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Santilli, Ray and Shoefield, Gary (Alien Autopsy)

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In honor of the release of a film about the 1995 controversy surrounding an infamous bit of footage known as Alien Autopsy called (what else?) Alien Autopsy, we had the opportunity to speak with the real men behind the mania — Ray Santilli and Gary Shoefield. Time to separate fact from fiction.

Alien Autopsy is available now from Warner Premiere. Order your copy below.

About the Film:
The autopsy allegedly occurred in 1947 after the Army issued a press release that a crashed “flying disc” had been recovered. Soon after the army reported debris from a classified radar tracking balloon was recovered, and the speculation began.

The case was eventually forgotten but resurfaced in the late 1970s when physicist Stanton T. Friedman interviewed Major Jesse Marcel, who was involved with the original recovery and said he thought the military covered up the incident.

Then in 1995 Santilli, a London-based video producer, promoted a 17-minute black and white film purporting to be footage of the autopsy. Fox News used the footage in “Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction”, a TV documentary that caused a sensation and earned the highest ratings of any news broadcast to date. On camera many well-known figures, including Oscar®-winning make-up artist Stan Winston, cinematographer Allen Daviau, forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, and ufologist Kevin Randle said they considered the autopsy procedures authentic but stopped short of declaring the being was an alien. After the airing John Jopsoni, one of the documentary’s directors, claimed he had suspicions the film was a hoax but Fox pressured him to stay silent. Winston and Randle said their observations were distorted in the editing – that they had clearly stated they believed the footage was a hoax.

Cut to 2006 when Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, two of Britain’s most successful television entertainers, director Jonny Campbell, and screenwriter William Davies teamed to tell the true story in classic “mocumentary” style. Bill Pullman and Harry Dean Stanton add their touches in key featured roles. Prior to the opening the bigger-than-life Santilli came clean — sort of — to tease what is revealed in the movie: that because the 1947 footage had deteriorated due to heat/humidity, Santilli and his partner Gary Schoefield had “reconstructed” footage.

Ray Santilli, Gary Shoefield Talk the Real Alien Autopsy and the New Film of the Same Name

Ray: “The basis of the story is absolutely true.”

Gary: “The movie came about because one of my closest friends is a film producer. He happened to say to me that he was looking for a really good project to work on and he had money to spend. He knew Ray as well as myself and all about our video Alien Autopsy when it came out. I suggested that the three of us get together to have breakfast and talk about what really happened during the making of our movie. The true story. He later called me at home and expressed lots of interest, and here we are. That’s how it all came about. It wasn’t like Ray and I were thinking about making a movie based on our exploits. Everything just fell into place. A large part of the movie is accurate and true. The backgrounds of Ray and myself are not at all true. We’re both from the entertainment business, and they wanted to make it more unbelievable by having our characters be more like everymen. The essence, though, especially that bit in which we film it, is absolutely spot on. Lots of other elements were spot on as well including the impact that our video had on the world.”

Ray: “In 1993 or 1994 we saw the footage of the autopsy in its original form and brought it back to the UK. Within that year or so the footage had completely deteriorated. The only thing that was left was a few frames that we could use as reference. We brought in the most brilliant technical expert team to help us bring things together. They were absolutely fantastic, so much so that even the great Stan Winston and others were saying things like ‘We don’t know how they could have done that’. What we did was restore the original footage frame-by-frame over a very long period of time. We set about a program that was just simply restoring what was very damaged film. The footage that we had at the end of it was something that we thought was compelling so we decided to market it worldwide. We weren’t selling it to the broadcasters as fact. We simply said, ‘Look, it’s your decision. You can broadcast it whether you think it’s real or not. We’ll take the video rights. You can have the broadcast rights.’ Everybody won. As a result we had some of the biggest organizations in the world including Fox, PF1 in France, and Canal, etc. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars investigating the footage that we supplied, and they couldn’t come up with an answer. What we did was a restoration. It wasn’t a hoax. It was a carefully constructed restoration of the original work.”

Ray Santilli, Gary Shoefield Talk the Real Alien Autopsy and the New Film of the Same Name

Gary: “Though the film is comedic, there were a lot of dangerous and serious aspects that were occurring to Ray and I, including break-ins, death threats, and all sorts of unpleasant things. The producers and writers figured it would be better to present our story in a lighthearted manner even though it could have easily gone the other way. By doing so, the story becomes accessible to a lot more people and a wider audience. We never set out to make a comedy, but we’re very happy with the results of the film.”

