right. Aaron Pearl, who’s been in like a hundred plus movies and TV shows. And he was in the 2006 remake of Black Christmas, 

Craig: by the way.

Uh huh. It felt like an actor playing a character. Whereas in the original, everything was so chaotic and everybody was talking over one another. It just, it honestly felt very organic to 

Todd: me. It did. Well, cause nobody’s distinctive, right? There’s no like, oh, this is the strong one, this is the whatever, yeah, it’s just, they all feel like a family in a situation, yeah.

And 

Craig: so anyway, okay, so they come back home and like, I don’t know, the lights are still out and whatever, blah blah blah, but… Eventually they’re like, oh, it’s probably nothing, but then the aliens show up and like are like peeping their heads in the windows and stuff and they’re running around and, uh, like locking all the doors and locking all the windows and stuff, um, and in both versions in different ways, but in both versions they end up shooting one of the aliens.

Todd: Yeah, in the original they’re outside and they bring They bring it 

Craig: in! That was so dumb, but like, but I almost still kind of believed it, because I’m like, God, people are dumb. Well, 

Todd: in a way, in a way, shooting it outside and bringing it in made a lot more sense, because it showed that at least they needed to monitor or have some control over the body, you know, assuming it was dead, but not sure.

Like, when it shows up in the new one, and they go through this whole ordeal upstairs, you know, behind this door, and shoot, he shoots, there’s a laser that comes through the door that burns one of the guy’s hands, and then, so that prompts Curtis to blast his shotgun through the door. In a very unrealistic shotgun shot, by the way.

Yeah, 

Craig: makes a perfect little cookie cutter hole in the door. Yeah. 

Todd: Um, but then they open it up and the alien’s dead on the other side, and they decide to just close the door, and put a… thing in front of it, a piece of furniture in front of it, and then go downstairs. Now, the whole time I’m thinking, this alien got into that room, presumably through a window in that room.

You saw multiple aliens outside. This is the way they got into the house. Why are you just closing and forgetting about that room that they got in with, from? Either drag that body out, or close the window in there. I mean, this room is important. Yeah. For you to secure your house. And they’re just like, alright, well we killed it, and it seems to be dead, so let’s close the door and also block it.

And then they go downstairs and kind of, more or less, go about their business. I 

Craig: get it. I mean, they’re still scared. They’re freaking out. Like, the phone doesn’t work. The lights aren’t on. At some point, like, the aliens also, like, affect, like, their watches stop. The electricity goes out. The phone’s not working.

At some point, the… Uh, appliances all, like, freak out, which was something that they added to pad the 

Todd: time. They go out to get the truck, um, and the truck battery’s totally melted. Um, and then their idea is to go get the tractor battery for the truck, and so they’re arguing about who’s gonna go out and do that.

Craig: Yeah, the guys are going in and out, and at some point, like, the two oldest brothers go out and don’t come back, um, and they, they never come back, um, and, and, and the rest of them are freaking out. The big di another big difference between the two is that in the remake, there’s something shady going on with that little girl!

What is that all about? Like… It seems, it seems like she knows something that the rest of them don’t know. I don’t know if the aliens are talking to her, but she just keeps saying, You guys, it’s fine. Everything’s fine. Just, that’s 

Todd: so strange. Everything’s gonna be okay. She says everything’s gonna be fine.

She’s constantly reassuring them. Then she’s trying to get upstairs to see the alien multiple times. Yes! And they just bring her down. And then she sits down and plays the piano. Again, another totally scripted moment. Where right when she’s in frame at the perfect time, and something’s happening in the foreground, she sits down in the background and starts playing like this beautiful music apparently on the piano.

But, but she’s 

Craig: not though, right? Like, Yeah, I 

Todd: couldn’t hear it. There’s a lot I couldn’t hear and I couldn’t understand that. Is there stuff that… 

Craig: I think it’s, there’s something psychic weird going on there. I, if she’s playing anything… We couldn’t hear it. It’s a, we don’t hear it. The, the camera doesn’t hear it, but everybody else does.

And that happens several times. Same thing 

Todd: with a lot of noises she makes, right? It’s like they’re only happening to them. Right. Then there’s little fights happening and Rosie and everything. 

Craig: One of them dies, I don’t even remember, like, the, the, It’s getting, it’s getting really hot, and it’s getting really cold, and, And their 

Todd: burns showing up on their shoulders, 

Craig: and then they disappear.

