Back in the days of my distant youth, it was hard to come by quality media that explored such topics. Most programs gave high strangeness a sugar-coating as TV outlets and production companies of the times still feared a mom-and-pop culture that might rise up against them at any given opportunity and take their business elsewhere if the children were frightened. As a consequence, I found many shows unnecessarily 'dumbed down' of the facts and instead glossed up so as to avoid confronting a potentially dark reality. Were ghosts real? Well, John Q. Television Executive didn't know, but in creating a show to explore the subject he'd inject the scripts with plenty of doubt and humor. That would distract audiences of the day, and I found much of it a very unsophisticated way of breaching a sophisticated topic.
In fact, I didn't think that it was Fox TV invested so heavily in Chris Carter's The X-Files that Science Fiction and Fantasy embraced the prospect of going mainstream in pursuit of the truth that was out there. The program's shows never shied away from controversies near and far; and while it occasionally stopped short of proclaiming aliens had visited us both in the near and distant past, the writing staff clearly left the door open to those possibilities and much, much more. Thankfully, a lot of the programming that followed in X's wake also embraced the wild and weird -- high TV ratings and awards recognition has a way of bursting dams and shattering glass ceilings -- and we've culturally been the beneficiaries of smart and dynamic alternatives ever since.
Which brings me to today's topic ...
This morning, I received a notice regarding 2021's Broadcast Signal Intrusion, a kinda/sorta paranormal-themed drama hatched by Queensbury Pictures and due for distribution via the reliable Dark Sky Films. (I've had some quality relations with them in the past, so maybe I'll receive a screener to review. Watch this space, peeps.) Directed by Jacob Gentry, the film was scripted by Phil Drinkwater and Tim Woodall ... and -- if I'm reading this properly -- its narrative was inspired by real events. Gentry is no stranger to genre projects: I see from IMDB.com he was responsible (in part) for The Signal (2007) and Synchronicity (2015) -- a time travel yarn with a side of romance. It does appear that this is Drinkwater and Woodall's first full-length feature, and one never knows what to make of that until the final product is seen.
Also, I'd be remiss if I failed to point out that the flick stars Glee alum Harry Shum Jr. He's dabbled in genre, as well, with some work aboard the Fantasy-themed Shadowhunters during its three-season run on the Boob Tube.
Details below are provided by the distributor. As always, thanks for reading ... and live long and prosper!
"The bones and muscle of the plot run themselves at a good pace, almost more aerodynamic for the flesh they might lack." - AUSTIN CHRONICLE
BROADCAST SIGNAL INTRUSION
Comes to Blu-ray and DVD on 12/7
While logging tapes of decades-old TV broadcasts, video archivist James (Harry Shum Jr.) discovers a surreal and disturbing clip that James believes is the product of a mysterious broadcast signal hacking. His discovery takes a sinister turn when he tracks down similar broadcast intrusions that send him on an obsessive mission. Now James must confront two very real possibilities: that the videos may be clues to a crime beyond all comprehension; and that whoever was behind them may be very aware that James is coming uncomfortably close to the truth.
BROADCAST SIGNAL INTRUSION was inspired by actual broadcast interruptions that occurred in Chicago in the late 1980s, and remain unsolved to this day. The film is an unsettling journey into our collective technological nightmares, confronting our deepest, darkest fears of both man and machine.
BROADCAST SIGNAL INTRUSION
Genre: Thriller / Sci-fi
Writers: Tim Woodall and Phil Drinkwater
Producers: Greg Newman, Brett Hays, Giles Edwards, Nicola Goelzhaeuser
Executive Producer: Harry Shum Jr., Badie Ali, Hamza Ali, Malik B. Ali
Cinematographer: Scott Thiele
Sound Department: Rob Davis, Cesar Ortega
Music: Ben Lovett
Special FX Make-up Designer: Dan Martin
Run time: 104 minutes