Ray: “In 1995, when we first debuted our video, we got involved with areas of the community that you could not imagine. We had military delegations from dozens of different countries come to visit us, we got summoned to the States, and the Chief of Staff saw the film. We quickly realized that we’d stepped into a really serious situation in which we were upsetting a lot of people. These were areas outside of our normal scope of business that we’d never been to before. Offices broken into. Cars broken into. Eventually things changed, and with a certain amount of help we were able to navigate potential land mines.

You can argue that black is white and white is black. When we were dealing with all this, we met with some of the highest dignitaries in certain areas of science from the senior curator of the National History Museum in the UK to a variety of other people. It was a fascinating experience.”

Gary: “I take away a great sense of pride from the whole thing. From our original footage straight through to this newest movie. I’m very proud of all of it. It was a fantastic thing to have been involved with. This will be the thing that Ray and I will always be remembered for.

I have no doubts about alien lifeforms existing. Ray and I have come across some incredible people. People who have been abducted. People who have been implanted. We’ve met people who tell us stories about how the American government has been interacting with alien life for years. I’ve seen an alien spaceship in the sky personally. It’s an amazing subject, really. Extremely interesting and fantastic if you have an open mind.”

Ray: “Since 1995 when we went public with the film, we had people from every corner of the world contact us with images, photos, and every kind of evidence that you can imagine. As a result we right now control one of the largest libraries of this kind of material. Gary and I have taken the position to not commercialize this subject any further.”

Ray Santilli, Gary Shoefield Talk the Real Alien Autopsy and the New Film of the Same Name

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Paul Feig On Why His Ghostbusters Reboot Failed

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It’s pretty obvious at this point that director Paul Feig’s reboot of Ivan Reitman’s classic horror-comedy Ghostbusters wasn’t the success anyone was looking for.

Not fans. Not the studio. And certainly not Feig.

The director of the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot recently spoke with Cinema Blend about the film and made a few comments about why he believes the film wasn’t the smashing success it should have been.

“I think it kind of hampered us a little bit because the movie became so much of a cause,” Feig told the site. “I think for some of our audience, they were like, ‘What the fuck? We don’t wanna go to a cause. We just wanna watch a fuckin’ movie.’ … It was a great regret in my life that the movie didn’t do better, ’cause I really loved it. It’s not a perfect movie. None of my movies are perfect. I liked what we were doing with it. It was only supposed to be there to entertain people.”

Meh. Could be, Feig. That or the film was just not funny or spooky enough to satisfy new or old fans. It was too middle ground and we all know how those kinds of films go over.

That said, I didn’t hate the reboot.

I thought Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon were delightful and I’ll take more Slimer however I can get him. But as always, I just wish there had been more of him. Sigh.

What do you make of Feig’s comments on his Ghostbusters film? Do you think it was “the cause” that keep the reboot from being a smash hit? Let us know in the comments below!

You buy the film on Blu-ray HERE and the original classic HERE.

Synopsis:

Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the otherworldly threat.

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First Plot Details on Quentin Tarantino’s Sharon Tate Movie

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When we first heard about the upcoming ninth film by Quentin Tarantino, it came with the rumor that the film would be centered around the recently deceased Charles Manson.

Tarantino then debunked the rumor saying the film was not about Manson but about the year 1969 in general. Whatever that means.

Today we (might) have a better idea of just what he meant by that as a recent article by Vanity Fair may have just revealed the plot of Tarantino’s mysterious film.

The site’s synopsis reads:

Set in Los Angeles in the summer of 1969, Tarantino’s upcoming movie, according to a source who read the script, focuses on a male TV actor who’s had one hit series and his looking for a way to get into the film business. His sidekick—who’s also his stunt double—is looking for the same thing. The horrific murder of Sharon Tate and four of her friends by Charles Manson’s cult of followers serves as a backdrop to the main story.

Stunt double?

And just like that I could give a sh*t about the whole “is it, or isn’t it about Manson?” debate and now all I want to know is “will the film be, or not be about Stuntman Mike and/or his older brother Stuntman Bob?”

