Unidentified

"Unidentified" suggests the sort of no-budget sci-fier Ed Wood might have made if he'd become a born-again Christian and started proselytizing in film. It's not quite awful enough to qualify as camp, which may work against its finding any audience.

With:
With: Jonathan Aube, Josh Adamson, Jenna Bailey, Lance Zitron, Rebecca St. James, Michael Blain-Rozgay.

“Unidentified” suggests the sort of no-budget sci-fier Ed Wood might have made if he’d become a born-again Christian and started proselytizing in film. It’s not quite awful enough to qualify as camp, which may work against its finding any audience. Indeed, it’s doubtful even the most undiscriminating devotees of religious-themed fare will flock to this ham-handed, lead-footed opus during its limited theatrical rollout.

In the world according to writer-director Rich Christiano, flying-saucer sightings are persuasive frauds caused by the Great Confuser — a.k.a. Satan — to distract mankind from devout belief in the mercy and miracles of God. The purpose of this demonic deception: After Christians are taken up by the Rapture, unbelievers will assume the missing were seized by extraterrestrials.

Two magazine reporters — a fallen-from-grace Christian (Jonathan Aube) and a cynically smart-mouthed Australian (Josh Adamson) — uncover evidence of conspiracy while investigating UFOs. But while the Aussie interprets the hoax as merely the work of con artists, the other journo, strongly influenced by the magazine’s frightfully zealous religion editor (Michael Blain-Rozgay), spots the devil in the details.

Produced on a pinchpenny budget that allows for minimal f/x, “Unidentified” often resembles the sort of ’50s Z-movies routinely trashed on “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” (To indicate a flying saucer may be hovering overhead, Christiano beams a flickering light on an actor’s face.)

Even if the pic had glossier production values, it still would be stuck with actors who evidence more sincerity than talent, and a script that buries its one good idea — a genuinely clever allusion to Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast — beneath ungainly clumps of overbearing melodrama and shrill speechifying.

Unidentified

Production: A Five & Two Pictures release of a Christiano Film Group production. Produced by Rich Christiano, Alvin Mount. Directed, written by Rich Christiano.

Crew: Camera (color), Philip Hurn; editor, Jeffrey Hollis; music, Jasper Randall; production designer, Marc Hlavaty; sound, Neil Spritz; casting, Beverly Holloway. Reviewed at AMC Gulf Pointe 30, Houston, Oct. 5, 2006. MPAA Rating: PG. Running time: 85 MIN.

With: With: Jonathan Aube, Josh Adamson, Jenna Bailey, Lance Zitron, Rebecca St. James, Michael Blain-Rozgay.

More Film

  • A Murder in Mansfield Documentary Review

    Film Review: 'A Murder in Mansfield'

    “Unidentified” suggests the sort of no-budget sci-fier Ed Wood might have made if he’d become a born-again Christian and started proselytizing in film. It’s not quite awful enough to qualify as camp, which may work against its finding any audience. Indeed, it’s doubtful even the most undiscriminating devotees of religious-themed fare will flock to this […]

  • 'Over the Limit' Review: A Mesmerizing

    IDFA Film Review: 'Over the Limit'

    “Unidentified” suggests the sort of no-budget sci-fier Ed Wood might have made if he’d become a born-again Christian and started proselytizing in film. It’s not quite awful enough to qualify as camp, which may work against its finding any audience. Indeed, it’s doubtful even the most undiscriminating devotees of religious-themed fare will flock to this […]

  • DreamWorks Animation Campus

    Film News Roundup: DreamWorks Animation Campus Sold for $290 Million

    “Unidentified” suggests the sort of no-budget sci-fier Ed Wood might have made if he’d become a born-again Christian and started proselytizing in film. It’s not quite awful enough to qualify as camp, which may work against its finding any audience. Indeed, it’s doubtful even the most undiscriminating devotees of religious-themed fare will flock to this […]

  • Mudbound

    Oscar Myth of 'Pure' Movies: Why Netflix, Amazon Should Be Recognized

    “Unidentified” suggests the sort of no-budget sci-fier Ed Wood might have made if he’d become a born-again Christian and started proselytizing in film. It’s not quite awful enough to qualify as camp, which may work against its finding any audience. Indeed, it’s doubtful even the most undiscriminating devotees of religious-themed fare will flock to this […]

  • IMAX Opens First European VR Center

    IMAX Opens First Virtual Reality Center in Europe

    “Unidentified” suggests the sort of no-budget sci-fier Ed Wood might have made if he’d become a born-again Christian and started proselytizing in film. It’s not quite awful enough to qualify as camp, which may work against its finding any audience. Indeed, it’s doubtful even the most undiscriminating devotees of religious-themed fare will flock to this […]

  • SGIFF: Why Gavin Lim's Diamond Dogs'

    Why 'Diamond Dogs' Had to Premiere in Singapore

    “Unidentified” suggests the sort of no-budget sci-fier Ed Wood might have made if he’d become a born-again Christian and started proselytizing in film. It’s not quite awful enough to qualify as camp, which may work against its finding any audience. Indeed, it’s doubtful even the most undiscriminating devotees of religious-themed fare will flock to this […]

  • Mona Fong Mona Fong, wife of

    Singer, Star, Leading Asian Film Executive Mona Fong Dies at 83

    “Unidentified” suggests the sort of no-budget sci-fier Ed Wood might have made if he’d become a born-again Christian and started proselytizing in film. It’s not quite awful enough to qualify as camp, which may work against its finding any audience. Indeed, it’s doubtful even the most undiscriminating devotees of religious-themed fare will flock to this […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content