Sunday, June 30, 2013

"1313: UFO Invasion": quirky story of a young grad student who finds out who he really is, could have been more nuanced

1313: UFO Invasion” (directed by David DeCoteau, Phase 4) appears to be one of a franchise of “1313” sci-fi films with a possibly gay male context, intended for cable or streaming immediately. 
The story, in fact, doesn’t explicitly refer to any “relationships”, but certainly is designed to provide “eye candy” for gay men and straight women.

The setup is promising. A young male graduate student, Adam (Aaron Thorton) rents a spa resort near Roswell, MM for himself and apparently some friends as housemates.   The landlady Evelyn Parent) says she will keep an office off to the side on the premises.  Adam’s friends begin to show up, and Adam goes out on a drive to explore some caves near where the 1947 Roswell UFO landing occurred.

Adam says he is getting his Ph.D. in cultural anthropology, and is researching how conquering populations treat indigenous peoples.  Not well, he says.  The logical question is, are we being invaded, and if so, what would the aliens actually do.

The happenings back on the “ranch”, while Adam runs around, let the viewer in on the idea that Evelyn has hideous intentions.  The young men wind up getting drugged and strapped to beds.  There is a problem that some of the characters seem too much alike, and the visual narrative is a little confusing. The film has very long continuous takes for the sake of showing off the men in their skivvies (a few of them have indulged in moderate body shaving, which dilutes and opportunity the film could have explored).

One of the other characters, a slender, nimble wiry blond guy, stands out.  I think this is Matt (Matthew Getz).; maybe it’s Scott (Scott Jordan), Willy (Christian Lake), or Dana (DJ Parker).  He seems to be the social ring leader, and maybe he will hold off Evelyn and save his (more heavily built) friends until Adam gets back.  The actor playing this character has real swagger and charisma and should get more interesting roles in other films.

There is a surprise for us, of course.  Adam may be surprised when he learns who he is, and what power it gives him.  He should lose the shoulder tattoo; it looked out of place.

The film can be rented on YouTube for $1.99.

The viewer can compare this film to Paramount’s TV film “Roswell: The UFO Cover-Up” (Arthur Kopit, 1994) and “Six Days in Roswell” (1999), by Minneapolis filmmaker Timothy Johnson, whom I have met. 

I visited Roswell and the UFO Museum there in April, 1998, shortly after I had moved to Miinneapolis (by weekend excursion on American Airlines with rent car).  I took the bus tour to the crash site (30 miles each way).  The family that owns the land had stopped operating tours because of medical issues and then had just resumed them. The scenery in the film (where Adam roams on foot) looks like the real site, except that I don't recall seeing any caves at the site.
Wikipedia attribution link for New Mexico scenery, near Las Cruces. 

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