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Aurora Encounter, The

Aurora Encounter, The (1986) Movie Poster
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  •  USA  •    •  90m  •    •  Directed by: Jim McCullough Sr..  •  Starring: Jack Elam, Peter Brown, Carol Bagdasarian, Dottie West, Will Mitchell, Charles B. Pierce, Mickey Hays, George 'Spanky' McFarland, Mindy Smith, Carly McCullough, Tracy Kuehnert, Paula Barrett, Foster Litton.  •  Music by: Ron Di Iulio.
        A tiny alien lands in the small town Aurora in Texas in the times of the Wild West. He flies around in his spaceship and checks out everything. While the kids are fascinated, their parents are rather sceptic and afraid. Ms. Peabels, teacher and new owner of the local paper, smells a good story and brings the alien into the headlines. When the governor hears of the rumors, he sends a ranger to take action.


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Image from: Aurora Encounter, The (1986)
Image from: Aurora Encounter, The (1986)
Image from: Aurora Encounter, The (1986)
Image from: Aurora Encounter, The (1986)
Image from: Aurora Encounter, The (1986)
I can't find much information about this one. Whoa. This movie features a kid who has progeria, the degenerative aging disease. Even though his body was small and (conveniently) alien-like, Mickey Hays was about 14 when this was made. The only thing that spares this incredibly slipshod film from being total exploitation of this poor kid's illness (in using him as the alien who visits an anachronism-laden Old west town), is the fact that Hays really appears to be enjoying himself. Who knows? Maybe it was his idea to capitalize on his terminal disease and portray an alien (he actually more closely resembles Max Schreck's Nosferatu in miniature).

I won't say I didn't enjoy this film to some degree. I can't say that I didn't laugh out loud many times during the "alien encounter" scenes, which were horribly paced and would lead a person unfamiliar with the disease to wonder "What the hell is wrong with that alien?" I even enjoyed Spanky McFarland's cameo as the governor (though I admit we were pretty much fast-forwarding to more alien scenes at this point). It is fascinating both as inept filmmaking as well as exploitive yet harmless artifact. On certain, divergent levels, I enjoyed this film. But it made me feel guilty.

It's billed as a Family picture, but parents will be at a loss to explain the black-clad-bad-guy's actions at the end, or the discomforting pace of the whole film. And this may be a spoiler: the film ends on kind of a downer. The moral of the film is, humans are bad news. I can't help thinking this applies not only to the story but to the filmmakers as well.

Review by Mr Pants from the Internet Movie Database.