They get like a mark, it looks like they’re branded or something on the back of their necks, And it’s excruciating for a few minutes, and the little girl Rosie’s like, It’ll only hurt for a minute! And then it stops hurting, like, how do you know, bitch? Like, what is going 

Todd: on? Well, it’s supposed to be creepy for us, but the weird thing is that nobody in the family, like, everybody forgets about that every single time.

Like, Rosie’s doing something weird, Rosie seems surprisingly calm, Rosie seems to know something that, you know, the rest of us don’t, Rosie’s oddly predicting when, you know, and like They, they kind of like gloss it over, and that’s what happens, there’s like a red, this is different from the original as well, there’s that red light that’s just running around the room somehow, it looks like somebody’s shining a red flashlight around, and it swoops around, and then it hits Renee, and she falls backwards, and she’s You know, laid on the sofa.

She starts like convulsing and then they’re like worried that she’s dead But she’s not because I guess Matthew is a doctor or something. Oh 

Craig: god. I don’t know I don’t remember who all these people were that’s that’s the thing that I didn’t like about this is they tried to throw too much in They threw in extra characters.

They threw in like there’s supposed to be some like stupid ass Racial tension in the beginning because one of the sisters brings home a black boyfriend. Yeah 

Todd: God that sounded so Fake. That was so crazy. And it doesn’t go anywhere. 

Craig: It’s 

Todd: dumb. It’s unnecessary. 

Craig: They also throw in a confessional, the, like the main kid, Tommy, who’s supposed to be 16 years old.

Doesn’t look anything like he’s 16 years old. 

Todd: To be fair. I think a lot of this in that confessional was one of them where he sets the camera down in the bathroom and sort of was like, you know, kind of like if anybody gets this tape in the future, this is what happened, you know, kind of kind of thing for posterity before they actually shot it, they did a run through of it like with the actors.

They said this happens a lot with movies. You just kind of do like a big run through and they’re even companies that just do this. Um, it came in at 45 minutes. Yeah. And so they had to write, I think he said he had to write 20 more scenes, basically, in a day. Yeah. Uh, to pad it out, and that confessional was one of them.

And I think that shows, you know, it, it worked better as a one hour. Yeah. And I thought even one hour was long. If I hadn’t 

Craig: seen the one hour, I don’t know that it would have bothered me as much, but like, the extra stuff that they threw in, like, they all start acting weird, and like, I don’t know, it’s crazy, but there’s one point where, um, one of the sisters, 

Todd: Boyfriends.

Yeah, that was Matthew starts just 

Craig: randomly making out with one of the other guy’s, wives, Linda. And like they, they, they start making out with each other. And then everybody’s like, what are you doing? And they’re like, uh, I don’t know. , I thought it was you. She 

Todd: totally felt like you. Oh my God. Can’t you see they’re messing with us?

I was like, really? 

Craig: No, it seemed, it seemed really dumb and disjointed. And it’s just a lot of like spooky things happening, like seeing aliens, not seeing aliens, uh, appliances turning on and off. But 

Todd: let’s be clear, you say a lot of spooky things happening. Yes. All these things happen in the movie, but they are incredibly spaced out.

Craig: I found they, well, especially in the newest. And in the newer one, I don’t know, honestly, like I, okay. So full disclosure, it was late at night last night. So I was a couple of drinks in the original one I found to be very tense. And I. Was kind of transfixed and like, what’s going to happen? Um, even though I had already seen, like, I already knew it was going to happen because I had already seen the original, but I was, I was kind of compelled because I could imagine.

If I had seen this on TV in 1989 or night, probably the original in 1989, I think I would have been scared. Uh, and, and people, you know, you, you read the reviews and people are like, this is the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. I saw it was when I was a kid, it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. I get it. I think that I would have been scared if I had seen it as a kid.

Absolutely. And I liked it for that reason, and I, I honestly even enjoyed the remake. I did. There were silly things about it, but I did enjoy it. Um, I, I still don’t really understand what was going on with the little girl, and eventually they both end the same way. Somebody tells Tommy, the guy behind the camera, put the goddamn camera down, and he does.

And he puts it down and like, they all, they’re just trying to remain calm because the guys have gone out to get the truck, but they never came back. So they’ve just convinced or trying to convince themselves that the guys went for help. And so they’re just waiting. And so they sit down and play cards, which sounds so stupid, saying it out loud.