Am I joking? Maybe. But this is Tarantino after all. And the man loves building up his own connected universe of films and characters so… you never know…

How excited are you for Tarantino’s new movie? Does this plot sound correct to you? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Tarantino’s ninth film is expected to start shooting in LA this June.

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DVD and Blu-ray Releases: November 21, 2017

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We have kind of a slow week for you, folks. Aside from 1957’s Daughter Of Dr. Jekyll, all seven of our other releases are from the past five years, and I hate to admit this but I don’t know much about them.

I can say that American Mary, is always a fun title to watch. Fans of Katharine Isabelle, take notice. You can grab this on both Blu-ray and DVD.

For more information on some of this week’s other titles, from other Dread Central contributors, check out the following links:

Dark Signal

The Night Watchmen

Scarecrowd

And

Under The Bed

Keep checking back each week, folks. Next week is another smaller list but they will begin picking up again for the Christmas season. As always, pleasant viewing.



MOVIES:

American Mary (2012)

Starring:

Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk

Synopsis:

Strapped for cash while putting herself through medical school, medical student Mary Mason takes a job as a waitress at a strip bar, run by Billy Barker. As she becomes increasingly disillusioned with her studies, Billy introduces Mary to a new and extremely lucrative sideline, performing extreme body modifications to an odd collection of flesh-obsessed characters. Subsequently forced to drop out of medical school, she soon takes refuge in her new career. But as her demeanor steadily darkens, and her actions take on an altogether more vengeful twist, she begins to be known and feared as ‘Bloody Mary’.

BUY IT NOW!


Dark Signal (2016)

Starring:

Siwan Morris, Gareth David-Lloyd, Joanna Ignaczewska, Duncan Pow

Synopsis:

The spirit of a murdered girl returns with a message. Now a stranded woman must team up with the staff of a local radio station to solve the mystery of her death.

BUY IT NOW!


Daughter Of Dr. Jekyll (1957)

Starring:

John Agar, Gloria Talbott, Arthur Shields

Synopsis:

Janet, a young woman discovers she is the daughter of the infamous Dr. Jekyll. She begins to believe that she may also have a split personality, one of whom is a ruthless killer after the bodies start to pile up around her. However, all is not what it seems…..

BUY IT NOW!


Housebound (2014)

Starring:

Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiati, Glen-Paul Waru

Synopsis:

Kylie Bucknell is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention. Her punishment is all the more unbearable because she has to live with her mother, a blabbermouth who’s convinced that the house is haunted. But soon Kylie has reason to believe that her mother may be right.

BUY IT NOW!


The Night Watchmen (2016)

Starring:

James Remar, Matt Servitto

Synopsis:

Three inept night watchmen, aided by a young rookie and a fearless tabloid journalist, fight an epic battle to save their lives. A mistaken warehouse delivery unleashes a horde of hungry vampires, and these unlikely heroes must not only save themselves but also stop the scourge that threatens to take over the city of Baltimore.

BUY IT NOW!


Scarecrowd (2016)

Starring:

Fabrizio Occhipinti, Gabrielle Bergère, Antony Ferry

Synopsis:

Radiation from a nearby meteor strike turns farmer Tony Maio in a crazed mutant. He hides his appearance in the guise of a scarecrow, hunting down and killing nearby town folk to satisfy his newfound blood lust. The town will dread sundown and screams will be echo in the dark night when this Scarecrow hunts them down.

BUY IT NOW!


Teenage Slumber Party Nightmare (2014) (Limited Edition, Just 100 Sold)

Starring:

Kaitlyn Yurkiw, Lauren Richardson, Hillary Kaplan, Martha Staus, Kirk Munaweera, Payton John Bonn, Kevin Paynter

Synopsis:

Four teens on Spring Break plan the ultimate slumber party… Beer! Porn! Dancing! Girl Talk! There’s a first time for everything – including the deranged stalker who’s followed them home. He leaves them love notes, but the girls laugh it off. He spies through the windows, but they don’t know it. Soon he sneaks in, masked and carrying his rusty power drill. A young man’s obsession becomes a nightmare in this driller killer slasher.

BUY IT NOW!


Under the Bed (2012)

Starring:

Jonny Weston, Peter Holden, Musetta Vander

Synopsis:

Two brothers team up to battle a creature under the bed, in what is being described as a “suburban nightmare” tale.

BUY IT NOW!

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