But really, what are you going to do? Like, yeah, what you would just kind of have to occupy yourself. I mean, at least until. Morning. But anyway, they sit down to play cards and like, I don’t even remember what, how the original one ended and it, or no, the, the new one in the original one, it’s positioned so that you can see kind of the front door and the aliens come in and they walk around the corner towards the family and, uh, one of the aliens looks at the camera and it goes out.

So do you remember how the original ends? We both 

Todd: saw the same version of the new one. Um, in the new one, there are two endings. There was the original ending, which… Oddly, happens in the middle of what we saw. I don’t know if that was an editing mistake or what. But, uh, it’s basically Tommy’s going around the house, and, uh, he ends up in a room and he swings the camera around and there’s an alien right in his face.

Suddenly it’s like he freezes, like the alien has frozen him or something. The alien seems to take the camera and swing it around so you can see that. And then, that’s it. So, oddly, that happened in the middle of the, of what we were watching, and that was weird that, I wasn’t sure what to make of that, because then it’s like, Tommy is now suddenly back downstairs, and he doesn’t say anything about it at all.

The alternate ending is that, uh, he sets the camera down, just like you said, uh, and they see flashes of red. And aliens start to come in, just like the original. And one alien comes in, and it sort of, like, approaches… Lauren, I think, or whatever her name was. And she’s almost hypnotized, and it follows her out.

And Tommy’s still kind of standing there, freaking out. And the mother is still there, kind of, like, just sitting. And then the second alien comes in and sort of grabs the mother. And starts to walk her out, and the third alien, which has been trailing behind, looks at the camera and raises a hand, and then the camera sort of flickers, and it’s done.

And then, like, 

Craig: uh, PSA comes up, like, if you have any information about the disappearance of these people, call this number, and then it shows, like, photographs of, of all the people. And then credits. Yeah. And then credits with no music. I don’t know. I liked it. I like, as I was watching it, I was thinking, I’m so glad we picked this for the Thanksgiving episode because it’s, I mean, they sit down and eat turkey and mashed potatoes, like in the middle of this alien invasion.

Todd: Exactly. Very, it’s, it’s 

Craig: so perfect for Thanksgiving. And I had never heard of this. At all. I knew nothing about it. And so, if you, listeners, uh, are like me, I so, like, watch this on Thanksgiving. Like, fill up on turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie and, like, just unbutton your pants and sit on the couch. Ha 

Todd: ha ha ha ha ha!

Wait a second, where is this going, Craig? Take photos and send them to us? No, no, come on. What are you asking our listeners to do? You’re 

Craig: so gross. I, I, like, I, after a big Thanksgiving meal like that, I need to, you know, like loosen my belt 

Todd: a little bit. Oh, loosen up the belt. Okay. Alright, Al Bundy. And sit 

Craig: down and watch this movie.

I dug it. It’s not great. I’m not gonna try to oversell it, but I enjoyed it. And, it’s, it’s safe. Like. Your kids could watch this. Yeah. It could be scary, and like, if your kids are scared of things, or easily scared, and you don’t want them to have nightmares, then no, but there’s no violence, or gore, or anything, it’s just little kids running around in, uh, rubber alien masks.

They look so silly! Uh, but, I don’t know, I enjoyed it, I thought it was a fun pick for the holiday. 

Todd: It’s a fun pick for the holidays. It’s not too much of your time, especially if you watch the original, which I think is more convincing. I think as an artifact, it’s fun. There’s so much better found footage movies now that are way more convincing than either of these ever were.

I feel like we’ve kind of stumbled across another Ghostwatch, you know? Yeah, yeah! This, this movie that neither of us knew about, that nevertheless, once we posted the episode, you know, people were like, Oh, I remember this, and oh, when I was a kid I saw this, I was so freaked out, and it turns out, you know, there’s a whole subset of people, or a generation of people, who, you know, this had some effect on them when they were young, so I’m really anxious to hear.

Uh, what people have to say about it, uh, later. And, with no surprise, I mean, again, Dean Eliotto was in didn’t really know what he had, and didn’t really take it as seriously as he could have, but he said outright, he was like, I was looking to make a sort of video version of War of the Worlds, you know, this kind of, like, re report on an actual alien thing, so it’s cool.

That it had an effect, and God, man, one year before the Blair Witch Project, he had this remake of his thing from ten years ago on television, and the similarities, uh, are just, there’s another movie that I want us to do too, called The Last Broadcast, that also You know, similarly came out just a little bit before Blair Witch Project and, and was one of those earlier found footage horror movies that nevertheless didn’t get, uh, the marketing campaign or whatever that hit on the cultural zeitgeist like the Blair Witch Project did, but I’ve heard anyway really deserved it, but maybe even more so than the Blair Witch Project ever did, so.

Yeah, it’s it’s cool. It’s cool to have discovered this movie. It is a hundred percent of thanksgiving movie Uh, and it was uh, it was really fun to talk about and learn about yeah We’ve got another patron to listen to how about Neil?  

Neal: Hey guys, this is Neil in virginia beach I’ve been a loyal listener since around 2017 when my friend jilly recommended your show to me I started with monster squad and loved it so much that I did what many people i’m sure do and cherry picked episodes on movies I remembered and liked as a kid Then I graduated to episodes of movies I wanted to see but never got around to, and then finally I leveled up to being a completist and have now heard every single episode at least once.

Uh, because of you I’ve seen dozens of flicks that I wouldn’t have otherwise and also avoided some potential waste of time. I have submitted requests that you guys turned into episodes like the Once Bitten episode and Anna and the Apocalypse. Uh, I love your banter, your recaps are thorough and thoughtful, and most of all you just seem like two genuinely good dudes.

In terms of my own relationship to horror, when I was a kid, the first naked women I ever saw were in the locker room scene from the movie Carrie, so naturally, naked women and scary movies are two of my favorite things. I got a copy of the paperback version of Friday the 13th part 6 from a garage sale.

And that book gave preteen Neil nightmares for weeks. These days, I find that I’m enjoying my horror with at least a splash of humor thrown in. Stuff like Megan, Tucker, and Dale, Cabin in the Woods. Thank you for giving me a reason to look forward to something horror related each week outside of spooky season.

You guys are doing the Lord’s work. Looking forward to more. Happy 365th.

Craig: God, man. These messages are gonna, like, make me cry. 

Todd: It’s so cool to hear Neil’s voice. Another person who, you know, we interact with a lot, like, on the website and on the patron page and all that, he has commented a lot and we’ve had a lot of back and forth.

It’s so cool to hear his voice here. I know, he’s got a great voice. Yeah, it sounds like a great 

Craig: voice. He should do a podcast. Yes. Maybe… He should be on our podcast. Boy, seriously, Neil, he he’s not lying. He’s been around for a long time and has given us some great suggestions and some great feedback. And I, I, I really, I genuinely do enjoy just.

talking to you every week. And I also enjoy having something to look forward to. It’s something I do look forward to every week. I look forward to, um, seeing a new movie and, and talking to you about it. But hearing back from these folks, that’s, that’s what gets me. That’s 

Todd: pretty awesome, huh? I enjoyed being reminded of the locker scene from Carrie, uh, I think, I think that movie opens up, the very first scene in that movie is a fantastic shower scene with Sissy Spacek, and uh, I do remember as a kid appreciating that quite a bit, cause uh, I also share, um, similar hobbies as, uh, as Neal does.

Looking 

Craig: at naked chicks? Like, I don’t know if I’d call that a hobby. I don’t know, but thank you, Neal. That, uh… Thanks, Neal. You got me. It’s always great to hear from you. You got me.

Todd: Well, if you’d like to get us, or just drop us a note and, uh, tell us, uh, tell us what you think, or your favorite horror movies, your favorite episode, or whatever it is you want to comment on, it doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t have to be heartfelt and sappy, you know, just, uh, drop us a line at our speakpipe, and, uh, you can find that probably the easiest just by going to ChainsawHorror.

com and, uh, clicking on the link on our website that says talk to us. And all you need is your computer that you already have, or your phone, and your web browser which you already have, and you just hit a button on that website, start recording, hit stop, and that will get sent straight to us, and we would love to hear your voices.

Your comments and a feature you on an upcoming episode, just as we have here with Neil. Also, uh, you can chat with us on our Facebook page, on Twitter, Instagram. The best way to do that is just to Google two guys in a chainsaw podcast and you’ll hit all of those things. Drop us a note there, pass this podcast along to a friend, and consider, uh, supporting us by going to patreon.

com slash chainsaw podcast. Um, we have a lot of fun on that patron page, and also, uh, offer up a lot of goodies for those guys as well, every week and every month. Until next time, I’m Todd. And I’m Craig. With Two Guys and a Chainsaw.


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